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Durban Tourism industry "Never Say Die" attitude on a winning streak

Date: 2022-06-21 12:20:42

Durban Tourism industry "Never Say Die" attitude on a winning streak

DURBAN’S inaugural Tourism Business Awards have boosted confidence and pride in the industry which is still recovering from a string of unprecedented hard knocks.

When Durban Tourism decided to recognise and reward tourism and hospitality businesses-who overcame the triple challenge of COVID-19, July unrest and the recent floods- hundreds of entries poured in.

Excitement gripped the industry as the worthy hopefuls realised that their efforts to do Durban proud during extraordinary times, were going to be lauded.

Judges had a tough time whittling the entries down to 51 and there was a buzz of anticipation at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) on 15 June during the awards prize giving ceremony. There were ten categories in the overall awards and five in the Mayor’s Special Achievement Award.

Judge and Chief Executive Officer of the Durban ICC Lindiwe Rakharebe said: “The response to the awards showed Durban’s tourism businesses have a ‘never say die’ attitude. When life throws them lemons, they make lemonade.” 
Rakharebe said every entrant was a top performer. “When the finalists were chosen, the task of judging became even more difficult.”

Among the categories, the Rickshaw pullers was particularly unique to Durban. These popular beachfront figures, complete with their colourful regalia, have stood the test of time. The winner, Mfanafuthi Nxumalo brought the crowd to their feet when he collected his prize.

Nxumalo,35, from KwaMashu, went home with a R50 000 cheque. He said he is still in disbelief about his winnings. "This money will accelerate my dreams of opening another tourism- related business."

Nxumalo joined the Rickshaw business in 2017 to support his family after his father passed away. His father was also a Rickshaw operator. "I witnessed through my father that it is possible to make a living by being a Rickshaw operator."

Nxumalo is based at Joe Cools in North Beach, but he can also be found at uShaka Marine World. He thanked the Municipality for this great initiative and recognition.

EThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said: “What had to be considered in each of the Mayor’s Special Achievement categories were each winner’s consistent business retention and expansion, the business model and brand sustainability. We looked at how the business remained competitive with its offering as well as the extent of the radical economic transformation role the business has played.”