Limpopo eyes new international airport

2012-01-23 14:45

Johannesburg - Limpopo is considering converting the Lephalale military airstrip into a full civilian airport, provincial transport officials said on Monday.

The transport department was also lobbying national government to upgrade Hoedspruit into an international airport, spokesperson Thesan Moodley said.

He said the department would conduct a feasibility study to determine whether there was a need to have a commercial airport in Lephalale, given infrastructure development and the creation of a new city in the area.

"We are going to do a feasibility study on the establishment of an airport in Lephalale. The airstrip was previously used by the SA National Defence Force," said Moodley.

The border town lies between South Africa and Botswana and is about 300km northwest of Polokwane.

It is home to the multimillion-rand Medupi power station which is currently under construction. The coal-rich town has seen strong development since Eskom begun building Medupi few years ago.

According to the Limpopo aviation strategy and implementation plan, Lephalale military airport is currently being rented out for use by a private company.

"There may be an opportunity to transport some specialised mining equipment to the area with unscheduled, private planes, and some courier-type cargo as the economy of the area develops," according to the study commissioned by the department last year.

"From a passenger perspective, Lephalale holds the most potential. Passenger demand is mainly driven by tourism demand, which will veer towards the areas with the most tourism potential."

On the possible upgrading of Hoedspruit airport, Moodley said about 48 000 passengers departed from and arrived at the airport between 2008 and 2010.

"With the current flights and aircraft used on the route from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit, the airport has the capacity to handle an additional 10 000 to 11 000 passengers."

Moodley said the planned development would boost the local economy.

  • Cina - 2012-01-23 14:51

    With what money do they want to do it with.

      Kacee - 2012-01-23 14:53

      Aish, the money she will come from da sky.... LOL, howz about you first get that province debt free before spending more!!!!!

      Mike - 2012-01-23 15:03

      @Aish: Common man, da earport must be able to take from too planes! Nummer 1 four zoomer and nummer 2 four shado....! Then we make HEWGH dam for earplain ship!! Da money she will come from da west!!

      George - 2012-01-23 15:08

      Airport will be build by fly by nights

      Jonathon - 2012-01-23 15:09

      They say it will boost the local economy, what cr-p!!! It'll cost the nations economy. Limpopo is one big stuff up!!

      Willie - 2012-01-23 15:14

      Haaaw more tendaaas for The Ratanang Family Trust

      Mark - 2012-01-23 15:23

      The reason they want to develop anything in Limpopo is so that certain people can get government tenders, if there was not an opportunity to scam and enrich these pie in the sky schemes would not even be discussed, and that goes for so many of our governments developments, all done so that a few can make money and not because it is really neccessary

      procold2 - 2012-01-23 15:29

      the airport will never open its doors,all monies missing within a year, it will be one of those 1.25bil jobs that end up costing triple in 2029

      Nosiphom - 2012-01-23 15:53

      Overdraft its called - currently stands at R2 billion, will be increased to R22 Billion, easy !

      jeremy002 - 2012-01-24 05:16

      They are so broke they cannot even pay attention................

  • rudilemmer - 2012-01-23 14:53

    Are they not bankrupt?

      Michael - 2012-01-23 15:18

      Yes.... financially, morally and ethically bankrupt

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2012-01-23 14:54

    So that the corrupt can fly point A to B.

      vlarismam - 2012-01-23 15:02

      And the roads are just too dangerous - better to leave them for the tax payers/voters to use!

      procold2 - 2012-01-23 16:23

      direct flights between eastern cape and limpopo,

  • PaasHaas - 2012-01-23 14:55

    They have an underutilised airport at Polokwane (they may even have 2 airports, Hoedspruit is hardly buzzing with tourists now they want a new airport (international nogal) - all this from a Provincial department that is no longer relevant as it is under the control of Gordan's gang.

  • MarkH - 2012-01-23 14:58

    Considering the province is bankrupt what were they planning on using for money? Must say I admire their way of thinking though. Government was last week talking about closing them down, and prosecuting because they couldn't account for a piddly 2bn Rands, and this week they're planning ahead for when tourists flood into Limpopo. To see what again? Oh right, they're all going to visit the Medupi power station.........

      Lordwick - 2012-01-23 15:37

      @MarkH, LOL!!!!

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-01-23 14:59

    Glory!! I can see more ACSA scumbags wringing their hands with glee as the taxes will go up again

      Mike - 2012-01-23 15:05

      Nope, the Ratanang Estate Fund!

      justin.pretorius - 2012-01-23 16:03

      I need to look up this there a link?

      Mike - 2012-01-23 16:26


  • Johnny - 2012-01-23 15:01

    With what money, or will the taxpayers just fix this again? They just dont get it, do they ?

      George - 2012-01-23 15:59

      Hay what about taking the limpopo river, make it wider and make a big hole and make it into a harbour for containers, Now this could work

  • Craig - 2012-01-23 15:03

    I'm gob smacked, these guys should share what they're smoking, how can they possibly even begin to suggest such a project under the current situation, these guys need help !!!!!

  • Jako - 2012-01-23 15:17


  • eradingoana - 2012-01-23 15:18

    The Provincial Department is just day dreaming. They know they swallowed the money unless they are already eying the one from National Government to bring the country up to its knees.

  • clivegoss - 2012-01-23 15:19

    Yo ho ho we fly coconut airlines or is it LSD airways that fly you anywhere your weird dreams can come up with. What do we use for money in LALALAND ?

  • John - 2012-01-23 15:22

    A new gravy plane..........

      George - 2012-01-23 15:43

      On a road to nowhere guided by coconut airways

  • Sechaba - 2012-01-23 15:26

    okay, i thought Limpopo was broke

  • Sinudeity - 2012-01-23 15:28

    Dang, some premo weed the dudes in Limpopo smoke.

  • Rob - 2012-01-23 15:30

    Get out of here, they will never be able to complete it in time to escape, that is before their own funerals

  • Tony - 2012-01-23 15:31

    They dont even have the nails to scratch their a$$es, how on earth will they find the money to build an airport? Pravin was there with 5 of his fellow minsters, Limpopo is bankrupt. Bankrot. God help us all.

  • cyanideandhappiness - 2012-01-23 15:33

    Hurray!!! More tenders through which to bleed money to their relatives!!! Sheer brilliance...

  • Lordwick - 2012-01-23 15:34

    THis "Ases National Corrupters" are full of surprises,they finished all provincial money through irregular tenders now want to really do "Job creation" by opening or expanding the airstrip knowing very well that tendering would be involved.Criminals!!!! Let them furnish the small kids ,which are the future of this country with atleast stationary in the public schools.I am sick and crossed with this Asses National hell with them!!!

  • Jan - 2012-01-23 15:37

    This is sheer stupidity! Absolutely brainless! Pietersburg/Pholokwane airfield is a miserable failure because no one wants to go there. Less is happening at Ellis Ras/Lephalale, why would any international aviation company want to use it as a destination? Yes the military airfield is there and it is not utilised economically. It was built as a strategic consideration by the old Nat govt, economical considerations was never made. Now more money will be wasted! What is next? Madimbo International airport and then the Limpopo province will declare unilateral indipendance?

  • Hendrik - 2012-01-23 15:38

    Man this is "rich" in Limpopo no less. Julius must be itching to get his hands on some of the "grease" from that tender being awarded. Allready planning his next move after his appeal succeeds. Just a question about this report, how does "Ellisras" yes that was it's name, qualify as a "border town". Quite far still to the Botswana border from there! It is also not exactly North West of Polokwane, really almost directly west, missing by a degree or two only maybe.

  • Trevor - 2012-01-23 15:38

    the province is bankrupt and all of the province`s heads are under investigation for various acts of coruption ect. SO HOW ARE THEY GOING TO HANDLE AN INTERN. AIRPORT NOGAL? and where is the funding going to come from.....better yet, no guesses who will win that contract hey juju.

  • Rob - 2012-01-23 15:39

    Hand out mentality. I blame much of it on massive US/European supoort for the SA AIDS projects, all of which could have been funded (but not organised) by SA without grants. Now we have provinces operating on the same principles. Draw up a project, over budget, secure funds, pay suppliers on tender, over spend, stretch donors etc. Lets call it "Baloon accounting", and it works for as long as you can fool the donors/tax payers until it bursts. When it bursts everything stops, the budget managers make a lot of dust....when the dust settles where are the accountable managers? Moved onto the next flavour.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-01-23 15:40


  • Larry - 2012-01-23 15:41

    How many billions will they need, where will the money come from, why do they need another international Airport, Who will win the shonky tenders? These guys are really stretching it now. Why don't they just focus on feeding the hospital patients and delivering some service to the rural folk?

  • stoute.babuseng - 2012-01-23 15:44

    the Airport wont function due to lack of money stolen by corrupt government officials

  • IgnatiusBalti - 2012-01-23 15:44

    Hillarious how a R120bn project is punted as a "multimillion rand" project.

  • Deeteem - 2012-01-23 15:48

    Ok wise guys, why not convert the town swimming pool into a harbour !! You thieves stole all the money REMEMBER !!!

  • rodfor1435 - 2012-01-23 15:53


  • Mashudu - 2012-01-23 15:58

    I think Thohoyandou will be more feasible to have an airport than Lephalale due to customer convenience (long driving distance from gauteng), size of the market (malamulele, giyani and thohoyandou coverage), weak public transport (no rail system), growing number of middle-class working in gauteng, & 200+ KMs away frm plk. my 5 cents.

  • Michelle - 2012-01-23 16:07

    Limpopo is bankcrupt? Where do they think the money is going to come from?? Taxpayers?? I don't think so!!

  • Hector - 2012-01-23 16:13

    and it is not even April the 1st .. Bunch of tjops ...

  • Cina - 2012-01-23 16:14

    Just think if there is a airport it wont be necessary for Juju to use the highway with his blue light brigade there will be a blue light on one of the planes.

  • RiaanPret - 2012-01-23 16:28

    "48 000 passengers departed from and arrived at the airport between 2008 and 2010" - Really? That is 65 passengers a day, where will the other 10 000 people come from? I see tenders being issued to friends again. It is tender season!!!!

      Piet - 2012-01-23 16:36

      Jip Not a lot of traffic now is it!

  • Jason - 2012-01-23 16:30

    fo sho bra, eh ehport, a money we done need a money - we just need juliaass, theez tendas can make evrrything ok!!

  • Nyiko Ngobeni - 2012-01-23 16:31

    The guys don't miss a chance to issue more tenders hey!

  • Piet - 2012-01-23 16:32

    Does the Cadres now need money since they are placed under administration?

  • Bomb - 2012-01-23 17:00

    Julias and Cassel busy with long term pension planning again?

  • Lucky Manaswe - 2012-01-23 17:15

    All I see here is insults and complaining comments, well justified I must say because their tax is being misused. I'm hoping to see comments full of solutions maybe some serious relevant person might pick it up.

  • mluleki.simelane - 2012-01-23 17:17

    WTF, haven't they waisted enough already? The current airport is making money as a rented property leave it alone, sort that R3billion issue first.

  • braamc - 2012-01-23 17:22

    Good governance, housing, healthcare, education, decent financial management, all of that not important in Limpopo. All a bunch of thieving, corrupt politicians. Despicable bunch!

  • Graham.Cooper2 - 2012-01-23 17:32

    They cant even build the frikken road between Nylstroom and Ellisras, with whom and what are they going to run the airport or is ACSA coming to the party.

  • Brian - 2012-01-24 08:43

    All this negativity.This is forward planning at its best-once all the Rhino and Elephant are gone what are tourists going to photograph?Eish-powerstations and stadiums of course!!!!!

  • Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-24 21:03

    They will need the extra airport for all the bananas we are now producing.

  • Abram - 2012-01-26 13:16

    Truly speaking malema must have his own flights that will fly between eastern cape and limpopo,because is not safe for him to drive around SA.

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