The use of the sardine run as a marketing tool by indigenous business and its economic effect on the South Coast indigenous population
Myeza, Philisiwe Joyce
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The sardine run event has been hailed as a big tourism event, yet little is known about how the sardine run affects the economy as a tourism event. Although there are numerous articles to be found on the role of tourism events in economic upliftment, very little research has been done in South Africa on this particular event, especially relating to the indigenous community involvement and the financial gain achieved from the sardine run. The study was conducted in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) in the Ugu districts of Hibberdene and Margate, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. The sample for the study consisted of three hundred and twenty nine respondents above the age of 16. The respondents were selected using convenience sampling and had to complete a questionnaire with the assistance of an interviewer. The objective of the research was to determine the extent to which the indigenous community's services are being marketed during the sardine run events, and how the run contributes to the economic well-being of the inhabitants of the area. The results of the research revealed that a large percentage of the respondents knew about the sardine run, with males generally having a higher awareness level than females. This finding is important because females often play a major role as breadwinners in their families. The fact that females take a less active role in the sardine run indicates an opportunity that can be exploited by those involved in the sardine run, and by local governmental and non-governmental organisations whose task it is to improve the social and economic well being of the community. The main issue was that of participation, which is low. A low participation rate has implications for skills development and reflects an opportunity for central and local government, training and educational institutions, organisations involved in the sardine run and local businesses to provide training for unemployed or under-employed youth.