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BCM positioned to invest, play and grow

BCM positioned to invest, play and grow

BUFFALO City Metro initiatives to educate and entertain its residents are proof that the city is a good place to invest, play and grow.

The Metro has managed to position itself as the destination of choice to play and has identified tourism as one of the strategic economic sectors with a potential to grow and in turn assist with the growth of the regional economy and with job creation.

Executive Mayor Xola Pakati said that the Metro had started to invest its resources in “cultivating lifestyle tourism through supporting a number of lifestyle events that continue to attract tourists into the city and contribute to the sustainability of our hospitality industry.”

However, the City does not only invest in its entertainment and tourism events as it continuously spends millions of rands towards the education of young people.

This year alone a total of 36 young people were awarded bursaries through the Metro’s bursary fund. The current beneficiaries are studying information technology, finance, agriculture, planning and development and engineering.

Pakati said nine beneficiaries from last year graduated last month. “Since the inception of the bursary fund in 2008, 40 beneficiaries have graduated. Currently seven are BCM interns, and three have been employed by BCM,” Pakati said. Through its support for entertainment events, BCM has helped provide for the health and recreation of young and old in the Daily Dispatch Cycle Tour, Harley Davidson African Bike Week, Metro FM Heat Wave, Berlin November event and the Buyel’Ekhaya Pan African Music Festival.

Sports fanatics also enjoyed several top-flight soccer matches between December and May as Chippa United took some of their PSL games and a cup game to Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane. Bafana Bafana hosted Angola in an international friendly at the Buffalo City Stadium and the Super- Sport Rugby Challenge went to Mdantsane.

Pakati said the Metro went on an “aggressive approach” in positioning itself as an events destination of choice.

He said negotiations to host Chippa in BCM next season are under way.

Despite not being awarded the host city rights for the cricket T20 Premier League recently, Pakati said the city would remain focused and committed to working with Border Cricket to secure future major tournaments in the city.

The Metro’s annual franchise expo, now in its fourth year, has also grown since its inception as it attracted 50 exhibitors and more than 4 300 visitors.

In another effort to develop the economy, BCM prides itself on working closely with the department of economic development and environmental affairs, which has funded projects like Pro-Glove, a King William’s Town-based company that manufactures protective leather gloves and clothing; Ikusasa Green in Dimbaza industrial area, a plastic production company that makes cooler boxes; BuzweBethu, a Zwelitsha-based business that manufactures traditional outfits, Be Bright in Mdantsane, where chemical products are made, and the Magebheza Office Furniture in Fort Jackson Industrial Park where office furniture is manufactured.

All these businesses were funded with R3-million each.



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