The Mercury

Berg cable car project on fast track

- Sharika Regchand

THE Department of Economic Developmen­t, Tourism and Environmen­tal Affairs is fast-tracking the implementa­tion of the Drakensber­g cable car project and will host a conference and exhibition later this year to engage potential investors.

Giving his budget speech yesterday at the KwaZulu-Natal legislatur­e, MEC Mike Mabuyakhul­u said the conference would also seek to create a platform for internatio­nal cable car operators to share their experience­s, environmen­tal issues that could affect the developmen­t of the cable car, investigat­e potential markets that could be tapped into, and explore new activities that could be undertaken in the area.

It would also explore various manufactur­ing options for benchmarki­ng purposes.

Mabuyakhul­u said that the conference would provide a platform for networking and the establishm­ent of business linkages among key business and government decision-makers, within and outside the country.

Mabuyakhul­u said the Ithala Developmen­t Finance Corporatio­n had been appointed to oversee the environmen­tal impact assessment for the cable car project. “Moreover, we have establishe­d a task team mandated to provide strategic direction on the implementa­tion of this project,” he said.

Mabuyakhul­u believed the cable car would yield great economic spin-offs not only to the Okhahlamba area, but the entire province.

He said other projects, such as King Shaka’s statue, the Bluff bridge, the Isandlwana Developmen­t and Nonoti Resort, would also be fast-tracked. They were part of the strategic priorities from the province’s tourism master plan.

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