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The Langa Quarter tourism enterprise, based in Langa Township in Cape Town, was recently officially launched. Spearheaded by Tony Elvin, who has, together with the local community, transformed the township into a hub of enterprise and social development projects, The Langa Quarter SEP (Social Enterprise Precinct) project forms part of the Ikhaya Le Langa NPC non-profit organisation.
Proactively zoned for tourism, the Langa Quarter consists of a nucleus of 207 homes. These have been transformed into restaurants, galleries, bars (shebeens), craft stores and The Langa Quarter Homestay Hotel, a 40-bed cluster of homestay accommodation in the residents’ homes, nine of which are listed on Airbnb.
Traditional foods, the Apartheid Pass Museum, historical re-enactments, local art, entertainment and walking tours are all on offer.
Ikhaya Le Langa’s new Social Enterprise tourism outlet, the Inter-Community Tourism Agency, is an honorary sustainable tourism member of Fedhasa, the national trade association for the hospitality industry. The agency will present its signature Past, Present and Future Tour, which includes the exclusive Apartheid Pass Museum re-enactments.
Scheduled to fully open in February, local restaurant the Sun Diner will serve breakfast. The Sun Diner’s Wonder Menu was created to address the need for an affordable catering solution for the community. It will soon provide free meals to the army of unemployed local volunteers engaged in making the Langa Quarter ‘cleaner, greener and safer’.
Elvin said: “We are thrilled to be showcasing this amazing project to Cape Town, South Africa, and the world. The people of Langa are doing real, meaningful activities in making the Langa Quarter ‘cleaner, greener and safer’, and promoting tourism to this area. Our community is a shining example of Ubuntu and our people are inspiring and motivating us all.”
Asked how the product was being marketed to international tourists, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, said: “Cape Town Tourism focuses on all neighbourhoods across the city in our marketing programmes, and Langa has featured prominently in our trade discussions internationally. In addition, we have produced a popular video about Langa as part of our Love Cape Town Neighbourhoods video series. The video can be viewed internationally to give you a glimpse of what to expect as a visitor.”
He added, that a tourist wanting to have an authentic Cape Town experience should take in a neighbourhood tour of Langa, Khayelitsha or Gugulethu, to experience all facets of the city. “There are many reputable tours on offer that share the history and culture of these fascinating places.”
Duminy said the project had had a positive impact on the community and was a sustainable tourism initiative. “Tourism that takes place in communities has that fantastic benefit of incorporating many businesses, providing sustainability in employment for entire families. It’s a positive, constructive form of tourism that ensures that the local economy is boosted directly. Tourism professionals in communities are aware of the need to practise sustainable, responsible tourism, so this translates to ensuring that tourism in communities enhances those environments.”
He concluded that Langa Quarter’s aim was to attract people to Langa and to use the increased exposure and revenue to contribute to making the community cleaner, greener and safer.