Drakensberg cable car debate is back

2013-08-04 20:48
Mike Mabuyakhulu

Mike Mabuyakhulu (City Press)

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Johannesburg - Lightning strikes the Drakensberg about 100 times a year and the wind is so fierce that Lesotho is reportedly considering building wind farms.

But after a positive feasibility study released this week, government may have ­finally given the controversial Drakensberg cable car project the nod, City Press reports.

An ambitious blueprint for the cable car was unveiled by KwaZulu-Natal’s Economic Development MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu.

The cable car was first mooted in 1994, but the massive cost of the project and its potential ecological impact meant that it never saw the light of day.

Mabuyakhulu said that government would develop a business plan and hold “rigorous and open” consultations with communities where the cable car is likely to be developed over the next four months.

The new study (conducted by Graham Muller Associates) follows two earlier, less positive studies.

City Press reports that the first, conducted by the Federation of Drakensberg ­User Groups, found it ­extremely unlikely that any ­cable car project could be sustainable in the area because of a number of factors, including the unpredictable and potentially dangerous weather, and the low number of tourists.

The project requires 300 000 visitors a year – more than twice the current figure, according to City Press.

Mabuyakhulu has promised there would be a full environmental impact assessment of the plan.

Read more on:    mike mabuyakhulu  |  durban

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