Limpopo provincial theatre finally becoming reality

By Nakampe Lekwadu

The construction of the long-awaited and much-talked about Limpopo Provincial Theatre will finally take off. This is after the official sod turning ceremony was conducted on Thursday.

At the helm of the event held at Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum, the site of the planned theatre, was MEC of sports, arts and culture Nakedi Kekana.

The news will come as a relief for the people of Limpopo, as they have had to wait all eight years before they could realise their dream of having their own provincial theatre after it was first announced in 2016.

Said Kanana: “Today, we broke the ground for the construction of the Limpopo Provincial Theatre. The state-of-the-art theatre is going to be a symbol of our commitment to the vibrant arts scene in our province.”

Location at known cultural precinct

The location of the R376-million theatre, the Bakone Malapa cultural precinct, is 10km south of Polokwane city centre, along the R37 road to Burgersfort.

According to Kekana, the complete theatre will be handed over to the community of Limpopo by May 31, 2026

“This 24-month venture will result in a modern theatre, complete with a main hall seating 600, a secondary hall for 200. Further facilities will include a restaurant, coffee shop, bookshop and bar,” Kekana added.

“We would like to see this project going beyond a cultural hub, but a commitment to the success of our artists and the advancement of Limpopo’s cultural and economic stature.

“This theatre will serve as a cultural epicentre for the province, a dedicated space that elevates and celebrates the diverse artistic expressions within Limpopo. At the same time, it will provide a platform for local artists to showcase their talents, fostering a sense of community pride and identity.”

Boost for Limpopo economy

Limpopo premier, Chipu Mathabatha, echoed Kekana’ sentiments, saying: “The theatre in particular is significant here at home because our province has rich cultural heritage. A provincial theatre, therefore, becomes a beacon for preserving and promoting the unique history, traditions and stories that define the local identity.

“Moreover, we are opening up a stage for economic growth and development. The completed structure should stimulate the creative and cultural industries, generating employment opportunities for various professionals such as stage managers, voice-over artists, designers and performers.”

Mathabathaba added that the theatre will become an economic boost which will extend to adjacent sectors like hospitality, tourism and local businesses, “creating a ripple effect that benefits the entire community”.

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