business

June 24, 2022

KABELO MASOABI

2 min read

M105 million Qacha-Matatile road to boost tourism

M105 million Qacha-Matatile road to boost tourism

The Sehlabathebe National Park in Qacha's Nek

Story highlights

  • SA awards tender to SANRAL
  • 35km road to increase access to Sehlabathebe National Park

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A plan to upgrade the road between Matatiele and Qachas’ Nek for an estimated M105 million is expected to bring about a windfall of investment to a growing Lesotho tourism industry.

The Managing director of the Maluti Drakensberg Tours, Tlhakanelo Mosoeu said the road infrastructure, through intensive construction and modernisation, would boost both growth in tourism and employment between the two countries.

This follows the news that the South African government plans to continue with the construction of the T12 road between Matatiele and Qacha’s Nek.

Executive member of the Eastern Cape provincial government, Weziwe Takana-Gxothiwe told the media that the tender had been officially awarded to SANRAL to take over the construction.

The 35-kilometre road will increase access to the Sehlabathebe Park in Lesotho and increase levels of tourism in towns through which it will pass, the Matatiele Local Municipality stated in its published tourism plan document.

Qacha’s Nek borders on the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and is the only practical entry point from this province.

The municipality located in the northern part of the province adjoins the district to the north. Near the little village of Sehlabathebe is the well-known Sehlabathebe National Park with its 500 hectares of grasslands and alpine flora.

Mosoeu said the road could be a significant value-add to the economy of the district.

Activities and attractions in Qacha’s Nek are nature inspired and the region also offers a wonderful spectrum of visitor accommodation.

Facilities in the region include bed and breakfasts, self-catering units, guest houses and camping sites. The beauty of Qacha’s Nek is that there is always something new to discover.

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Tourists have a choice between numerous curio shops, products, souvenirs, stalls and restaurants. This densely tree-populated area has an important airstrip available for tourists who wish to explore the highlands of Lesotho.

Masilo Shata of the Qacha Mountain Tours said the Drakensberg Mountains in the region were a scenic spectacle, offering a wide-range of soft and hard adventure activities and contemporary and historical culture attractions of the Basotho and Zulu people.

The Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) has reported that over the years, the tourism sector has played a pivotal role in Lesotho’s economy and has been earmarked as one of the key sectors that could stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

South Africa remains Lesotho’s largest source of visitors in the country’s tourism market.

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