The South African government has handed over a R40 million cheque to Lesotho for upgrade of the jolty 54km road connecting Sani Top with Mokhotlong. This part of programme to upgrade the Sani Pass road, a much debated initiative.The design phase is said to take 18 months, while the actual construction will take about 36 months.
The fund was officially handed over on April 9th, 2010 by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi. An excerpt from her speech:
"I would like to use this occasion, to remind ourselves that one of objectives we set for our countries in 2005, during the adoption of the TFCAs Strategy for 2010 and beyond, was to position the transfrontier parks as Southern African’s premiere international tourist destination. In adopting that strategy, we were aware of multiple challenges facing our countries, such as inaccessibility of our tourism attractions and lack of adequate resources to improve our tourism assets.
Accordingly, as we dared not to despair, we set our eyes on the horizon and made a promise to ourselves, that no matter how long and meandering the road looked, we shall not give up the goal of making the lives of our people better today than they were yesterday.
That being said, we are mindful of the fact that accumulation of financial resources as a means with which we can achieve our goals happens slowly, worsened by the recent global financial crisis. It is with that in mind, that our countries have prioritized development of infrastructure projects which have impact on more than one sector.
In that regard, the upgrading of Sani Pass Road linking Lesotho with the Province of KwaZulu-Natal became an obvious choice for a number of reasons. I take it for granted that we all know that we need good road infrastructure for facilitation of cross border movement of tourists and eco tourism development . Therefore, the two countries have prioritized the upgrading of the Sani Pass Road. The upgrading has been completed on the South African side. I would like to thank the African Renaissance Fund for availing R40 million for the upgrading of Sani Pass Road on the Lesotho side. Institutional arrangements will be put in place to ensure proper coordination of the project."