by BAATSHEBA RAMASHALA
POLOKWANE – A SMALL town in Limpopo is poised to be a big player in the tourism sector.
Its economic potential is to be fulfilled following an investment of R15 million (over US$867 000) by a multibillion-Rand enterprise.
The Innovative Solutions Group (ISG), spearheaded by entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer, Arnoux Maré, is to inject the funds in Modimolle.
ISG launched the flagship store of its new retail chain in the town last Saturday.
This will mark the opening of the country’s first Leisure and Adventure store for the enjoyment of the local community, outdoor enthusiasts and visitors to the Waterberg area.
Additionally, Leisure and Adventure will be using the opportunity to launch the store’s own line of locally-manufactured outdoor clothing specifically designed for South African needs, tastes and wallets.
“Leisure and Adventure is a key milestone for ISG that will mark our first investment into the retail sector,” Maré said.
The entrepreneur belies retail holds a huge wealth of untapped potential for business growth and job creation, especially in underserviced areas outside local major cities.
“This is especially true for small towns and communities like Modimolle, which are key points for the tourism and safari industry,” he said.
The Modimolle store will be the first of several new stores that ISG plans to roll out across South Africa over the coming months.
Modimolle is the commercial centre for the popular Waterberg region.
In the wake of the pandemic, the town is ideally positioned to benefit from a bounce-back in South African tourism, given its proximity to game reserves, guest houses, safari and hunting lodges around Bela-Bela, the Nyl floodplain and the Nylsvley Nature Reserve.
According to the Limpopo Tourism Agency (LTA), the province’s rich abundance of wildlife and memorable scenery, as well as its convenient positioning between neighbours Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, are also important drawcards for attracting local and international holidaymakers.
Latest LTA figures show that the province is currently visited by 17 percent or nearly one in five of all international tourists.
Maré said through Leisure and Adventure, ISG hoped to drive economic growth and create new opportunities in a range of geographically remote areas.
“We’re very excited to be joining the Modimolle community. We firmly believe that this will be a space to watch,” he said.
Founded in 2011 with a R500 investment in a single company, ISG now boasts some nine successful subsidiaries in a range of industries which employ over 38 000 staff across its various operations around the country.
– CAJ News