Land claimants eye eco-tourism

12 July 2005

A R150-million investment could turn a poor community of 5 000 households into one of the richest in Mpumalanga’s Nkomazi region.

The Lugedlane community was recently given the 3 852-hectare Ludwichlust Farm, which is worth R24-million, after lodging a successful land claim.

Now Sandton-based developers Hanrob CC and Associates are offering to turn the farm into a R150-million five-star eco-tourism destination, complete with two hotels, a golf course, 30 corporate lodges, 400 residential houses, a school, clinic, a resort on the Crocodile River and a community complex.

“This project will contribute to achieving successful land reform in South Africa as a result of sustainable development of the land,” said Hanrob spokesperson Hennie Joubert.

The farm borders the N4 highway and part of the Kruger National Park along a strip of the Crocodile River.

“We want to make this development an international benchmark for best practice in effective community partnerships in the tourism sector,” Joubert said.

Frank Lesenyego, spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Land Claims Commission, confirmed that the community had signed a memorandum of understanding with Hanrob.

An initial investment of R50-million will kick-start the project later this year.

Construction should be complete by 2009, and the entire project is then expected to generate profits in the region of R10-million a year.

During construction, an estimated 4 020 jobs will be created. The total number of permanent jobs to be created is expected to reach 1 020.

“Job creation, ploughing back resources and sustainable development are part of the philosophy of our company and part of the way we see our country moving towards broad based black economic empowerment in this successful tourist enterprise,” said Joubert.

Source: BuaNews

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