DA KZN:  MEC’s ‘pie in the sky’ project is farcical

Ann Mc Donnell, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on EDTEA

The dogged persistence by KZN EDTEA MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu – to soldier on with his ‘pie in the sky’ Drakensburg cableway project in the face of an increasingly difficult economic climate – becomes more farcical with each day.

The involvement of Ithala Development Bank as announced today raises another red flag.

The KZN portfolio committee for Tourism has not yet met to discuss this project.  To be informed by the media that Ithala is taking over the reins on this project is frankly insulting to the newly elected Legislature.

According to the media report, Ithala will be responsible for driving funding for the project, and for the business model.   This is alarming in light of the failed Dolphin Whispers development in the Point area of Durban – also driven by Ithala Bank – and the many other ‘white elephants’ left in its wake around the province.

During the recent KZN Budget approval process, the DA appealed to MEC Mabuyakhulu and his department to get the basics right.  This means putting any grand plans for a cableway on the back burner.

Priorities for the department should be the upgrade of roads and accommodation, particularly in the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park, while access roads and signage to all KZN’s tourism sites need to be maintained to enhance the experience of a visit to our province.

The MEC has been warned.  A cableway in a remote corner of the Drakensburg is doomed to fail.