Mabuyane wants Wild Coast roads upgraded

Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane
Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane
Image: Werner Hills

Premier Oscar Mabuyane has promised to ask the national government and Sanral to pump millions of rand into improving roads leading to tourism destinations.

Mabuyane was speaking at the official opening of the newly upgraded R50m Wavecrest Beach Hotel and Spa at KwaNombanjana in Centane on Saturday.

The upgraded hotel has 41 rooms with an increased 150-guest capacity.

“[We] will make a plan about the roads that lead to tourist attractions,” Mabuyane said.

“We cannot let poor road infrastructure stand in our way of growing the sector as it can give us the jobs that our people yearn for in our rural communities.

“The new investment at Wavecrest will open new avenues to attract tourists, creation of jobs and generate much-needed revenue for small towns such as Centane.

“We must improve our roads drastically for people to move seamlessly in and out of our tourism attractions,” he said.

The hotel is run by Gaur Serobe and Gloria Tomatoe. The Serobes took ownership of the hotel in 2007.

Mabuyana said the Eastern Cape was “the most blessed province with the most diverse attractions, which could make it the leading tourism destination in SA”.

“We are, however, hamstrung by infrastructure development as access to our tourism attractions is very limited and frustrating to tourists most of the time.

“We have a backlog of more than R160bn on road infrastructure development.

“A gravel road of 35km is a long road to travel and the risks associated with driving on it with a small vehicle are immense.

“We will make applications to the national government infrastructure fund for the development of strategic roads.”

Gaur said: “One of our objectives is to have a good neighbourly relationship with communities.

“We have travelled all over the world but could not find a place like the Wild Coast.”

Eastern Cape Development Corporation head Ndzondelelo Dlulane heaped praise on the Serobes.

“We have appreciated the effort for rural development, which is a very good model which we can replicate at other resorts.

“They have integrated the social fabric of the communities and traditional authorities into the commercial environment and this is benefiting the community,” he said.

Situated on the Nxaxo River, Wavecrest boasts spectacular views across the tidal estuary towards huge sand dunes bordering the Indian Ocean.

Nkosi Pathuxolo Tyali said: “More than 85% of workers employed here are from these villages and almost all those who were employed during construction were locals.”

lulamiledf@dispatch.co.za


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