Govt slams tourism project critics

2008-11-27 00:00

THE provincial government yesterday hit back at people who criticises it for pursuing the controversial multi-billion rand tourism development in the Macambini area on KZN’s north coast.

The provincial government has been heavily criticised by the Macambini clan and its leader Khayelihle Mathaba for pursuing the R55 billion development by the Dubai-based Ruwaad Corporation in their area. They say the development will result in 8 000 to 10 000 people being evicted from their homes.

Premier S’bu Ndebele, who is behind the project, has also been greatly criticised.

KZN director-general Dr Kwazi Mbanjwa yesterday accused politicians of spreading lies, which he said caused confusion about the project. Although Mbanjwa refused to mention names, people involved in the dispute said he was referring to Mathaba, who is also an Inkatha Freedom Party MPL.

“This whole thing has been politicised. These are the same politicians who criticised us when we constructed the N2 a few years ago. They were totally against the road, but they now use it,” said Mbanjwa.

This week, thousands of people who marched against the development threatened to bring the economy of the province down to its knees by blocking the two road corridors that link KZN’s two economic hubs, Richards Bay and Empangeni. The community gave Ndebele until December 3 to halt the development.

Mbanjwa said that government will print pamphlets that will explain clearly what the development is all about. “The pamphlets will clarify all the concerns that have been raised and the propaganda that has been spread …”

He said that the provincial government was approached by people from other parts of the province who want the development to go to their areas.

“We have been approached by people on the south coast and the north coast. They want us to divert this development to them if people of Macambini do not want it.”

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