This is according to the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom. He says refurbishing this tourist lodge was done in partnership with local municipalities and community leaders.
Hanekom adds it cost approximately R24 million to revamp the lodge and that the project will contribute to the country’s economic development, as well as create more employment opportunities for the community.
“It will plough millions of rands into the province. The Free State is one of the tourist attraction provinces. The area will draw more tourists as more investment goes into this part of the province.”
Hanekom says there remains a need for tourism development in many rural parts of the country. He mentions that although the Free State has been one of the provinces hard hit by drought, he is certain that this project will contribute to the economic well-being of residents.
“The Free State province has more to offer than people actually realise and this tourist attraction will draw more tourists to the province and create more employment for the residents.”
Hanekom says the Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge has magnificent natural features, which will certainly draw more tourists. He adds it is not only popularly known as a heritage site that preserves the Batlokoa culture, but is also situated in the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation area.
The lodge overlooks the Drakensberg’s Sentinel Peak at 2286 meters above sea level. The lodge is situated at the highest point in the Northern Drakensberg.
Katleho Morapela/Courant News