African Surf Adventure Awaits at Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill

The Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill will be an African surf adventure for surfers and spectators alike. The 51st edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event will take place from 27 June to 7 July in Ballito, KwaDukuza on the east coast of South Africa.

uMhlanga local and former Ballito Pro quarterfinalist Beyrick de Vries signing autographs for his fans  –  Photo: Ballito Pro / Jannsens

“KwaDukuza Municipality is excited to welcome visitors to our region to enjoy the internationally renowned Ballito Pro,” said the Event Coordinator, Collette Bundy. “This year we welcome Sal Masekela, the son of legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela, as the event’s official ambassador for a true African Surf Adventure.”

Sal Masekela is a renowned television host, sports’ commentator, athlete, musician, actor and philanthropist and will showcase the KwaDukuza region as a top tourist destination and as the home of world-class surfing contests.

“This event is a chance for people to experience an outdoor African adventure that surpasses surfing and entertainment. The dedication to environmental sustainability and immersion of the sport into rural communities is proving to be a catalyst for nation building – both for South African people and this beautiful country,” said Bundy.

O’Neill will be the new presenting sponsor for this year’s competition.

“The event has such an amazing history in South African surfing and has been an instrumental platform in getting our local professional surfers onto the world surfing stage for over five decades,” said Paul Canning, O’Neill South Africa Brand Manager. “We look forward to building a long relationship with the KwaDukuza Municipality and presenting another world class surfing festival.”

Local and international surfers who did not qualify for entry into the 112-man main event, will have one last chance to fight for a wildcard slot. This will be determined by the Ballito Trials pres. by O’Neill featuring 16 international and 12 local competitors, set to take place on Sunday 30 June.

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa’s hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes – rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance – will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors to this coastal holiday highlight. 

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Kouga set to benefit from International Tourism programme

Seven students from around the globe are set to help grow Kouga’s Tourism industry.

The students, who hail from seven different countries but all study Tourism at Heilbron University in Germany, are visiting Kouga this week to gather information and experience first-hand what the region has to offer.

Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the students had chosen to do their Master’s projects about sustainable Tourism development in the Kouga region.

“Three of the students are researching the viability of a zero-energy hotel for the region while the other four are conducting a general market analysis, aimed at identifying ways to increase tourist numbers outside the peak seasons,” he said.

“Their research will be invaluable, both in Kouga’s efforts to grow the local Tourism industry and our battle against climate change.”

The students are being hosted by Kouga Municipality and have been visiting various tourist attractions, including, the grave of Khoi icon Sarah Baartman at Hankey and Jeffreys Bay’s world-renowned surfing spot Supertubes, where preparations are already under way for the Corona Open J’Bay in July.

They also met with Tourism roleplayers, including, the Kouga Local Tourism Organisation, Supertubes Foundation and the Humansdorp Museum Association. Hendricks said Kouga was excited to partner with the students.

“It’s wonderful to have such a diverse mix of young people applying their minds to growing our Tourism industry,” he said. “The students hail from Vietnam, Nepal, Mexico, Panama, Cameroon, Italy and Croatio, which gives them a vast understanding of what tourists from different backgrounds are looking for.”

He said the students’ visit is one of the first spin-offs of Kouga’s climate change partnership with the German municipality Ilsfeld.

“Together with Nelson Mandela University, the municipality is also working on establishing a broader student exchange programme with Germany for Kouga’s youth,” he said.