Efforts to Make Aus a Commercial Centre

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By Frederick Philander AUS In a serious effort to create job opportunities and rekindle the town’s historical glory as a tourist destination, the Aus Chamber of Commerce and Industry is planning to stage a huge weekend cultural festival in early April of this year. More than 1ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 people from around the country and South Africa are expected to attend the festivities that will be officially opened on Saturday, April 7, by Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Leon Jooste. “The Aus Chamber of Commerce and Industry is only driven by the intense desire to bring the town back onto the map. The revival of Aus as a point of interest to the commercial traveller in the South as well as for the increasing number of tourists in the area, is our main goal with the planned weekend festivities in April,” said the chairman of the organization, Dr Bruno Boehm, who is pleased with the present mining and road developments taking place in the Aus area. “The tarring of the Rosh Pinah road, the tarring of the main road through the town and the development of the railway line are all elements expected to bring more visitors to the town. I also hope it will become a commercial centre with regard to the mines at Rosh Pinah and the development of the private sector in opening new facilities for tourists and the local population,” he said. The chamber is striving to bring Aus back to “village status” from the present status of a settlement. “To come closer to these goals, the chamber has decided to create an event for the Easter weekend this year under the motto: ‘Aus – A hundred years later’. Apart from the festivities, it is also our intention to show visitors the historic places in the town,” said Dr Boehm, who specifically referred to the prisoner-of-war camp, the history of the karakul industry and the first discoveries of diamonds, said. The chairman also expressed hope for the future with the opening of the border towards the Northern Cape Province. “Fact is that the kick-starter for development is a functional infrastructure in the Aus village, and an important part thereof are the roads,” he emphasized. The programme for the festival caters for donkey-cart rides, bike races, braais and music with well-known South African musician, Brian Finch, in concert.