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Fee hike mulled for Moshoeshoe Walk


THE Moshoeshoe Walk has attracted immense interest from locals and foreign tourists.Mohalenyane Phakela

ORGANISERS of the annual Moshoeshoe Walk are mulling raising the entrance fee from M700 to M1500 owing to operational expenses.

Speaking during a meeting with stakeholders to assess their performance in the previous edition in Maseru on Thursday, the event’s coordinator, Thabo Maretlane of T Connexion Marketing and Tours, said the proposed hike would ensure quality service.

T-Connexion founded the walk in 2007 which traces the route King Moshoeshoe I and his people took as they fled from his birthplace Menkhoaneng to Thaba Bosiu during the Lifacane period.

The walk is meant to re-kindle the spirit of unity amongst Basotho as embodied in the monarch’s legacy and to promote team-building skills as well as domestic tourism.

The event, which is usually held during Moshoeshoe’s Day commemorations on 11 March, has over the years attracted immense interest from locals and foreign tourists.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the historical walk’s sponsors as a post-mortem of the previous edition. It also sought to map the way forward ahead of the 2016 edition which will also mark the 10th anniversary of the walk.

According to Maretlane, the 2015 edition was a success despite having been held amid fears of political instability following the 28 February general elections.

“Although the attendance decreased from last year’s 600 to 450 this year, we had a good event and there was no rain as we encountered before,” said Maretlane.

“We believe the reason attendance decreased was because of the political instability at the time.”

While acknowledging the successful holding of this year’s edition, the stakeholders warned the entry fee hike would likely deter potential participants.

In his response, Maretlane said the steep operational costs were forcing their hand since next year’s edition would take four days and also include a musical celebration featuring top local artists.

“Since we will be celebrating 10 years next year, we will leave for Menkhoaneng on Wednesday 9 March, 2016 and start the walk on Thursday so we can arrive in Thaba Bosiu on Saturday where there will be a festival,” he said.

“We want to offer quality service to ensure they are no complaints. So, we would rather have few people than compromise on the satisfaction of our clients.”

Maretlane also took a swipe at Basotho, who he said were keen to part with their cash during foreign events but stingy when it came to local ones.

“I was surprised by the number of Basotho who attended the Swaziland Bushfire Festival a couple of weeks ago. They had paid close to M1000 to be in the VIP area which did not include any meals or drinks,” he said, adding that Basotho needed to be sensitised about the importance of supporting local events.


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