Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Noncedo Seekoei

The vast Northern Cape does not often come to mind when thinking about South Africa’s tourism attractions but Noncedo Seekoei is passionate about the prospects of marketing of the sparsely populated province.

She left a secure job in the tourism industry in 2009 to do something that she loves — to create unique and different travel packages linked to De Aar, the third largest town in the province.

Among these, Seekoei launched science and technology tours at renewable energy conference in August last year. The Northern Cape records some of the hottest temperatures in the country and features two solar parks, one of which is the largest in the country, near De Aar. Subsequently,

Karroo Travel Dimensions has capitalised on the growing interest of renewable energy investors in trips to the facilities, as well as in helicopter rides to view them from the air.

Seekoei cites conducting a ghost tour through De Aar as her personal favourite. It takes place between midnight and 2.30am and she enjoys watching the expressions of spooked tourists making their way through the historic cemetery. Several people have even claimed to have seen ghosts and zombies there.

History buffs are also fascinated by De Aar and its role in the South African War. Seekoei’s tours, which differs from the battlefields tours in KwaZulu-Natal, takes visitors to the cemetery where many of the combatants lie buried and to the Garden of Remembrance.

Like many small businesses, Seekoei cites the government’s failure to pay suppliers timely as one of the biggest obstacles to cash flow. However, she was recently able to buy her own 16-seater minibus, of which she will take delivery shortly, and is excited about not having to rely on a hired vehicle.

It is not easy to market the remote province and she works hard with tourism authorities to advertise what the region has to offer. The Northern Cape is also subject to extreme temperatures, very hot in summer and sometimes going below zero as early as April, which discourages travellers.

Seekoei, however, sees massive opportunities for growth and hopes to expand her offering to include visits to the Square Kilometre Array, the radio telescope project near Carnarvon. But there is no tourism office in the town despite widespread interest in the programme.

She believes it needs someone who understands the province and who has been involved in science and technology tours, such as herself, to drive the project.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Tehillah Niselow
Tehillah Nieselow
Tehillah Nieselow is a Journalist at Power FM. She Covers labour issues, strikes, protests and general stories

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges

Pockets of instability in Kenya are underpinned by unequal development

Stability in Kenya hinges on a just, equitable distribution of resources, and a commitment to progress human development for the marginalised

Eastern Cape premier Mabuyane lives large amid province’s poverty

Oscar Mabuyane and MEC Babalo Madikizela allegedly used a portion of state funds for struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s commemoration for their own benefit

Constitutional court confirms warrantless searches in cordoned off areas unconstitutional

The law was challenged in response to raids in inner Johannesburg seemingly targeting illegal immigrants and the highest court has pronounced itself 10 days before an election in which then mayor Herman Mashaba has campaigned on an anti-foreigner ticket

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…