Government refurbishes Wolwekloof Nature Reserve project to attract tourists

South Africa – Minister of Tourism Patricia de Lille has handed over the multimillion rand refurbished Wolwekloof Nature Reserve Project in the Witzenberg Municipality to CapeNature in the Western Cape .

The multimillion rand infrastructure maintenance project was funded by the Department of Tourism with the intension to stimulate demand by investing in tourist attractions to build and diversify the country’s tourism offerings .

“Tourism is a key sector in our economy, injecting billions into the economy each year and providing much needed jobs for our people .

We must therefore continue to work with urgency and work as partners to grow our tourism offering so that we attract more tourists to our beautiful country .

The more tourists we welcome, the more investment and jobs the tourism sector can create,” the Minister said on Tuesday .

The Wolwekloof Resort in the Witzenberg Municipality, near Ceres, was one of the few facilities that people of colour could visit during the apartheid era and it was a place of many great memories for families and friends .

In recent years, the facility was closed to the public and was used by various government user departments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) until a few years ago when Cape Nature was afforded the opportunity to take over management of the resort .

“The maintenance work at the Wolwekloof Resort sought to preserve the quality of product offerings at the identified site, as well as enhance the visitors’ experience and destination competitiveness .

“The scope of work entailed upgrading the existing pools, installing a new pool slide and installing new fencing to pools, construction of new braai areas and construction of walkways .

The project site was handed over for implementation in December 2022 with a contract value of R3 .

7 million and reached practical completion earlier this year,” the Minister said .

This project is part of the national maintenance and beautification of provincial State-owned attractions, which initially were a part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme .

Throughout the duration of the contract implementation, the project has provided employment to 11 general workers of which six were youth who have assisted in duties such as bricklaying, painting, paving and plumbing including any general construction duties .

Opportunities were also offered to six Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), who participated in skilled labour such as works installation and repairs .

Apart from the work done by the Department of Tourism’s contractor at the Wolwekloof Resort, the department also conducted infrastructure maintenance work at several other sites in the Western Cape .

“The investment by government into these projects is critical to our mission to provide quality and enjoyable tourist attractions to local and international visitors .

Infrastructure investment by government is about creating the conditions for further investment and job creation by the private sector .

“We are also pleased that these projects have been able to employ people from surrounding communities to assist with job creation and poverty alleviation measures by government .

Although the Department of Tourism’s work at Wolwekloof is now complete, CapeNature is still conducting an extensive amount of work in a phased approach,” the Minister said .

The Wolwekloof Resort project is still in phase one with more work to be done on the water and electricity infrastructure at the site by CapeNature in the next three phases .

CapeNature’s vision is to reinstitute the site for recreational and leisure purposes with a modern twist .

“While we hoped the facility could be opened in time for the peak summer tourism period, CapeNature will be completing a range of important work to get the site up to standard and envisages to open the resort to the public in the Spring of 2024 .

It is my hope that we will continue to work as partners, all three spheres of government, together with CapeNature to restore this important tourist attraction to its former glory and upgrade it to be better than before,” De Lille said .

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