The sixth Amarula Festival has begun in northern KwaZulu-Natal, where people are urged to brew amarula beer, which is then taken to the royal residence of the Tembe tribe.(SABC)
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and Chief Mabhudu Tembe from the Umhlabuyalingana area in the north of the province have officially opened a R30-million Amarula beer factory. It is expected to provide 700 jobs.
The project was started in 2012 by the provincial government as part of its rural development strategy.
The factory will use sophisticated techniques to produce traditional Amarula beer, which will then be distributed to other parts of the country. Other products that will be manufactured include cosmetics.
The project is poised to provide jobs in an area with a high unemployment rate.
Meanwhile, the sixth Amarula Festival has begun in earnest at Emfihlweni Royal Residence in Umhlabuyalingana. Scores of people from across South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique are in attendance.
The festival is centred on the traditional beer made from the first fruit of the Amarula tree.
Every household in the area, as well as people in Swaziland and Mozambique are urged to brew Amarula beer, which is then taken to the royal residence of the Tembe tribe. It is then celebrated with traditional song and dance.
Umhlabuyalingana is one of the poorest areas in the province. The Amarula Festival also benefits local residents who sell handcrafts, traditional attire and other goods.