Durban - The Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department is planning to host a conference on the long-awaited Drakensberg cable car project.
“Through the conference, we hope to get better understanding of environmental issues and mitigating factors that can influence the development of the cable car and best model to be utilised in development, management and operation of this project,” said MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu.
Mabuyakhulu said the Ithala development finance corporation has since been appointed as a service provider for the environmental impact assessment for the Drakensberg cable car.
He said a task team had been established to provide strategic direction for the project. “The cable car will yield great economic spin-offs, not only for the Okhahlambaa area, but for the province of KwaZulu-Natal as a whole, hence the department has planned to host the cable car conference and exhibition.”
However, Mabuyakhulu did not state how much had been set aside for the conference, nor when it would be held.
In another development, Mabuyakhulu said recommendations were being considered from last year’s consultative process with stakeholders on the proposed tourism levy.
He said the tourism levy would not be implemented this financial year.
Mabuyakhulu also promised a clamp-down on illegal alcohol traders and those operating within 500 metres from schools and churches.
Other highlights from the 2015/16 budget:
l R60m for skills development of youth in the next two years;
l R40m secured from the Services Seta to encourage young entrepreneurs to start new ventures;
l 100 women to receive financial and technical assistance to promote small-scale industries;
l Legislation to establish maritime institute to be finalised;
l KZN Sharks Board to be reconfigured to give impetus to the implementation of mari-time strategy;
l Non-lethal shark repellent cable to be installed and evaluated in December 2016;
l R1m for maintenance of 10 air quality monitoring stations;
l R9m to support emerging stakeholders in film industry;
l R7.5 million to be a contribution towards the R90m KZN-Swiss government regional local economic development programme in KwaDukuza and Mandeni; and
l Qatar Airways to begin Durban-Doha flights on December 17.