Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) in collaboration with other partners like Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, Limpopo Tourism Agency, Department of Sports Arts and Culture, District Municipalities and other private sector organisations promises to host yet another thriller festival in Phalaborwa from 22 February to 1 March 2014. The MEC of LEDET, Mr Seaparo Sekoati, made a pronouncement on major activities of the ninth Limpopo Marula Festival on 31 January 2014, during the media launch held in Phalaborwa.

The Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism has taken a deliberate decision of empowering communities, which have abundance of Marula trees by establishing Cooperatives that brew Marula beer and also produce other bi-products of Marula, such as achar, jam, cooking oil, soap, hand and body lotion, etc. To date there are in total 13 such cooperatives which government continues to support and help market beyond the borders of the province.

The MEC for LEDET, Mr Seaparo Sekoati, said: “To date, the festival is able to attract more than 30 000 revellers from most parts of the country including South Africa’s neighbouring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, such as Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique”.

The event is undoubtedly one major contributor of the Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality’s economy, while it significantly also contributes to the economy of the province.

Sekoati further said: “Limpopo Marula Festival is done in line with and guided by the prescripts of the National Development Plan, while its growth and surrounding infrastructure in Ba-Phalaborwa Municipal area are a direct response to national policy focus on Rural Development”.

“We are optimistic that the town of Phalaborwa with its capacity of over 1 400 beds will be fully booked due to this event and this is good news for the tourism and hospitality sector in Limpopo Province. Our wish is to see a proliferation of tourism products in the area thereby growing tourism in the district. It is also our hope that the festival will continue to grow in bounds given the partnerships with other key stakeholders like Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, Provincial Government, National Department of Tourism, Department of Arts and Culture nationally and the private sector, said Sekoati.

The town of Phalaborwa has been chosen the permanent of home of the festival because of its tourism profile and proximity to other major tourist destinations including the world’s renowned Kruger National Park incorporated within the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park which includes Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Most of the festival activities including the open air festival will take place at Impala Park stadium and as usual, this will be a weeklong affair. Media was taken on a tour of tourist attractions in Mopani District including the Big tree, Sunland Baobab, in Modjadjiskloof, Amarula Lapa in Phalaborwa and Jessica the Hippo in Hoedspruit.

The following day, on 1 March 2014, media will also attend a traditional event at Muti Wa Vatsonga presided over by MEC for LEDET, Mr. Seaparo Sekoati for the tasting of the First Fruit also known as “Go loma Morula” or “Ku Luma Nguva” or “Ku Luma Vukanyi”.

The weeklong festivities will on 22 February 2014 commence with the music concert that will feature household names such as DJ Ganyani, DJ Oskido, Uhuru, Professor, DJ Brian, Magubane De’ Franchise and others. The festival will on 1 March 2014 culminate in the open air festival that will feature Stimela, Ringo, Joe Shirimani, Yvonne Chakachaka, Worship House, General Muzka and other local artists.

Activities of this weeklong festival are lined up as follows:

Item Date Venue
Media launch 31 January 2014 CU Guest House
Festival of the First Fruit ( Ku Luma Nguva / Go Loma Morula 1 February 2014 Muti wa Vatsonga (Eiland) outside Phalaborwa
Limpopo Marula Festival Street Parade 22 February 2014 Phalaborwa Town
Limpopo Marula Festival 4×4 Challenge 22 February 2014 Hlolwa Lodge (Outside Phalaborwa)
Limpopo Marula Festival Indigenous Games 22 February 2014 Impala Park Stadium (Phalaborwa)
Limpopo Marula Festival Half Marathon 22 February 2014 From the Kruger National Park to Groen Skool
Brewing of the Traditional Marula Beverage 25 February to 1 March 2014 Ba-Phalaborwa Municipal Lapa
Limpopo Marula Festival Tourism Career Expo 25 to 28 February 2014 Impala Park Stadium (Phalaborwa)
Limpopo Marula Festival SMME’s Exhibition 25 February until the 1 March 2014 Impala Park Stadium (Phalaborwa)
Limpopo Marula Festival Fun Fair Park 25 to 28 February 2014 Impala Park Stadium (Phalaborwa)
Limpopo Marula Festival Golf Challenge & Pro-Am 25 February and 28 February and 1 March 2014 Hans Marensky Golf Estate Hotel
Welcome Dinner 28 February 2014 Impala Park stadium Hall (Phalaborwa)
Limpopo Marula Festival Bulletjies 1 March 2014 Groen Skool (Phalaborwa)
Limpopo Marula Festival Open Air Concert 1 March 2014 Impala Park Stadium (Phalaborwa)

Mike Tauatsoala
Tel: 015 293 3719
Cell: 082 886 3294