Challenges facing the Drakensberg cableway project
A 2016 compilation of concerned inputs coordinated by the Mountain Club of South Africa (KZN section)
Note: A pdf document, summarising the procedings of the 2016 Cableway Conference in Durban, is available for download at the bottom of this page.
The water production function of the Drakensberg cannot afford to be compromised.
Robin Gardner (2016)
The Maloti-Drakensberg range of mountains constitutes the
principal water production area of South Africa. This strategic watershed
depends upon the integrity and health of its montane grassland ecosystem to
function efficiently. The Thukela River is the largest of the three main river
systems draining the province of KwaZulu-Natal, with approximately 60% of its
water originating from the Drakensberg escarpment. The upper station of the
proposed Drakensberg cableway is planned to be positioned at the headwaters of
the eBusingatha River, a tributary of the Thukela. The two cableway
sub-stations, and the base-station, are planned to be positioned along the
flanks of the same river. The eBusingatha River has been delivering pristine
mountain water to downstream communities for generations. The establishment of
the 7km cableway will indeed pose high risk to the entire Busingatha natural
ecosystem, including the provision of high quality drinking water to those who
live in the area. Refuse and sewage disposal systems will undoubtedly be part
of the design, but due to the ever present possibility of human and mechanical
error, from beginning of construction work and into the future, there will be the
ever present associated high risk of pollution and degradation of the catchment
area. The soil erosion that will undoubtedly arise from the significantly increased level of foot traffic on the summit in the
vicinity of the upper station poses a threat to the future well-being of the Maloti-Drakensberg
The upper Senqu River catchment is destined to be a major provider of high quality water to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP). Degeneration of the grassland ecosystem in the upper Senqu catchment area through increased human activity could have a major impact on the planned water supply of the river to the LHWP.
South Africa has limited natural catchment areas and is considered a water-scarce country, having an average annual rainfall of only
490 mm (world average annual rainfall is 860 mm). The Maloti-Drakensberg range
of mountains constitutes the principal water production area of South Africa 1.
While occupying less than 5% of the country's
surface area, it produces 25% of the country's water runoff. The areas
along the international border between South Africa and Lesotho create a
drainage divide on the escarpment that forms the watershed for two of southern
Africa’s largest drainage basins, viz. those of the Thukela River and the
Senqu/ Orange River 2. This strategic watershed depends upon
the integrity and health of its montane grassland ecosystem to function
efficiently on a sustainable basis. The natural vegetation cover reduces high
surface water flows during frequent heavy summer rainstorms typical to the area
preventing soil erosion 3. Apportioning of rainfall to
downward and lateral permeation through the regolith (upper- and sub-soil
strata) results in supplementation of groundwater stocks as well as filtering of
the through-flow 3. The fragility and importance of the
Maloti-Drakensberg catchment area is not to be underestimated. This was one of
the original compelling reasons for the joint (Kingdom of Lesotho / Republic of
South Africa) declaration of a wilderness conservation area termed the “Maloti
Drakensberg Transfrontier Park” 2.
The Thukela River is the largest of the three main river
systems draining the province of KwaZulu-Natal. It arises in the Drakensberg
mountains very close to the border with Lesotho and meanders through central
KwaZulu-Natal discharging into the Indian Ocean about 85km north of Durban
5. Total estimated flow from the Thukela is 3 881 million m3
annum-1, of which about 60% originates from the Drakensberg
escarpment. The other two major river systems in KwaZulu-Natal, the Umkomazi (3
112 million m3 annum-1) and Umzimkulu (1 373 million m3
annum-1), derive approximately 25% and 15% of their water from the
Drakensberg escarpment 6.
The Thukela Water Management Area (WMA) consists of the
entire catchment of the Thukela River. Due to the mountainous nature of the
Thukela WMA and its proximity to the Indian Ocean, the rainfall is high by
South African standards, ranging from over 1 500 mm per annum along the Drakensberg
escarpment to about 650 mm per annum in the central parts of the catchment 7.
The upper station of the proposed Drakensberg cableway is planned to be
positioned at the headwaters of the eBusingatha River, a tributary of the
Thukela River. The two cableway sub-stations, and the base-station, are planned
to be positioned along the flanks of the same river. The Busingatha valley is
home to many of the amaZizi people who inhabit the region. The amaNgwane
mountain people populate the area between Busingatha and Cathedral Peak. The
eBusingatha River has been delivering pristine mountain water to downstream
communities for generations. The establishment of the 7km cableway will indeed
pose high risk to the entire Busingatha natural ecosystem, including the provision
of high quality drinking water to those who live in the area 8, 9.
The projected base number of 300 000 visitors per
annum to the cableway 10 undoubtedly poses a significant
threat to the northern Drakensberg catchment area. The high amounts of refuse
and sewerage that will be generated at all four cableway stations will be just
two of the several environmental threats posed by the cableway development. Although
refuse and sewage disposal and treatment systems will obviously be part of the
design plans, due to the ever present possibility of human and mechanical error,
from time of beginning of construction work, onwards into the future there will
be an ever present threat of pollution to the pristine mountain environment
posed by the cableway project. With a projected minimum of 300 000 visitors per
annum, a high level of foot traffic in the vicinity and surrounds of the upper cableway
station will undoubtedly have to be accommodated. Even with walkways installed,
foot traffic in the grassland areas surrounding the upper station will
undoubtedly increase dramatically, opening the way for decimation of the
natural grassland groundcover. The temperate grassland vegetation on the Drakensberg summit is highly sensitive, and soils
are typically shallow 3, 6.
The soil erosion that will undoubtedly result from a high level of foot traffic
will be the starting point of the degeneration of the surrounding wilderness
and catchment areas.
On the Lesotho side of the Maloti/ Drakensberg watershed drainage divide, major tributaries of the Senqu River, such as the Khubedu,and the Senqu itself, are an important part of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP)14, 15. The upper Senqu catchment is due to be a major provider of high quality water to Phase II dams such as the Polihali and Mashai, which will contribute to the existing Katse Dam storage and pumping system 16. A major portion of the headwaters of the Khubedu, including its wetlands,are in the areas immediately west of the site of the proposed cableway upper station. Increased human activity, particularly foot and vehicle traffic,in the area poses a high risk to the montane grassland ecosystem in the area, and ultimately of degeneration of a major sector of the LHWP upper catchment areas17.
The cableway cannot fail to have serious and irreversible
impacts on many of the major rivers which rise on the summit close to where the
upper station is envisaged, almost on the boundary of the World Heritage Site. The
likely cumulative, irreversible impacts on the mountain and its wilderness is a
prospect that cannot be ignored 8. Tampering with any aspect
pertaining to the natural fresh water supply of a water-scarce country such as
South Africa should be considered nothing short of irresponsible recklessness.
Climate change poses a significant threat to South
Africa’s water resources. Under all future climate scenarios considered by Long
Term Adaptation Scenarios (LTAS), higher frequencies of flooding and drought
events are projected for our country 11. South Africa is
situated in a region with increasing levels of water scarcity and water-quality
problems, compounded by population growth and issues of social and economic
development. The introduction of additional stresses on water resources arising
from potential climate change can intensify these problems over much of the
country 12. The general conclusion from most studies is that
southern African streamflow is projected to decrease significantly by 2050,
with a streamflow decrease of up to 18% being predicted for the Thukela
catchment 13. It stands to reason, therefore, that current
and future generations should focus on protecting existing natural rainfall
capture mechanisms, such as the temperate grassland ecosystems currently intact
within the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg catchment, rather than exploiting them.
- 1 Middleton BJ, Bailey AK. 2008. Water Resources of South Africa, 2005 Study (WR2005), Water
Research Commission, WRC Report No. TT381/08, Pretoria, South Africa
- 2 http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/985/
- 3 Blignaut J, Mander M, Schulze RE, Horan M, Dickens C, Pringle C, Mavundla K, Mahlangu I, Wilson A, McKenzie M, McKean S. 2010. Restoring and managing natural capital towards fostering economic development: Evidence from the Drakensberg, South Africa. Ecological Economics 69: 1313-1323.
- 4 Blignaut J, Aronson J, Mander M, Marais C. 2008. Investing in Natural Capital and Economic Development: South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains. Ecological Restoration 26(2): 43-150
- 5 https://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/Other/CMA/Thukela/ThukelaAppendixA2.pdf
- 6 Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, South Africa. 2004. Internal Strategic Perspective: Thukela Water Management Area: Prepared by Tlou & Matji (Pty) Ltd, WRP (Pty) Ltd, and DMM cc on behalf of the Directorate: National Water Resource Planning (East). DWAF Report No. P WMA 07/000/00/0304
[Available at: https://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/Other/WMA/7/ThukelaISPNov04.htm ].
- 7 Midgley DC, Pitman WV, Middleton BJ. 1994. Surface Water Resources of South Africa 1990. Vol. VI. Drainage Regions
U, V, W, X - Eastern Escarpment- Appendices and Books of Maps. WRC Report No. 298/6. 1/94.
- 9 http://www.wwf.org.za/media_room/publications/?17261/Water-Facts-and-Futures
- 10Final Draft Business Plan for the Development of a Drakensberg Cable Car. Graham Muller Associates, 14 October 2013.
- 11New M, Archer van Garderen E, Midgley G, Taylor A, Hamann R, Stuart-Hill S, Myers J,
Warburton M. 2014. Climate change impacts and adaptation in South Africa. WIREs Climate Change 5:605–620. doi: 10.1002/wcc.295
- 12 Dennis I, Dennis R. 2012. Climate change vulnerability index for South African aquifers. Water SA.
Vol. 38(3), pp 417-426. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/wsa.v38i3.7
[Available at: http://www.wrc.org.za]
- 13 Kusangaya S, Warburton ML, Archer van Garderen E, Jewitt GPW. 2013. Impacts of
climate change on water resources in southern Africa: A review. Journal of Physics and Chemistry of the Earth (2013),
Potential Risk to Conservation From the Construction of the Proposed Drakensberg Cable Car.
Jan Phelan (2016)
The most significant impacts for conservation from the proposed cable car are likely to be with regard to the following:
There may well be others once the full extent of the proposed development proposal is known and the envisaged infrastructure at the base and upper cable station are set out. Further details are included below.
- High risk for endangered Bearded and Cape Vultures which breed here.
- Exacerbate the invasive alien plant problem which is the single biggest threat to the WHS.
- Increase the risk of the existing fungal threat to amphibians.
- Possible degradation of a fragile alpine landscape and sensitive biodiversity
- Visitor Safety Risk owing to precipitous terrain and unpredictable weather patterns
- Detract from attractiveness of Community Nature Reserve
- Potential Indirect impacts (including sociological and cultural) need input from management custodian of the WHS (EKZNW).
Once details of the development are known, the magnitude and extent of the risks for conservation can be determined and
prioritised. The following are some indications of the nature of these risks.
Bearded Vultures (Critically endangered in Southern Africa)
and the Cape Vulture (Endemic and Endangered) These red
data species whose numbers are declining rapidly, are two of
the iconic faunal species in the Drakensberg, and play a
significant role in the ecology of this magnificent wilderness
area. There are less than 100 breeding pairs of Bearded
Vultures left and less than 625 breeding pairs of Cape
Vultures left in the Berg, and the cable way is within the
territory one of the breeding Bearded Vulture pairs. They have
been breeding here for a long time, and if these birds are
disturbed, they could well abandon the nest and possibly not
find a good alternative site.
Vultures have amazing eyesight, but they are always looking
down in an attempt to spot potential food sources, so it is
suspected that they will not be vigilant for cableways
spanning across valleys and up against cliff faces. It is
anticipated that they could become collision victims killed by
the cable way as they soar the valleys below the escarpment or
fly along cliffs to access their nests or roost sites. If one
of the birds is killed, there are no non-breeding adults
around, so no potential new mates and therefore it will have a
significant negative impact on the breeding. An impact on
breeding adults will negatively affect the population growth
rate which is already severely compromised for both species of
vultures, in that the populations of both Bearded and Cape
Vultures are declining. (Birdlife Africa Red Data Book for
Birds of Southern Africa)
There is an even higher collision risk to juvenile birds
which are more mobile than the adults and move along the whole
length of the Drakensberg. Another species prone to this same
collision risk is the Verroux’s Eagle (Black Eagle). A
publication by Tim Reid which looks at flying behaviour and
habitat use indicates that there is a 95-100% use of the area
below cliffs, and the whole of the Northern Drakensberg is
therefore a high risk area.
A cableway development must take cognizance of the impact on
biodiversity, especially where adequate mitigatory measures
cannot be implemented.
Introduction of Invasive Alien Plant Species to High
Altitudes via Cable Ways. Currently the presence and
spread of invasive plant species is one of the most
significant threats to the Maluti-Drakensberg Park World
Heritage Site (WHS). There is work being done in other areas in
the world on the threat of the introduction and spread of
invasive species in high altitude areas through cable cars and
the relevance of this to the Drakensberg situation is being
assessed. It is the increased propagule pressures which are
the risk, the risk of seeds pre-adapted to high altitude and a
cold environment being introduced via clothing, socks etc. The
precautionary principle should apply until full understanding
of the situation has been gained.
Funds critical for the control of the existing invasive alien
plants are currently not available and the risk of the
introducing pre-adapted seed will only serve to exacerbate
Fungal Threat to Amphibians The fungus which has been
responsible for the global demise of amphibians is
present in the Drakensberg area. There is concern that with
people being transported rapidly to the top of the
Drakensberg, this will exacerbate the spread of this fungus
and introduce it to new, pristine areas which have until now
not been affected. There are 26 amphibian species in the
Maluti-Drakensberg Park WHS and mitigatory measures should be
taken to minimise any risk posed to this component of the
biodiversity from a cable way.
Fragile Landscape The upper reaches of the
Drakensberg constitute a fragile alpine landscape susceptible
to degradation from human pressure, trampling, waste and
pollution and once lost cannot be restored. The area has been
kept in good condition (aside from some overgrazing) because
of its very remoteness and because it has been difficult to
reach. If one removes these two safeguards / barriers then
there is a risk of it not surviving owing to human pressures.
The unique flora and associated fauna are in delicate balance
and are very vulnerable to disturbance. The presence of an
upper cable station suggests the possibility of a road from
Lesotho to the cable station for management, maintenance and
other purposes. Vehicles tend not to stay on roads, and in
addition to vehicles there have already been cases of motor
bikes and quad bikes leaving roads and driving across the
terrain. Indirect impacts of a road include a change in
settlement patterns because the area is more easily
accessible. If fuel and wood are more readily available, it is
easier for people to live in higher areas all year round
leading to an increase in livestock pressure. This is a high
risk to a vulnerable habitat.
Visitor Safety Risk The upper cable car station is
only 200m from the Royal Natal section of the
Maluti-Drakensberg Park WHS, so visitors are bound to walk
into this section. The terrain is precipitous and dangerous
and as visitors will be unaware of the hazards of
unpredictable weather including mist, the possibility of lost
and /or injured people cannot be ruled out. This becomes the
problem of EKZNW who manage the WHS and is therefore a
conservation problem because the safety of visitors will be at
There is an unmarked international border issue up here, and
fairly recently some attacks on hikers occurred. It is
anticipated that cable way users could include international
visitors and exposing these or any visitors to risks of this
nature could have consequences for tourism, aside safety risk
to the tourists.
Community Nature Reserve For almost a decade work has
been underway to proclaim a Community Nature Reserve. There
has been work with the Stewardship programme and a management
plan has been drawn up. The economic model looked at aspects
such as carbon sequestration, water generation and tourism
would be an important part. The presence of the cable way over
this nature reserve would detract from the attractiveness of
the reserve for certain visitors and could impact on the
UNESCO has been very adamant that the EIA should include a
full Heritage Impact Assessment which would include
sociological and cultural impacts. For communities living in
the Businghata Valley, part of the cultural value of
wilderness is that they can see the landscape as it was seen
by their ancestors. A cable way cutting across this view of
the amphitheatre from the base will create an irreversible
Terms of Reference for the EIA The cable way will
result in a number of indirect impacts including those of a
sociological or cultural nature. They will also relate to the
sustainability of the management of impacts, such as a road on
top of the escarpment. There is serious concern as to whether
EKZNW would be involved in the setting of the Terms of
Reference for the EIA. It is seen as critical that the WHS
Authority, appointed by the Minister i.e. EKZNW, be consulted
in the drawing up of Terms of Reference for the EIA.
Aside from the EIA, UNESCO has issued a directive for the
State party of SA to furnish evidence of the joint Management
Plan to control invasive alien plants in the WHS as well as a
fire management plan. This has to be completed and submitted
before the end of 2016.
Conclusion It is hoped that the above issues give
some idea of the types of considerations and potential risks a
cable way could hold for conservation. Each will require
careful thought in order to determine appropriate terms of
reference for an EIA and relevant studies so as to arrive at a
decision which will have a sustainable outcome.
World heritage status may be under threat if guidelines are not followed.
Murray Sanders (2016)
The World Heritage Committee notes the State Party of South Africa’s agreement to carry-out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed cableway, and requests that it should include a detailed Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment and ICOMOS’ Guidelines on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, and also requests the State Party of South Africa to submit a copy of the completed assessment to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
This document and further details are available on the web via the link below:
Without a verdict of 'feasible', and without a favourable EIA, further promotion of the cableway project at public expense is unjustified.
Michael Relihan (2016)
A 'Feasibility Study for the Development of a Drakensberg Cable Car', and a 'Final Draft Business Plan for the Development of a Drakensberg Cable Car' were released for this project in 2013 by Graham Muller Associates. The 2013 feasibility study report highlights major challenges relating to weather, environmental impacts and community involvement issues, and these have received considerable media attention.
The 2013 business plan was reviewed by Jonathan Newman towards the end of the same year and is available online The business plan review highlighted serious concerns with the economic feasibility of the cableway project and these concerns have been echoed in various other media reports available online. Nevertheless, EDTEA have released no official response to the review that addresses the concerns raised.
The KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs department (EDTEA) and affiliates have promoted the Drakensberg cableway project actively as a fait complete by various means for a few years at public expensive.
Nevertheless no EIA report is available to date and the initiation process of this is questioned! A second feasibility study was tendered for in May 2016, as many unaddressed public objections on practical and economic feasibility issues were raised to the 2013 feasibility study. The recently advertised new tender for a full feasibility study are tacit admission by EDTEA that major questions about the project need answers before the project can be considered 'feasible'. Moreover, only once an EIA has been completed can any official decision be made about whether the project may proceed. It is high time that a brake be put on promoting a project that lacks the support of both a positive feasibility verdict, and a positive EIA.
The 2013 Feasibility study, Draft business plan, and
reactions to these
In 2013, then KZN Department of Economic Development &
Tourism (DEDT) commissioned a feasibility by Graham Muller
Associates for a proposed cableway in the northern Drakensberg to
the escarpment at a suitable site. This feasibility
study was completed in July 2013 1
and proposed that the base
station be built at Busingatha (in an area overgrown with wattle
trees) with the cableway running up a spur adjacent to the
Busingatha Valley up to near the summit on Mount Amery
where a top station would be constructed. The proposed
cableway would be a short distance south of the Royal Natal
National Park and just outside the world heritage site. The
land identified for the basal part was part of the
Ingonyama Trust and this was occupied by the AmaZizi
clan. This feasibility study comprising 82 pages reported on
a broad variety of challenges including economic feasibility,
environmental impacts, weather concerns and community
impacts. The summary verdict for this feasibility study was
"The project team found that the development of a cableway at the
site would be feasible"1
An associated 'technical description and prefeasibility study'
was also released by KUKA2
in September 2013 focusing on the
engineering and construction options and details.
In October 2013 Graham Miller Associates released a 'Final
Draft Business Plan for the Development of a Drakensberg Cable
that was also commissioned by DEDT.
Soon after this the African Conservation Trust (ACT) issued
'Initial comments' on the project referring to these
. Some key comments were: (i) regarding use
figures: "We also feel that the initial
estimates are grossly over
any real tourism visits
and request more in depth market research" and
"The 300,000 visitors at R300 each and growing at 10% per year is
a large number for these areas, given that total numbers to the
northern berg are about half this" (ii) The allocated upper area
was being managed as part of the World Heritage Site (WHS) (iii).
A map on page 19 of the feasibility study showed an incorrect
boundary to the WHS. (iv) the project would require a large
supporting infrastructure to sustain it and this had not been
quantified. (v). "Consultants confirmed that the cableway itself
would provide only about 30 local jobs"; (vi) "the draft
Feasibility Study by-passed the Steering Committee, with
unnecessary and rather unseemly haste, and has already been
accepted by DEDT"4
. Their first major recommendation
was that "A full Environmental Impact Assessment needs to be
conducted", but they also emphasized the economic value of the
Drakensberg, as well as a need to understand the impact on
affected mountain communities 4
An in-depth review of the 'Final Draft Business Plan'3
conducted by Newman Accounting and Tax Services5
and released on
December 31. This 19 page review evaluated many aspects but
a key problem identified was whether the target market would be
willing to spend "R350 per adult and R200 per child", and moreover
that they would have great interest in repeat
. Another key issue was how the projected
"300 000 cableway users" envisaged to make it sustainable could be
achieved when currently "approximately 135 000 individuals visit
the Northern Drakensberg each year"5
. This review
concluded with "With reference to the review that has been
conducted, given the various material aspects of the
Final Draft Business Plan there does not appear to be sufficient
documentation and market research to justify the conclusion that
the cableway is financially feasible or can reasonably be
expected to draw the required numbers to the region to justify the
This review as also reviewed by another
chartered accountant and UKZN lecturer6
whose verdict was "Based
on my review, nothing has come to my attention that causes me to
believe that the Report by Jonathan Newman, is not logical and
does not address some of the financial concerns with the original
Draft Business Plan of Graham Muller Associates6
documents were forwarded to Graham Muller Associates forthwith7
Media reports soon followed which echoed the objections to the
feasibility report and business plan for the cableway8,28
In particular a 27 minute documentary on national TV was released
soon after as part of the 50_50 program9
. Among the key
people interviewed in the program were: The MEC: Michael
Mabuyakhulu, Graham Muller, Oscar Mthimkhulu (Ezemvelo KZN
Wildlife), Sonya Kruger (a vulture expert), 2 AmaZizi
local residents, Godfrey Miya (AmaZizi tribal spokesman), and
central Drakensberg residents9
. The program highlighted
that strong controversy remained over the proposed cableway
especially with regard to environmental impact risks and
unhappiness of the local resident community with the developments
at that point, and therefore that its feasibility had not been
accepted by key stakeholders9
. Moreover, to date EDTEA
have released no official response to the review of the 2013
business plan that addresses the concerns raised.
Antagonism of some groups such as the hiking
community, local tribal community and other interested
and affected parties
A web site (http://www.drakensbergcablecar.com) was
set up to promote the Drakensberg Cableway by what is the newly
formulated KZN Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental
Affairs (EDTEA) department10. To date this website has
presented only positive sentiments about the project without
acknowledgment that strongly negative perceptions exist. In
contrast to this, a blog on the cableway was set up by Vertical
Endeavour a website11 largely representative of the hiking and
climbing community of the Drakensberg and the vast majority of
input was about serious concerns that this project was
worthwhile. Another website (http://www.maloti-drakensberg.co.za/cableway/)
was also set up by an anonymous individual
to archive documents and media releases on the
Drakensberg cableway proposal and the history of events12.
This website has archived considerable resources on the project
and its history12. The cableway has also been
allocated its own Facebook page13. A petition
website against the cableway has also been set up by
AVAAZ14. As at 2016-06-18 there were 1717 digital
signatories against the cableway14.
A public meeting was arranged at Busingatha on 23 November 2013
which was attended by a large number of people15,16,17,18.
The description of attendance varies as follows: "attended by
more than 20 000 community members"17 "According
to different reports between 10 000 - 15 000 people were
present"18, "which was attended by more than 10 000
people"26. It has been stated by Graham Muller
on TV that the AmaZizi clan living at Busingatha number about
2000 people9, so where did so many people come from?
In December 2013, soon after this gathering, a letter of
complaint was published by Sigungu Miya as brother of the late
nkosi E.M. Miya of the AmaZizi.19:
"FIRSTLY: The MEC Mabuyakhulu, DEDT has shown a complete lack
of respect to the royal family of the AmaZizi, even after
the loss of Nkosi Miya. They never formally introduced the
proposed Busingatha cableway to the late Nkosi Miya and they
have never come to consult at the Amazizi Tribal Office.
SECONDLY: Without any consultation with us, the office of
Mabayukhlu put up their big tents at Busingatha on 23 November
2013, the day before the burial of the late Inkosi’s brother,
who died soon after our Inkosi, and who was to be buried on 24
November. On 23 November while we, as the family, were preparing
for the funeral of our Nkosi’s brother and were bringing his
body from the mortuary, there were loud speakers in a mourning
Their letter states that they did not support the
Cableway project at that stage19
. Another media statement
followed soon after where the reiterated their complaint stating
"the meeting held in the Busingatha on 23 November 2013 was
held without consulting us. ... We know that many buses came in
that day bringing many people from areas outside Busingatha and
. It has been reported that people were
bussed in for this event "as far away as Estcourt"18
contrast the http://www.drakensbergcablecar.com
website reported about this event as follows: "The consultation
was held to engage with the community regarding the project, there
was great participation, members indicating what the project of
this magnitude would do to uplift their livelihoods and also the
It has been reported to me in the region that the cableway project has subsequently stirred up
serious factions with strongly opposed views on the project. The new nkosi of the
AmaZizi has not released a statement about how they currently regard the cableway project.
Letters of complaint have also been issued by the Wilderness
Action Group regarding notice of a public meeting "on 5 December
2013, with an advert appearing in the newspaper only two days prior to the meeting, blatantly violates
the EIA regulations", and also regarding an "inordinately short
period for comments for a proposed development"21
A comparison between the Table Mountain cableway and
the proposed Busingatha cableway
Comparisons have been made between the long-running cableway at
Table Mountain and the proposed development. Some of
the comparisons presented below show that major differences apply to
the proposed development which pertain to the feasibility of the
- Altitude of the top cableway station and the altitude
gained: The Table Mountain cableway tops out at 1067m with
altitude gain of 765m22,23, whereas the proposed Busingatha
cableway tops out at about 3100m (some figures of 3300m also cited
but do not make sense) with altitude gain of about 1600m1.
- Distance of cableway and expected travel time one way: The
Table Mountain cableway has cables of about 1200m that allow a
travel time of 4 to 5 minutes22,23. The proposed cableway
is about 7 km long with a travel time of about 25 minutes but
greatly affected by gondola system used1,2.
- Terrain at the top station: The Table Mountain top area is
relatively flat (hence the name) and composed of hard rock which
is highly resistant to foot or animal erosion, but the Mount Amery
area, like much of the escarpment, has much sloping ground largely
of thinly vegetated ground that is much more susceptible to foot
erosion1. Restriction of tourists to use of controlled
foot paths has been advocated in the 2013 feasibility study as a
- Vehicle and pedestrian access to the top station:
There are several moderate hiking routes to the Table Mountain cableway top
station and some people walk up and take the cablecar down (or
visa versa). In addition road access to close to the top of
Table Mountain not far from the cable car is present. In
contrast Mt Amery has no four wheel vehicle accessible road for
many kilometers and the hiking option in or out is an epic
- Distance from an international airport: The Table Mountain
base station is about 25km from an international airport (about 24
minutes travel)5, whereas Busingatha is about 311 km from King
Shaka Airport (about 3.5 hours travel)24.
- Ticket costs for return: The Table Mountain Cableway cost is
currently R240/adult and R115/child but special rates apply
also for certain users at certain times23,25, while the 2013
feasibility study for the Busingatha cableway proposed ticket
prices of R350/adult and R200/child1,5.
- Unfenced international border: Table Mountain is an iconic and fully South African mountain. Cablecar users on Table Mountain have no need to consider an international boundary. In contrast, virtually the entire length of the border between Lesotho and KZN is unfenced. The border follows a line from summit to saddle to summit for each peak with a slope that drains towards the eastern seaboard and the summit of such peaks belong to South Africa. The unfenced border with Lesotho near Mount Amery is frequently crossed by poor shepherds and their grazing animals. With such a large number of tourists arriving, there may be a need for fencing at the border and a border post to be set up and this adds considerable challenges to the cableway project.
- Weather: The Table Mountain Cableway is not subject to the extreme winter cold that is experienced at the Mount Amery location. Wind and thunderstorm hazards can be severe at Mount Amery, and may be worse than Table Mountain, affording more days when the cable car may be unsafe to operate.
Additional economic aspects of the proposed Busingatha
MEC Mabuyakhulu and EDTEA have promoted the concept of the
cableway as a boon to tourism revenue for the province that
should bring in millions 26,27,28. The Drakensberg
Cableway project has been included in the KZN long-term tourism
master plan28. However, funding models to date have
all listed taxpayer dependent funding and Ithala Bank is currently
the main state-linked funding entity. No foreign donors or
investors have yet been named. Estimated costs to set up the
cableway are in the region of R500 million or more
27,30,31. The allocated costs for different aspects as
indicated by the 2013 business plan are quite high such as "R75
000 per month" for public relations at least 12 months before project completion, R50
000/month to develop social media pages and R20 000/month to keep
this up to date, R1.4 million on magazine advertising 4 months
before opening, R500 000/month on newspaper adverts, and
advertising of R20 million/year after the project gets under
way3. A budget of R800 000 has been allocated for
the EIA29. Cost figures incurred for the 2013
feasibility studies have not been found. Simulation videos
of the proposed cableway setup, and a radio advert in
Zulu have been put on Youtube and the costs for this are
The EIA and a new feasibility study
A tender was advertised in May to June 2015 for conducting of
an EIA for this project34,35. This comes several years
after the project had been announced and was
promoted26,36,37,38. Another startling announcement was a
recently-issued new tender "to complete a Full Feasibility
Study for the development of the Drakensberg Cable Car and related
activities" for which the budget has not been disclosed39.
This is a tacit admission by EDTEA that the cableway project does
not yet have the verdict of 'feasible'! In addition, media
reports cite MEC Mabuyakhulu as stating that there are plans to
extend the Busingatha cableway an additional 5km from Mount Amery
to the AfriSki resort in Lesotho40,41, which is something not
addressed by the 2013 feasiblity study, though upgrading a road
track to the AfriSki resort was mentioned1. Ezemvelo chief
executive Bandile Mkhize has complained about "speed of the public
participation process and short period suggested for a full
environmental impact assessment" 38. Recent media
reports referred to a very costly planned overseas delegation to
visit cableways around the world, which fortunately was panned in
favor of running a local conference in Durban on the
cableway42,43,44. An initial conference was
scheduled for April 2016 at extremely short notice and then
canceled shortly before it was to run44,45. The date
for the conference has recently moved to June 20 and 21 with
details on the http://www.drakensbergcablecar.com
I was startled to find a media statement reporting that an EIA
is already running 45, but I have been informed that "the EIA was withdrawn on the same day that the tender was issued for the full feasibility study". The cableway project has to
be fully defined before an EIA is done, as significant changes to the
proposed development would require a new EIA to be done at great
expense. Key interested and affected
parties should be aware of the status of an EIA, so any secrecy about the initiation of an EIA would be a violation of Regulation 41 of the NEMA act46.
The fact that a new feasibility study has recently been
tendered for, and that an EIA is not commenced indicate the Drakensberg Cableway project cannot
yet be described as feasible. Numerous government
departments have had budgets slashed this financial year to save
costs and yet this project continues to drain major funds.
It is time that the vast flow of public funds to promote this project
be curtailed until a properly conducted feasibility study
delivers a 'feasible' verdict, and this is backed up by a
properly-conducted EIA. There are other worthwhile causes to
spend funds on such as: (i) controlling the terrible proliferation of
alien and invasive weeds that threaten the Drakensberg and many
natural areas in the province, (ii) the need for a rail link from
King Shaka airport to major centers such as Durban, Pinetown and
Pietermaritzburg, (iii) alternative job-creating projects in rural
areas that enhance tourism and local entrepeneurship.
- 1 Muller, G. (2013). Feasibility Study for the
Development of a Drakensberg Cable Car. Feasibility Study Report –
July 2013. Prepared for Department Economic
Development & Tourism (dedt) by Graham Muller
- 2 van der Walt, L. (2013). Drakensberg Busingatha
Cableway. Updated technical description and prefeasibility study
prepared by KUKA. Document no. 1313-004-001-02. 20 Sept 2013
- 3 Muller, G. (2013). Final Draft Business Plan for the
Development of a Drakensberg Cable Car. Final Draft Business Plan
Report – October 2013. Prepared for Department Economic
Development & Tourism (dedt) by Graham Muller
- 4 Grossman, C. (2013). Initial comments on the development of
a Drakensberg Cableway. African Conservation Trust. 29 October
- 5 Newman, J. (2013). Report on the review of the “Final
Draft Business Plan for the Development of a Drakensberg Cable
Newman Accounting and Tax Services. 31 December 2013.
- 6 Stegen, P.K. (2013). Review of the "Report on the review of
the Final Draft Business Plan for the Development of a Drakensberg
Cable Car" by Jonathan Newman of Newman Accounting and Tax
Services. 31 December 2013.
- 7 Berry, S.; Sommer, C.; Grossman, C. (2013). Transmission of
the 'Review of the Final Draft Business Plan for the Development
of a Drakensberg Cable Car'. 31 December 2013.
- 8 Nair, N. (2014). Cableway plan under fire. Times Live 14
January 2014. (Accessed 2016-06-18). http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2014/01/14/cableway-plan-under-fire
- 9 50_50 Drakensberg Cable Car insert - YouTube.
Mar 18, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLy-iDjblY4 ;
- 10 http://www.drakensbergcablecar.com
(A website set up by edtea promoting this project)
- 11 http://www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/14-drakensberg-general/55316-drakensberg-cable-car.html?start=460
(Vertical Endeavour forum as at 2016-06-18 with more than 460
posts over 47 pages)
- 12 http://www.maloti-drakensberg.co.za/cableway/
(Archive website of documents and media releases on the
Drakensberg cableway proposal)
- 13 https://www.facebook.com/drakensberg
(The Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains Facebook page.)
- 14 https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Michael_Mabuyakhulu_MEC_Economic_Development_Tourism_KwaZuluNatal_Stop_the_proposed_Busingatha_cableway_in_the_Drakensbe/ Stop the proposed Busingatha cableway in the Drakensberg! (AVAAZ
Petition website at 2016-06-18 with 1717 digital signatories
against the cableway)
- 15 Overwhelming turnout for Drakensberg cable car
planning meet. 2013-11-25
09:22. (Accessed 2016-06-18). http://www.news24.com/Travel/South-Africa/Overwhelming-turnout-for-Drakensberg-cable-car-planning-meet-20131125
- 16 Thousands attend cable car meeting. 2013-11-25
- 17 Drakensberg Cable Car Community Engagement.
(Accessed 2016-06-18). http://www.drakensbergcablecar.com/community-engagement/
- 18 History of the Busingatha Proposal. (Accessed
- 19 Mnweni Wilderness Working Team (MWWT) & aMaZiZi
Wilderness Group Appeal 13 December 2013. (Accessed
- 20 AmaZizi Media Statement 10 February 2014. (Accessed
- 21 Letters of complaint from Sheila Berry (WAG
Deputy Chairperson) to Graham Muller. 'Re: Busingatha cableway' ;
and to Xoli Madiba 'Cableway proposed for Northern Drakensberg
- 22 Wikipedia (accessed 2016-06-18). Table Mountain
Aerial Cableway_Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_Mountain_Aerial_Cableway
- 23 Table Mountain cableway: (Accessed
2016-06-18). Rates and opening hours. http://www.tablemountain.net/content/page/rates ;
About the Cableway. http://www.tablemountain.net/content/page/about-history
- 24 Jonathan Newman personal communication of calculation of
distance from the airport
- 25 Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Co. (PTY) LTD.
Annual Report 2014 / 2015. (Accessed 2016-06-18). http://www.tablemountain.net/annual_report_2015/Annual_Report.pdf
- 26 Mabuyakhulu, M. (2014). Remarks by the KwaZulu
MEC for Economic Development and Tourism. The Honourable
Michael Mabuyakhulu on the occasion of the Drakensberg Cable Car
media briefing. January 2014. (Accessed
- 27 Mabuyakhulu, M. (2014). MEC Michael Mabuyakhulu:
KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental
Affairs Prov Budget Vote 2014/15. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 28 Mabuyakhulu, M.; Golding, D. (2012 ?).
KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Master Plan. Executive Summary. http://www.zulu.org.za/files/useruploads/user_1/files/TOURISM%20E-VERSION.pdf
- 29 EDTEA provincial budget 2014-2015. Vote
4. Economic Development,Tourism and Environmental
Affairs. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 30 Naidoo, S. (2014). Drakensberg plan shot down.
16 January 2014. (Accessed 2016-06-18). http://www.iol.co.za/travel/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/drakensberg-plan-shot-down-1632455#.UtjGFBC1bjw
- 31 Bumpy ride awaits proposed 7km-long Drakensberg
cable car. (Accessed 2016-06-18). http://www.dwrealtors.co.za/news/bumpy-ride-awaits-proposed-7km-long-drakensberg-cable-car/
- 32 Mecdot simulation video of Drakensberg
(several other similar videos uploaded)
- 33 Zulu Format drakensberg cable car radio
advert uploaded to YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHKzXOhs0V0
- 34 Invitation to bid - RFP 04/15. May 2015. (Accessed
2016-06-18). Request for proposal (RFP) for the
appointment of an Environmental Assessment Consultancy services to
conduct an environmental impacy assessment (EIA) for Drakensberg
- 35 Tender Details: 12 June 2015. Conduct
Environmental Impact Assessment for Drakensberg Cable Car
Project. TOT Ref. No. 2981983 ; Document Ref.
No. RFP 04/15. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 36 Reed, T. (2016). Drakensberg cableway pending
environmental assessment. 31 Mar 2016. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 37 Carnie, T. (2014). Cableway plans extended to
Lesotho. Travel News 31 Jan 2014 (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 38 Carnie, T. (2014). Cableway ‘will impact on heritage
site’. 10 February 2014. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 39 KwaZulu-Natal Property Development Holdings
(KPDH), Invitation to bid: Bid No.: RFP 07/16. Appointment
of multidisciplinary professional to complete a Full Feasibility
Study for the development of the Drakensburg Cable Car and related
activities. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 40 New developments in Drakensberg cableway plan.
2014-01-31. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 41 Gerrard, N. (2014). Cableway plans extended to
AfriSki, Lesotho. March 9, 2014. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 42 Coan, S. (2014). Drakensberg cableway: Govt officials
to take global research trip. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 43 Nair, N. (2014). Government's world tour for cableway
plan. 04 September, 2014 (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 44 Udeh, C. (2016). Cable Car Conference Set To Take
Place In Durban. 23 March 2016 (Accessed 2016-06-18).
- 45 Stolley, G. (2016). Durban to host cable car
conference. Travel News 23 March 2016. (Accessed
- 46 Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014,
National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act. no. 107 of
1998). Regulation Gazette No. 10328. Vol. 594. 4 December
2014. No. 38282. (Accessed 2016-06-18).
Report on expected negative impacts of the proposed Drakensberg Cableway on key attributes of the Drakensberg.
Bill Bainbridge and Ilan Lax (Wilderness Action Group) (2016)
The proposed cableway is not in keeping with the legislation and policies that protect key attributes of the mountains
(unspoiled scenic beauty, wilderness resources and cultural character). It will unfortunately have severe negative
impacts. The KZN Drakensberg comprises two components: the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site and the traditional lands of impoverished rural communities, in urgent need of sustainable development to relieve their indigent state.
A suite of laws and policies have been put in place in terms of the requirements of UNESCO for World Heritage Sites and for the protection of such unique environments under the Constitution of South Africa. In terms of these laws various planning instruments have
been adopted, viz., the Integrated Management Plan, the Development Concept Plan and the Wilderness Management Plan.
Cableways are specifically noted as non-conforming developments for the area, even in the buffer zone. There is no doubt that
a mass tourism instrument such as a cableway will irreversibly and inevitably destroy the present unspoiled
natural beauty and wilderness character of many parts of the mountains, by imposing on it substantial artificial physical structures that are an indispensable element of any cableway, compounded by an artificial lighting system, often also compounded further by noisy activities including helicopter flights, not to mention the necessary likelihood of a road or roads being required during construction and subsequently for maintenance and access purposes. Such structures will also pose a threat to various rare biodiversity.
It is difficult to determine without reference to detailed specifics whether a compromise can be reached between
the need to protect the Drakensberg and the apparently opposing need to provide sustainable development to provide
employment and improve the livelihoods of these rural communities.
More information must be provided, with clear details on how the cableway will benefit the rural communities;
what alternative development options have been considered; and most importantly, how the decision to go ahead with the
project to construct a cableway was arrived at and what considerations were weighed up which justify the decision.
This information must be provided in a more transparent manner with sufficient detail to enable interested and affected
parties to be better informed and thus be properly consulted.
The Drakensberg mountain range is a national treasure with unique attributes which are recognized internationally, and are described as being of “outstanding universal value” 1
. These attributes are important both for the people of South Africa and the international community.
The proposed cableway will unfortunately have severe negative impacts on certain key attributes of the mountains, and consequently also on the legislation and policies designed to protect these.
The unique attributes of the Drakensberg enjoy a world-wide reputation. The mountain system is an environmental phenomenon that evokes our national pride as well as the interest and concerns of the international community. These mountains deserve our utmost respect and efforts to protect them. The attributes of this unique mountain system include,but are not limited to the following:
- The scenic beauty, wild, unspoiled wilderness character, which the Wilderness Action Group and others have fought long and hard to protect and promote;
- The geomorphology (or the way the mountains were formed);
- The biodiversity, including rare species such as an endemic plant or animals, or one of the iconic species such as the Bearded Vulture and Cape Vulture;
- The water resources (the most important water source area on the subcontinent recognized as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention 2) and other environmental goods and services;
- The cultural heritage (especially its rock art);
- The opportunities for recreational and educational activities.
It is one of only 23 sites globally to have been inscribed as both a natural as well as a cultural site.
The KZN Drakensberg comprises two distinct portions:
- The State land protected areas, the Maloti Drakensberg Park which is a proclaimed World Heritage Site, as inscribed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee; and
- The mountainous areas of the upper uThukela area in the Northern Drakensberg, which comprises communal land occupied by previously disadvantaged traditional communities, which has been the subject of collaborative planning initiatives to i.a. identify candidate protected areas, with wilderness zones, within its boundaries.
Protective laws and policies
A suite of protective laws and policies have been put in place by both the national and provincial governments to protect these internationally important attributes, some of the most important of which are listed below 3.
In terms of these laws various planning instruments have been adopted, viz., the Integrated Management Plan, the Development Concept Plan and the Wilderness Management Plan. These have been formulated by planning teams and approved by decision-makers over a period of many years. They have also received support at many levels, both internationally (through an international convention) as well as locally. See the list of some relevant laws in the references 4. Cableways are specifically noted as undesirable and non-conforming development activities even in the buffer zone.
Two of these attributes(the scenic beauty and wild unspoiled character or wilderness value, and cultural character and significance) are amongst the key tourist attractions that draw international and local visitors to the area.
A Buffer Zone (“BZ”) is in the process of being delineated, for which a draft policy is also in the process of being finalized,in consultation with stakeholders. Prior to this a policy instrument known as the Special Case Area Plan for the Drakensberg (“the SCAP”5) was developed to guide appropriate development in the approaches to what is now the WHS. The SCAP will be replaced by the BZ and its policy. These instruments are designed to protect the integrity of the special attributes of the park as well as of the buffer zone itself and to make those of the park accessible to visitors. This is especially applicable to the site proposed for the cableway because it adjoins the boundary of the WHS. The BZ will run the entire distance of the KZN Drakensberg, including the Upper uThukela area from the Free State to East Griqualand. In this area, it protects the candidate protected areas referred to below.
The primary role of the BZ includes the following:
- Ensure the persistence of important species and ecological processes;
- Promote appropriate broad based and sustainable economic activity;
- Preserve, adapt, restore and stabilise cultural heritage and secure the sustainable use,
- Preserve and improve the quality & quantity of water from catchments in the Site & Buffer Zone;
- Protect and enhance the unspoiled wilderness experience of Site users;
- Protect, enhance and restore the unique and memorable character – the sense of place - that underpins the image of the WHS and its approaches;
It should thus promote sustainable business opportunities for residents of the buffer zone, based on the WHS and its unique attributes. It will serve a similar role to the candidate protected areas in the upper uThukeka area.
Environmental legislation requires that, with any large development, appropriate alternative developments are also considered. (Section 24(4)(b) National Environmental Management Act). Such alternatives should provide for holistic and alternative approaches to meaningful and equitable development and conservation in both the AmaZizi and AmaNgwane Traditional Authority Areas which neighbour each other and which together share a common boundary with the Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. It is common knowledge that there are longstanding existing community conservation initiatives and human resources in both the areas. It is also common knowledge that these initiatives could be used to safeguard invaluable ecosystem assets of water, biodiversity, wilderness and culture while, at the same time, stimulating widespread entrepreneurship and economic growth. It is in this context that alternative but complementary livelihood strategies and development opportunities are relevant. Residents of the Mnweni have as noted above engaged in a planning exercise that considered alternative livelihood options. This is not being taken into account.
Unlikely as it may seem to those who have not experienced or who do not appreciate their value, these attributes are valued by a substantial support group. There is no doubt that a mass tourism instrument such as a cableway will irreversibly and inevitably destroy the present unspoiled natural beauty and wilderness character of many parts of the mountains, by imposing on it substantial artificial physical structures that are an indispensable element of any cableway, compounded by an artificial lighting system, often also compounded by noisy helicopter flights, not to mention the possibility of a road or roads during construction and subsequently for maintenance and access purposes. By and large, physical development has to date been restricted to the peripheries and their design and siting being especially muted, so as not to impinge on the unspoiled Inner Berg.
Is compromise possible?
Neither the need-imperative to construct a cableway, nor the location where the cableway is proposed for construction, have been published with any serious detail. Consequently it is difficult to make suggestions for an appropriate compromise. One possibility would be to select a location where development has already taken place, and its negative impact already felt, such as in the corridor of the Sani Pass road. Another possibility could be from Witsieshoek Car Park, and onto the escarpment, with the route going over the existing chain ladders again these are developed routes that have been there for many years.
This does not however, solve the problem of how to assist the upper uThukela traditional communities. It is suggested that these communities be properly consulted about the range of appropriate land uses and livelihood development options suitable to the area’s unique character.
It is recognized that the impoverished communities of the upper uThukela areas need investment in forms of sustainable development to provide employment and improved livelihoods. However, in the light of the limited information so far made available, it is difficult to see how a mass tourism form of infrastructure (such as a cableway) can fulfil this need, or how it can be imposed on the conservative planning structure in place in the Drakensberg, without long-lasting negative impact on the internationally recognised unique attributes of this mountain system. If the purpose of the cableway is indeed to benefit the local communities, the proponents should indicate how they will benefit.
Accordingly, such missing information must be provided in a more transparent manner with sufficient detail to enable interested and affected parties to be better informed and thus properly consulted.
UNESCO, United Nations Educational , Scientific & Cultural Organisation
- 2 Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat.Ramsar (Iran), 2 February 1971
- 3 See list below.
- 4 uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site:Integrated Management Plan. Version 1.0 (2012); ConceptDevelopment Plan: (2011); Wilderness Management Plan (2011) -EzemveloKwaZuluNatalWildlife, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
- 5 Special Case Area Plan for the Drakensberg.Town and Regional Planning Commission, February 2001, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Some other Applicable International Legislation (including relevant Regulations):
World Heritage Convention 1972;
RAMSAR Convention 1971;
Cross Border Treaties/Conventions/Legislation;
Relevant Lesotho Legislation; and
Relevant transboundary/biodiversity legislation.
Some Applicable National Legislation (including relevant Regulations):
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, No. 108 of 1996;
World Heritage Convention Act, No. 49 of 1999;
National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, No. 57 of 2003;
National Environmental Management Act, No. 107 of 1998;
National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, No. 10 of 2004;
National Water Act, No. 36 of 1998;
National Forests Act, No. 84 of 1998;
Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, No. 16 of 2013;
Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, No. 32 of 2000;
Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, No. 117 of 1998;
KwaZulu-Natal Ingonyama Trust Act, No. of 1994;
The National Heritage Resources Act, No. 25 of 1999;
Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, No. 43 of 1983.
Some Applicable Provincial Legislation (including relevant Regulations):
KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Management Act, No. 9 of 1997;
KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Act, No. 4 of 2008;
Some Management & Planning Instruments Applicable:
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site: Integrated Management Plan. Version 1.0 (2012).Ezemvelo Kwa Zulu Natal Wildlife, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site: Concept Development Plan: (2011). Ezemvelo Kwa Zulu Natal Wildlife, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site: Wilderness Management Plan (2011). Ezemvelo Kwa Zulu Natal Wildlife, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Special Case Area Plan for the Drakensberg. Town and Regional Planning Commission, (February 2001). Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.