Women investing in women on the KZN South Coast

Women investing in women on the KZN South Coast
Nkululeko Hlongwane

Following the amalgamation of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) and Ugu South Coast Development Agency (USCDA), the newly formed South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) is pleased to announce two impressive women at the helm; CEO Phelisa Mangcu, and Investment and Development Manager, Nkululeko Hlongwane.

Working alongside their dynamic team, Phelisa and Nkululeko are ensuring that SCTIE, as the official economic development arm of the region, optimises service delivery, enhances efficiencies and drives the economy of the KZN South Coast by positioning it as a prime tourism and investment destination.

A single mother-of-four, Phelisa has brought a wealth of global tourism experience to the KZN South Coast, having worked in the tourism sector in Washington DC in the United States in the early 1990s. In 1999, she returned to South Africa where she took on a position in the tourism unit at IDC (Industrial Development Corporation), before relocating to JHB Tourism.

In 2018, Phelisa made the bold decision to relocate with her four daughters to the KZN South Coast where she relished the opportunity to grow the local tourism and investment offerings. She was appointed the CEO position of (then) USCT, which allowed her to continue improving the lives of South African citizens and showcasing the beauty of the country to the world.

“This was my first time working in a more rural, coastal setting as I’d only worked in big cities prior to this,” said Phelisa. “I was so warmly welcomed into the community at Shelly Beach and have been astounded at the amazing tourism opportunities that await visitors here. I’m honoured to be in a position to work closely with the local businesses, provincial and national stakeholders to achieve our goals of placing the KZN South Coast on the global map.”

Working with her team, Phelisa has enjoyed the task of growing tourism in the region by unlocking the potential of the unique tourism offerings – Blue Flag beaches, two world-renowned dive sites, 11 quality golf courses, two iconic gorges, the world’s smallest desert, the Sardine Run and endless nature reserves.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, floods and riots in KZN, Phelisa’s leadership has resulted in massive rural tourism development, adding to the diversity of experiences found along the KZN South Coast. The Agri-GULTURE Tours, KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails, Umzumbe River Trail, and the KwaXolo Caves are just some of the unique experiences that drive the local economy in rural areas.

“The formation of SCTIE is an exciting new chapter for the region’s development, as it combines the expertise and resources of two entities for a more unified and effective vision,” she explained. “We are working to market the region’s tourism and investment offerings while eradicating barriers to these along the way.”

Joining Phelisa on the SCTIE team is enthusiastic manager and fellow Shelly Beach resident, Nkululeko Hlongwane. Born and raised in the small town of Estcourt in the KZN Midlands, Nkululeko has always been passionate about her home province and sharing its many wonders with the rest of the world. The mother-of-two quickly took to the KZN South Coast when she relocated to the area in 2013.

This passion is backed by a solid educational foundation, having received a Postgraduate Diploma in Local Economic Development from University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Bachelor of Technology in Management, Diploma in Community Extension, an Advanced Certificate in Project Management.

She arrives in her latest role with 16 years of experience across various government and economic development fields. Some of her previous roles were at the Independent Development Trust (IDT), Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), Johannesburg ProductivitySA, and iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority. She’s excited to take on the role of Investment and Development Manager for SCTIE, working with local and international stakeholders in promoting the region.

“As we are recovering from various shocks which affected the economic growth and job creation, my focus will be to ensure that, as the investor destination, we keep existing businesses and jobs in our area, while promoting business expansion and attracting new investment from both domestic and international investors,” said the driven Nkululeko. “We will ensure that the enterprise thrives, effectively becoming a one-stop shop for investment promotion and facilitation for the KZN South Coast through strong public-private partnership.”

Outside of her workplace duties, Nkululeko enjoys reading, travelling with her family, hiking in the region’s beautiful reserves and embarking on some extreme adventure activities!

To find out more about the KZN South Coast tourism offerings, download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores; visit the ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook or YouTube; @infosouthcoast on Twitter or Instagram; ‘Info Ugu South Coast Tourism’ on LinkedIn; www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za to check out the Events Calendar, the KZN South Coast Meeting Planner Guide and more!

To access previous USCT press releases, visit: https://www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za/category/press-release/