Map of Africa Monument unveiled in Agulhas National Park

Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom on Tuesday unveiled the Map of Africa Monument in the Agulhas National Park, the southernmost tip of Africa.

The tourism department in a statement said the symbolism of the map pays homage to the African continent and boasts a circumference of 30 metres.

"The Iconic Map of Africa Monument at the Southernmost Tip of Africa is one of the infrastructure features commissioned and developed at the Agulhas National Park by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with South African National Parks (SANParks), to enhance visitor experience and boost the local tourism economy," department spokesperson, Blessing Manale said.

The monument design shows the direction of the compass and includes representation of several African landmarks.

"South Africa’s rich biodiversity and natural heritage found in our national parks are key tourism drawcards. We can only enhance these amazing tourism offerings by adding features like the Iconic Map of Africa Monument to deliver memorable experiences to our visitors and ensure many happy returns.

"The funding and supporting of infrastructure development projects is particularly important to us – it enables us to fulfil our mandate of creating inclusive economic opportunities for our people. Remember, through these initiatives, people get jobs and local SMMEs also generate income from the services they render.

"All South Africans should desire tourism growth as it translates into economic growth, jobs and opportunities for many," said Hanekom.

The department through its Working for Tourism Programme supports both skills and infrastructure development projects.

"This is an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to promote employment opportunities and the transfer of skills to members of the community. By extension, it seeks to create jobs through Public Employment Programmes (PEP) for tourism, by increasing the labour intensity of government-funded infrastructure projects.

"The funding for this project was R15 million. During the year-long construction of the project, employment was provided for 79 local community members and involved 7 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs)," said Manale.

"The project also included the construction of a 1 km road, re-alignment of the boardwalk and rehabilitation of the terrain.

"It also provided training opportunities to beneficiaries in different skills programmes such as painting, plumbing, tiling and plastering - clearly demonstrating the broad benefits of tourism and community beneficiation."