The four reserves are the Lambasi Nature Reserve in the Mhlontlo Local Municipality, the Baviaanskloof Hartland Nature Reserve in the Willowmore district, the Kromme Riviers Hoogtenature Reserve in the Uniondale area, and some 717 hectares of the Royalston development by Nelson Mandela Bay.
“The Lambasi Reserve will include the Tsitsa, Tina River Valley and Mzoboshe Horseshoe that are special features of the Tsitsa Falls Valley,” according to the statement.
Eastern Cape Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas, who approved the reserves, said “We have yet to fully explore and exploit the ecotourism potential of our pristine areas in the province and we see this as a giant step towards achieving that goal.”
According to Jonas Mhlontlo Community is currently dependent on remittances such as welfare payments, subsistence agricultural production and income from the migrant labour system, and thus the Lambasi Nature Reserve will provide a new source of income for the area.
Jonas hopes that the addition of environmental management will prove a “catalyst” for the Eastern Cape’s largely rural economy, providing empowerment opportunities to help usher in more development according to the statement.