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27 February 2013

First FTTSA-certified tour in Dinokeng

The Refilwe Cultural and Shebeen Tour in Dinokeng was recently certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA).

Visit a traditional healer on the Refilwe Cultural and Shebeen Tour

We are very happy to welcome the Refilwe Cultural and Shebeen Tour to the Fair Trade in Tourism family. This is a truly responsible tourism product that has a direct and lasting impact on the community it operates in. – Katarina Mancama, FTTSA marketing manager.

Operated by Fundani Tours, it is the only FTTSA-certified tour in Dinokeng, which is situated in Gauteng and includes the three hubs of the Dinokeng Game Reserve, Roodeplaat Dam and the mining town of Cullinan.

Dinokeng now has three tourism products that have been certified by the FTTSA as part of the ‘Travel with a Conscience’ campaign spearheaded by the Gauteng Tourism Authority. The aim of the campaign is to position Dinokeng as a responsible tourism destination with a focus on community development and empowerment.

The other two accredited FTTSA properties operating in the area are Kwalata Game Ranch and Kwaggas Pride guest house.

Katarina Mancama, marketing manager at FTTSA, says, ‘We are very happy to welcome Fundani Tours’s Refilwe Cultural and Shebeen Tour to the Fair Trade in Tourism family. This is a truly responsible tourism product that has a direct and lasting impact on the community it operates in.’

The Refilwe Cultural and Shebeen Tour gives visitors a glimpse of community and township life. A visit to a traditional healer and a meal at a shebeen (tavern) are part of the package.

Fundani Tours, owned and run by Peterson Mahlangu, plays a major role in community tourism development with the aim of creating jobs for the youth, women and people with disabilities. Mahlangu is very aware of tourists’ needs and points out that an authentic experience is key.

He has assisted four community members to establish their own tourism businesses and continues to invest his time in uplifting skills in the tourism sector.

He says he is thrilled that the Refilwe Cultural and Shebeen Tour has received certification: ‘To be FTTSA certified is a privilege not only for my company, but also for my community, because FTTSA advocates fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practices, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. So everybody benefits.'