Berg cable car ‘a boon’

2016-06-21 10:13
Okahlamba Local Municipality Mayor Thulani Sibeko and Nkosi Ndabazita Miya both expressed their support for the development of a cable car up the Drakensberg at the Drakensberg Cable Car and Investment Conference and Exhibition that was held at Durban’s International Conference Centre.

Okahlamba Local Municipality Mayor Thulani Sibeko and Nkosi Ndabazita Miya both expressed their support for the development of a cable car up the Drakensberg at the Drakensberg Cable Car and Investment Conference and Exhibition that was held at Durban’s International Conference Centre. (Edward West, The Witness)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - The planned R5 billion Drakensberg cable car will significantly boost ­tourism and counter weak economic conditions, new Economic Development and Tourism Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala said on Monday.

He was speaking at the Drakensberg Cable Car Investment Conference and Exhibition at Durban’s International Convention Centre, which was attended by foreign cable car operators and potential investors.

The aim was to gather information from some of the world’s top cable car operations, to be able to explore other possible economic opportunities.

Zikalala said while the government was maintaining a prudent fiscal policy, its intervention was needed on large projects such as the cable car to boost employment, productivity and trade, issues which a tight fiscal policy could not address.

Vahe Baghydasaryan, director of the world’s longest cable car, the Wing of Tatev, in Armenia, said tourism in the Tatev region grew from 2 000 visitors per year before 2010 to more than 700 000 per year currently, following the building of the cable car.

The $80 million (R1,18 billion) investment for the Wing of Tatev cable car to the Tatev Monastry was funded by 146 donors from 18 countries, including individuals and organisations of many different religions.

After it was built, and apart from the influx of tourists, 15 new “big” hotels were built within a 25 km radius of the cable car, 25 B&Bs were established, it created 200 jobs directly related to the cable car, a college was funded, a farmers’ market was created, and the cable car helped fund the production of souvenirs in the Tatev region.

Zeev Margalit, an architect involved with the cable car to the historic mountain fort Masada, in Israel, said tourism grew from 30 000 visits a year before the cable car was built in 1970, to over 150 000 one year after it was constructed. Margalit said many did not initially believe it would be successful due to the tough environment, such as searing heat, strong winds, dust storms and flash floods, but the cable car had to be expanded in 2000, and now gets about 800 000 visits per year.

Zikalala said the project would not be possible without government and the private sector working in partnership. He said the government had completed a feasibility and environmental study into the project which showed it could be successful, and it had also consulted with some 20 000 community members about the development of the project. Zikalala said the project could be a kingpin of tourism development in the province.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  drakensberg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.