R44m facelift for Mpumalanga reserves
Adele du Toit
19 December 2012
Plans are under way to give the nature reserves in the South African Lowveld's Panorama a R44-million facelift from next year, says Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza.
"The emergency fund will be used to upgrade the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Manyeleti Reserve, Loskop Dam Nature Reserve and Songimvelo Reserve," Mabuza said.
However, the Blyde River Canyon will enjoy preference and renovations will start as soon as possible."
He said the renovations in the Blyde River Canyon will be done on Bourke's Luck Potholes, God's Window, "Drie Rondawels" and Lowveld Views and River Falls.
Bourke's Luck Potholes will get a new entrance gate which will accommodate buses without obstructing the road.
A restaurant will be opened with a capacity of 50 seats, and reconstruction of an eco-centre with new animal trophies, lighting and geological features will begin.
Ablution facilities, offices and guest houses will also be upgraded and new boreholes will be drilled for water supply.
God's Window, just outside Graskop, will also have a new entrance gate, parking areas, walkways and view site railings.
Potholes around "Drie Rondawels" and Lowveld Views will be patched and the road repaired. Walkways and railings to view sites will be installed and ablution facilities will be built, and River Falls will have new curio stalls and ablution facilities as well.
Mabuza said the upgrading will also help the historic town, Pilgrim's Rest, get back on its feet. He said the Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Department had been tasked with ensuring Pilgrim's Rest is restored.
"This campaign is targeting the festive season travellers from Gauteng and appealing to their travel needs of a tranquil and relaxed holiday," said Mabuza.