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Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:22 am
by mokganjetsi
Believe it or not, there is actually a serious push to construct a 7km long, R500m cableway in the northern Drakensberg: ... fjEro3WVsQ

This is a tragedy of note!

The Drakensberg Park covers most of the Drakensberg and is a world heritage site. The Mnweni area is a portion of tribal land nestled between the Royal Natal National Park and the Drakensberg Park, and hence open for exploitation. I have been hiking in the Mnweni area since 2004, and it is one of the last bits of truly unspoilt nature around; a magnificent part of the Berg (arguably the most scenic) and environmentally fragile.

You need not be an expert to know that the business case, feasibility and environmental impact studies are rubbish - the area is remote; it will not see a lot of visitors ever and the weather will render the cableway useless for a significant part of the year. The environmental impact will be disastrous - major construction and 800+ people up there per day. I cannot imagine that this will make economic or environmental sense, ever. Hence the comments already flying about the juicy R500m budget and tenderpreneurs.

The point of this post: how do we do our bit to stop this madness from happening? Will the MCSA get in on the game with a legal challenge? Do we lobby political opposition? Make more noise? Social media?

Please let me have your thoughts! :thumleft:

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:21 pm
by Old Smelly
Yup it does not take a genius to figure out that this is not the greatest idea! Never mind a via Ferrata having an impact - imagine what this would do!

It looks like they have big plans - let's hope they stay that way. I dunno if we should be relieved that these govt. types never get anything done- maybe they will just syphon the funds off & Nature will be left alone :thumright

Of course there is the defunct Witsieshoek pass road (past Sterkfontein Dam) that one needs to get to that area that has ceased to exist over the last 3 years - another case of brilliant governance (or not if you are into conspiracy theories as now everyone has to use the toll road) What absolute brilliance - a tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere that shows up the neighbouring province's inability to tar roads...

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:37 pm
by Justin

- Ezemvelo Distances Itself From The Recently Erected Via Ferrata Route
- Cable car plan for Drakensberg
- Cable car and adventure theme park for KZN
- Cableway to the clouds

Above: The chain ladders en-route to Mont-Aux-Sources - a guide helps a tourist on the right.

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:29 pm
by Ghaznavid
mokganjetsi wrote:The point of this post: how do we do our bit to stop this madness from happening? Will the MCSA get in on the game with a legal challenge? Do we lobby political opposition? Make more noise? Social media?
I actually messaged the opposition about this yesterday. Please do the same, I'm hoping they use it in their election campaign - its the most likely reason the state will drop this insanity.

On VE we have had a really extensive discussion on it, lots of stats, we did a press release that has been published in 2 different newspapers to date. The Witness (local PMB newspaper) has also published a letter I wrote regarding this some time back.

You can check what we have been saying at: ... =110#57873

I have run some numbers based on the stats they have released. Its a real joke...

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:18 am
by ant
So we can't allocate enough funds to the our airforce current for disaster relief and rescue work (well other than VIPs to Nkantla)
But we have R500mil for this?

Any ideas on how the resultant mountain rescues will be attended to?

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:20 am
by pierre.joubert

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:48 pm
by Dewrance
pierre.joubert wrote:Slowly?
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:04 am
by Justin
Drakensberg cable car debate is back

Lightning strikes the Drakensberg about 100 times a year and the wind is so fierce that Lesotho is reportedly considering building wind farms.
But after a positive feasibility study released this week, government may have ­finally given the controversial Drakensberg cable car project the nod, City Press reports... ... k-20130804

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:24 pm
by Ghaznavid
Long story, but an apparently random question - does anyone have an adult ticket from going up the Table Mountain cablecar somewhere around 2003 (give or take 5 years)? Trying to find the ticket price from around that time, no luck so far via google.

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:38 pm
by Ghaznavid
There is a petition against the proposed cableway - please sign and share! ... Drakensbe/

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:07 pm
by reckyb
i dont go there alot, but i saw how much money was lost in doing the road to sanipass and never mind the fact itll spoil the land the fraud/coruption will at least double that amount

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:24 pm
by Ghaznavid
I spent my December holidays doing a report on the proposal business plan for African Conservation Trust [ACT] and Wilderness Action Group [WAG] (the report has been publicly released and can be viewed at ... c-2013.pdf)

Summary of issues:
- They want the project to be 60% financed through a low interest IDC loan. If they take the cheapest option the engineers quoted, it works out to an effective government grant of something like R22m - this paid out of our tax money. That is enough to build something like 300 RDP houses. The high school by Mnweni Cultural Centre only has 3 classrooms - they could use a fraction of this money to build the additional classrooms required by the school, in addition to the numerous other needs of the local community
- They expect 300 000 people to use the cableway each year with growth at just over 8% p.a. when currently only 135 000 people visit the Northern Drakensberg each year. Less than 36% of visitors to Cape Town use that cableway (no of trips as a % of visitors to CPT - not accounting for the fact that locals can also use the cableway), which means that a growth of more than 500% in visitors to the area is required in order for the cableway to reach the target usage, assuming a 35.5% usage ratio (if I remember the numbers in my report correctly - haven't looked over it since 31 Dec when it was submitted)
- For a family of 4 to use the cableway will cost R1 100, the only cableway I could find that was more expensive is that 3777m one in Chamonix (the highest cableway in Europe). That price is the same as a family of 4 going up both the Table Mountain one and the one at Harties.
- Access is along a dirt road (tarring of it is not in their budget either), and if you visit it en route from Jo'burg to Durban (as they suggest in the feasibility study) you would have to add at least 3 hours to your trip for 30 mins on top.

I put it a lot better in my report than what I wrote above - but it gives you an idea of the problems.

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:45 am
by mokganjetsi
Well done! :thumleft:
This project is so clearly an economic disaster-in-the-making (except for those involved in the construction) that it does leave serious questions about the competency (and connections?) of the guys that did the latest feasibility study.
Give 'em hell.

Re: Drakensberg cableway

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:09 am
by Ghaznavid
A survey is up for those who are in favour of the cableway. See

People who are against it, but might still use it if it is ever constructed are also welcome to reply - but this is mostly aimed at those who support the idea. Feel free to share on fb, twitter or get your work collegues to fill it in :thumleft: