By: Ntombi Mhlongo
Following ceasing to be used as a Covid-19 quarantine centre, the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) is doing all it can to ensure that the Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre generates as much revenue as possible.
Having been constructed by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in the early 2000s as part of the Millennium Projects, there have always been concerns that the structure was not being fully utilised to be a yearly revenue-generating facility. One concern was that it only generates revenue occasionally through the hosting of weddings, gospel shows, gigs, church services and the annual trade fair which is hosted once a year.
Notably, the annual trade fair has not been hosted since 2020. With the smaller number of Covid-19 positive cases recorded in the past few months, the exhibition centre pavillions ceased being a quarantine centre three months ago. Having resumed business operations, the entity has already hosted three major events, one of them being the MTN Joyous Celebration concert where the organisers paid about E51 000 for the use of Pavilion 1 which is the biggest. Based on the venue fees, it is believed that the entity has already generated more or less E100 000 from the three major events it has hosted not only inside the pavilions but at the open arena and stadium.
Speaking to the Eswatini Financial Times, Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre Senior Marketing Officer Mangaliso Mkhatshwa said the structure is indeed back to full business operations. “In recent weeks we have hosted several big events including Eswatini’s Biggest Braai, Joyous Celebration, and the African Carnival Soccer Tournament. We are also preparing ourselves to host several events going into the last quarter of the year. “We have a busy and exciting schedule which demonstrates the versatility of our facility. Besides these big events, we have also hosted private functions such as weddings as well as graduations from various tertiary institutions. As you are aware, Mavuso can cater for large events which attract many people as well as smaller functions for an intimate crowd,” he said.
Explaining further, Mkhatjwa said the events have helped the structure generate the much-needed revenue and that there are also regular activities such as swimming lessons in the facility’s heated pool which attract people to the venue regularly. He explained that events that attract small numbers such as weddings, business meetings, team building events and others continue to be welcome at Mavuso and, as is expected, all will add to the facility’s revenue generation ability.