Bloem's Naval Hill set for an upgrade

2013-05-31 08:14

Bloemfontein - Bloemfontein’s Naval Hill, renowned for its peculiarity as a nature reserve located in the middle of a city, is set for further development, Mangaung Metro announced on Thursday.

The metro’s executive mayor Thabo Manyoni said the city had partnered with the department of tourism, environmental and economic affairs and the University of Free State to upgrade the planetarium in the Franklin Nature Reserve on Naval Hill.

“It will become the first digital planetarium in the southern hemisphere,” said Manyoni, while delivering the metro’s budget.

A restaurant would be built on the hill, overlooking the city, before the end of the year.

“This will lay a solid foundation for the redevelopment of Naval Hill to be one of the premium tourist sites in the city, and contribute positively towards its inner city rejuvenation.”

Last year the metro erected the country’s tallest statue of former president Nelson Mandela on Naval Hill. It was unveiled at the African National Congress's elective conference in December 2012.

This year the city had done additional landscaping around the statue, which included adding spotlights for night-time visitors.

“Our tourism potential has expanded enormously,” Manyoni said.

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