City asks residents for input into Langa Cultural Precint [Cape Times (South Africa)]
(Cape Times (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE Langa Cultural Precinct is set for a massive overhaul as the city seeks to revitalise and upgrade one of its foremost cultural hubs.
A six-month campaign that calls for input from residents about the future of the precinct opened earlier this week.
The improvements are a project of the city's World Design Capital 2014.
Mayoral Committee member for tourism, events and marketing Garreth Bloor said the precinct, in its current form, preserved the township's rich cultural history.
"We want it to be a significant and vibrant cultural hub that is relevant to all Capetonians. The vision to change the space will shift this into a greater cultural development."
The Langa Cultural Precinct is comprised of the Guga S'thebe cultural centre, the Old Pass Office Museum, and the old Post Office building. There are 15 crafters who sell their paintings, beads and pottery from the facility.
Bloor said once a plan was agreed on and an appropriate business model established, funds would be raised for what was needed to run the space.
"We hope to use the model of a centre like Rus en Vrede in Durbanville which is run by a non-profit, community-based arts body and for the city to assist the relevant body and model as chosen by the traders and residents."
Bloor said the centre attracted close to 1 000 tourists per month.
Garth Angus, owning partner of township tour operator Vamos Tours, said tourists had a keen interest in townships.
"It's unfortunate that townships have the stigma of fear attached to them. But for me there is an unbelievable sense of ubuntu that one would find nowhere else in the world. It's a thrill for tourists and the community also benefits greatly from this."
Thabo Mabaya, 18, uses the free wi-fi to access the internet.
"This is a great place. I make sure I come here at least twice a week," he said.
"I use the free wi-fi for my schoolwork and keeping in touch with my friends on Facebook and other social media. The cultural movies that play here are great. I watched the movie Sarafina and used it to complete a school project."
The Rhodes High School matric pupil said the centre needed to advertise itself more to attract young people.
"We (young people) are attracted by colour and vibrant items. In this hall there are so many arts and crafts and projects that would surely attract more young people.
"But because no one knows what is going on here, people tend to just walk past."
A plan will be tabled next year.
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