Thandi Xaba – Jubilant supports and officials came out in numbers to Naval Hill to officially witness the launch of the second viewpoint. Surrounded by Franklin Game Reserve, the hill was bestowed with the new 6.5m bronze statue of Nelson Mandela in December 2012
Beside the new viewing point, Mangaung Metro municipality gave residents a preview of what will soon be an up-market restaurant up the hill. Though still under construction, the restaurant promises to be a hot-spot for everyone, which will give its clients a 220 degree view of the city.
Executive Director of Planning and Economic Development for Manguang municipality, Kaba Kabagambe shared that the “world-class” restaurant will be a big crowd puller and attraction spot. “We hope it will be up and running in two months. We also have a boutique hotel and cable cars in the e pipeline for Naval Hill,” says Kabagambe.
He further stated, “The most beautiful cities in the world are not determined by the size of the freeways or height of the skyscrapers, the most beautiful cities in the world are determined by the quality of the open spaces, the public spaces, the spaces that bring people together to leisure and pleasure and define social cohesion of the citizens of the city.”
This brings into life the plans the Manguang Metro has for the highest point in the city. “We are going to transform the hill from a rundown facility to a world class recreational area. The new viewing point will attract young people so that they fully enjoy their metro,” he explained.
The next phase will be the setting up of a cable car and boutique hotel. Kabagambe gave a grim picture of the hill a year and half ago, stating that it was “visited by the brave because it was perceived as a crime hot spot.” But today, the hill has have over 500 000 people from all over the world visiting its crest.
Kabagambe clarified that the Mayor, Thabo Manyoni took a ‘creative approach’ in regards with the costs used for these projects. He revealed that there are certain things they can do that can attract private investment and, these up-coming projects will do just that.
“The restaurant is going to employ people on a permanent basis and will run long hours from 6am to midnight. Within the course of this calendar, we will complete a kiosk that will go to a deserving cooperative, where the small scale entrepreneur will be given an opportunity to sell food and create an ambiance that fully reflects the spectrum of the culture of the metro,” concluded Kabagambe.