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Tourism policies and management practices as perceived by indigenous people in Kwazulu-Natal Municipalities: The ‘black-hole syndrome’

Lindisizwe M Magi


The tourism honeymoon following the advent of democracy in South Africa has begun to experience  threatening challenges in the realm of tourism development in some municipalities occupied by indigenous people (DEAT 2000; Magi and Nzama 2002). Tourism policy, planning and management in these indigenous people’s municipalities, have progressively eluded some municipal managers who are  predominantly of indigenous origins. These policy shortcomings have also been supported by the opinion that tourism development planning across Africa has lagged behind (Dieke, 2000). This article discusses the apparent collapse of tourism service delivery in some indigenous municipalities of KwaZulu-Natal. The article also assesses the ability of policies to uphold an efficient tourism delivery regime. Some of the salient objectives of this article revolve around: indigenous community awareness of the importance of tourism; tourism policies perceived as contributing adequately to tourism delivery; the effectiveness of
existing tourism management practices; and identifying core shortcomings hindering tourism  development, delivery and indigenous community beneficiation. The analysis of tourism breakdown has been carried out in three local municipalities predominantly occupied by indigenous people: Ntambanana (72), uMvoti (128) and Ndwedwe (133). From these three places, 333 respondents were interviewed and the data collected were analysed using the statistical package for the social sciences [SPSS]. The findings of the study, inter alia, established that there were evidently negative perceptions  of participation, management effectiveness, service delivery and the comprehension of related policies and strategies in the study areas.

Keywords: Tourism, policies, planning, management, indigenous people, cultural tourism, community development, tourism service delivery, perception.