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Friday Nov 01, 2013

Facelift to boost Freedom Park, Salvokop

Expansion plans are under way for Tshwane's cultural heritage site Freedom Park and the Salvokop township that lies at the foot of the hill, to increase economic and cultural activities.

A view of 'Skhumbuto' one of the elements at Freedom Park.

Long-term plans include the construction of a conference centre able to accommodate between 2 000 and 5 000 people, and infrastructure.

'There are plans to turn the entire Salvokop township into a cultural precinct,' Freedom Park chief executive Fana Jiyane said.

Discussions of the plans were at an early stage and would take between five and 10 years to reach fruition, he added.

The plans were dependent on the support of the City of Tshwane and the Department of Public Works, who owned the land on which the park and township stood.

'We need the government's support in taking a decision in this direction,' Jiyane said.

If the plans were realised, Salvokop would become a hub of economic activity, creating many private sector entrepreneurs and sustainable jobs, he said.

Jiyane also spoke of ambitious plans to increase the number of visitors to the park.

He said the developments would see the number increase from 24 000 a year to 89 000 in the next three years. 'This would increase admission revenue from R800 000 to R6 605 000.'

Freedom Park had demonstrated significant revenue growth over the past three financial years. Admission fee revenue had increased from R310 222 in the 2010/11 financial year to R622 081 the following year.

To sustain the proposed expansion, admission fee income would have to increase, from a projected R808 516 for 24 720 visitors in 2013/14, to R3 282 217 for 49 124 visitors in 2014/15, to R6 005 127 for 86 550 in 2015/16 and R6 605 639 for 95 205 the following year.

'These numbers are achievable because we project them from our low base,' said the chief executive.

It was also achievable if one looked at the value of Freedom Park's asset base, which was R1 billion. Customer feedback was extremely positive and there was strong demand.

Jiyane said that at 100, the park's staff complement was enough to meet all operational needs, but the organisational structure needed to be realigned to meet business needs.

'We are therefore engaged in a restructuring process to optimise our human resource capability.'

Freedom Park was also looking at better deployment of the capacity of staff to ensure they occupied positions for which they were appropriately skilled, introducing a culture based on performance and a customer-oriented approach.

People from Salvokop formed part of the temporary labour force during peak periods, said Jiyane.

Pretoria News


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