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Queenstown crafter’s handiwork heads to Australia after Springbok Wallabies clash

Sep 28, 2018
Queenstown crafter’s handiwork heads to Australia after Springbok Wallabies clash

If the Wallabies fail to win the Nelson Mandela Challenge against the Springboks on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, they will at least take a piece of fine Eastern Cape craftsmanship with them.

The craftwork is a product of Queenstown crafter Mvuzo Ntlantsana of Mawawa Creations who was chosen to develop a handcrafted rugby ball as a token of appreciation to the Australian Rugby Union for the much-anticipated Wallabies Springbok clash.

The token is a rugby ball dressed in handcrafted beadwork and embroidery showcasing the South African and Australian flags as well as a quote from the global icon and statesman Nelson Mandela, whom the Wallabies Springbok clash will honour.

The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) will also put up a pop up shop at the stadium showcasing the work of 15 crafters for sale under the Eastern Cape Craft Collection banner.

Ntlantsana developed the wire frame of the ball while ECDC creative industries sector specialist Yandiswa Sodaba designed the beadwork and embroidery work.

“The opportunity for the local crafter to produce a token for the friendly international arose after ECDC approached Eastern Province Rugby with a view to supporting sporting events in the province as a way of boosting sports tourism and the economic spinoffs such events generate.

"As a result of these engagements, an opportunity arose for a crafter to participate at the Nelson Mandela Challenge through this artwork.

“The idea is to ensure that whenever sporting events take place in the Eastern Cape, a token of appreciation will be produced by local entrepreneurs giving them exposure for their products on an international stage,” says ECDC senior manager for trade promotion Phakamisa George.

Springbok Wallabies clash part of strategy to stimulate economic growth

George says ECDC has identified sports tourism and the hosting of events as a strategy to stimulate economic growth and revenue generation for Eastern Cape companies.

The ECDC has already requested an allocation of funding from government to co-fund selected sports, culture, heritage and music events that carry an international profile, national and regional following. The development agency has already identified six events for support between September 2018 and December 2019.

ECDC has already completed a benchmarking exercise with the Western Cape and KwaZulu/Natal on how the hosting of events is linked to economic growth because of the economic multiplier effect such events have.

An economic analysis of events hosted by Cape Town and Durban indicate that events hosting is a multi-billion rand industry.

“The ECDC will enter into a working partnership, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) and the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA), working closely with municipalities to package and organise such events on behalf of the Eastern Cape province.

“The idea is to ensure that tourism and investment promotion is at the centre of hosting such events in the Eastern Cape in order to continuously create demand for the Eastern Cape as a destination for investment, trade and tourism,” says George.

He says this investment should be able to take advantage of the significant socio-economic impact that is brought by sporting events through substantial spend in accommodation, entertainment, dining, shopping and general social cohesion.

“For example, in 2017 there were 4,000 international registrations for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, for a total of 35000 riders. Hotels and other places of accommodation reported high occupancy rates, and, according to the race organisers, the event injects more than R500 million into the Western Cape economy every year, as well as raising millions for charitable undertakings and cycling development which has a significant impact to those in need, both regionally and beyond.

“Additionally, in 2016 the Absa Cape Epic contributed R300m to the economy and the Cape Rouleur attracts 160 pro, former pro, celebrity, and amateur riders from 16 countries across Africa, America, Australasia and Europe,” George explains.

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