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Press release: International investors keen to support the Drakensberg cable car

2023-07-17 14:11:48

The Leader of Government Business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma has conducted an oversight visit to monitor the progress of the Drakensberg Cable Car project.

MEC Duma visited the Mazizini area on 14 July 2023, to assess the proposed location for the cableway, which will not only boost tourism and in turn the economy of the uThukela District but also take mutual advantage of tourism in bordering Lesotho and the Free State. “The area attracts both international and domestic leisure tourists, who mostly come for hiking and adventure. The plan is for the cable way to be located in a part of the Drakensberg that currently has minimal tourism infrastructure and accommodation. This will unleash the tourism potential of this area without impacting on existing attractions.

The additional volume of tourists the cableway is expected to attract, presents massive opportunities for cross border initiatives to enhance the tourism product offering and beyond tourism, looking at other investment opportunities,” said Duma.

The EDTEA project, implemented by a steering committee led by Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN), in collaboration with Tourism KZN, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Thukela District Municipality and the traditional council in the area, is part of the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Master Plan.

TIKZN CEO Neville Matjie provided a status update on the project at a briefing session at the Bergville Sports Complex. He said a feasibility study and business plan had already been developed and there was interest in the project from an investor perspective. “However, certain studies still need to be completed including packaging the project for investment,” he said.

The visit included engagements with the local executive, the tribal council members led by Inkosi Yase-Mazizini, Inkosi Miya and other stakeholders. Okhahlamba Local Municipality Mayor, Cllr Vikizitha Mlotshwa said it was encouraging to have the MEC visit the site as it demonstrated his  Department’s commitment to bringing the project to fruition, which would in turn bring much needed job opportunities.

Duma remarked that the cableway would have great economic impact on the area. “It will  bring about an increase in business in the area which will create a considerable number of new jobs, particularly in the construction and hospitality industries, including increase in the number of retail and restaurant outlets. The cableway itself will place 151 people in permanent and sustainable formal jobs. The seven ancillary projects attached to the anchor project will generate hundreds more jobs and business opportunities will extend to all sectors of the economy,” he concluded.

MEC Duma was accompanied by Matjie and Mlotshwa to where the base and mid-way stations of the cableway would be, as well as to the snowcapped top, with awe-striking 360° views of the Drakensburg Mountains, immersing himself in the experience which tourists will have when the project is completed and operational.

ENDS

ISSUED BY THE KZN DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS.

For enquiries, contact: Angel “Mkhethie” Sibisi (Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Spokesperson) | 067 415 8402


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