The MEC’s for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism and Sport, Arts and Culture Seaparo Sekoati and Thandi Moraka are expected to launch the 14th edition of the Marula Festival in Lephalale on 18 January.
The festival is set to commence with a youth concert, half marathon, career exhibits and 4×4 challenge on February 22 at Phalaborwa’s Impala Stadium.
Thereafter, a week-long funfair-style event, including a street parade and food stalls showcasing local cuisine, will be held. It will culminate with a golf challenge and jazz and gospel concert which will feature local and international artists on 2 March.
The festivities will form part of celebrations focussed on products of the marula tree which is widespread in the sub-tropical parts of the province, particularly the Mopani district.
During the event 14 small cooperatives from all the districts will supply their versions of home-brewed marula beer, a famous beverage. The growing, harvesting and brewing of the fruit is a consistent source of employment.
The festival itself has a positive impact on the local economy in that it annually creates in excess of 500 jobs for rural community members.
The target market of the event is mainly individuals from all provinces of South Africa and the SADC countries particularly Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique as neighbours that have patronised the event over the past years.
Story: Herbert Rachuene