Drakensberg Cable Car

10 Feb 2017 15:49 #70868 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car

tiska wrote: Or, more realistically: "the white elephant has left the circus".


:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

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11 Feb 2017 15:22 #70870 by Richard Hunt
Richard Hunt replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car
I wonder if anyone has calculated down time due to adverse weather/visibility, which could be as much as 75% in summer...huge winds in Aug/Sept and minus temps in winter!! Those that hike the escarpment on a regular basis understand this and those that never venture out of their cosy environments have no idea whats install for them! The mention that the cables pose no threats for birds is ridiculous!!! (He claimed that it is a myth that birds fly into cableways, and that they cause no environmental harm) There are only 109 breeding pairs of Bearded Vultures left, but what do they care!! One of the Bearded Vultures fitted with a transmitter is very active in the cable car area.

You cant compare other cable car examples in the world to a Drakensberg environment...... just reading through the report shows ignorance and stupidity!!

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14 Feb 2017 08:52 #70873 by Serious tribe
Serious tribe replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car
I may have brought this up before...and that is the question of security.

The attack that occurred early 2016 inland from the proposed upper cable station leads me to believe that there is potential for attacks on tourists disembarking from the cable car. That is unless the local people in Lesotho are going to benefit financially from the project. I am not aware that any of the perpetrators of that cowardly act have been brought to book yet. The Lesotho authorities seem not to have any interest in episodes like this, and I wonder if that will be the case when there is an international incident involving a foreign tourist who is attacked after getting off the cable car. Perhaps it will mean that they will have to start taking the security issues in that area seriously.

This is potentially space age technology to your local shepherd, and there is going to be huge curiosity around the upper cable way. I would say that not long thereafter, there might be an expectation that these tourists should provide some sweets to these shepherds. The rest of us know, that we don't just hand out sweets, unless there has been some form of transaction i.e. let me take your picture. We understand the code of conduct, how many tourists are going to.

Then there is the potential of tourists being bitten by the shepherds dogs, because they think that it is just the loving pup next door.

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14 Feb 2017 15:39 #70877 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car
I seem to recall the response on the question of security going something along the lines of "the cable car will bring better security to the area as there will be more people in the area" - or something like that. Nonetheless it was a point that was used in favour of the development.

I wonder about robberies or vandalism of equipment at the top station itself, i.e. at night or when it is closed.

My favourite was when we were told that people can go up the cable car and walk to Tugela Falls - which is considerably closer to Sentinel Car Park than the proposed upper station. More laughable is the notion of people taking a ride up and walking back down. 17km later they will reach Sentinel Car Park only to realise that they are a 200km drive from where they started. I guess they could hitch a ride down to Witsieshoek and walk the 10km to Mahai - but it is quite far for a casual hiker, and not doable in a day for the average person who would use a cable car.

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05 Jul 2017 17:28 #71827 by tiska
tiska replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car
When seen from the perspective of many of the recent Gupta revelations, particularly the one about firing up a dairy farm in the Free State to pay for the wedding of the century, the Cable Car project seems to be another gravy-train that would have our more local officials head off with their enormous share of the fiscal spoils. That's the only way I can understand the persistence of the Cable Car proposal in the face of all manner of oppositions, including the local community and the lack of overall economic viability. Interesting that it has quietened down recently.

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05 Jul 2017 19:54 #71828 by ghaznavid
ghaznavid replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car
They have been surprisingly quite recently - not sure if they don't want us to know what they are doing or if they are busy with bigger fish.

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16 Feb 2018 11:20 #72824 by tiska
tiska replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car

ghaznavid wrote: They have been surprisingly quite recently - not sure if they don't want us to know what they are doing or if they are busy with bigger fish.


And the silence continues.

With the 20/20 vision of hindsight, it seems more and more probable in some people's minds that the economically unlikely and much resisted cable car project was another example of politicians trying to get on to the big-money-tender bandwagon in order to secure their bit of top-sliced backhanders from uncompetitive tenders awarded to their mates. And, in this case, with a world tour to 'find out about' cable cars thrown in mahala. With arrests for corruption starting to take pace (11 or so yesterday in the Gupta dairy-wedding fraud, the Free-State MEC today on charges of tender fraud), you'd hope that the so-called champions of the cable car project will at least continue to lie low.

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16 Feb 2018 12:09 #72825 by no4stopper
no4stopper replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car
Apologies in advance for the political spiel about to follow but it helps understand what is really going on.

In the first quarter of last year there was a massive belt tightening exercise in all government departments. As such I believe that there is no money to continue to pursue this at this time.
Subsequently, as you may know from the press, the validity of the ANC elective conference in KZN was challenged in court and the ruling of the court was that it was not valid. From that invalid conference, Sihle Zikalala was elected as ANC KZN Chairman, and given the job of MEC for Economic Development, tourism and agriculture, ousting the previous incumbent who was the real Cable Car champion (Mike Mabulakulu). As such, much of the Provincial government is without proper leadership. The court decision is pending appeal and the National ANC has implemented a provincial task team (PTT) to resolve the impasse. Both Zikalala and Mabuyakulu hold top leadership positions in this PTT. However Mabuyakulu was arrested on corruption charges just recently (not the first time this has happened, but last time they were dropped). These charges may have been politically orchestrated, but maybe there is no smoke without fire..... I don't think either of them are driving the cable car project as their minds are elsewhere.

So I don't think you will see any action on the cable way any time soon but what is likely to revive it will be the campaigning for 2019 elections. In reality it will be purely a vote winning exercise with little progress being made for the following reasons:
  • The economy is weak and money is really tight and likely to remain so for quite a while. As we all know the financial viability of the project stand alone is very poor. It will require massive government financial support to even attract partial private sector buy in.
  • The new national president is likely to be on a mission to stamp out corruption appointing people who have better morals and ethics than the present bunch, so we can hope that the major role players are going to be concentrating elsewhere on service provision and not white elephant projects.
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16 Feb 2018 12:59 #72826 by tiska
tiska replied to: Drakensberg Cable Car
Thanks for the details No4stopper.

Here is more on the arrest of Mike Mabuyakhulu on 7 Feb 2018:

www.iol.co.za/sunday-tribune/news/breaking-kzn-anc-leader-mike-mabuyakhulu-arrested-13147590

The Cable Car champion is accused of fraud, corruption and money laundering.

The article explains that the "charges are understood to stem from the R28 million the KZN government forked out in 2012 for a music North Sea Jazz Festival in Durban which never happened".

I wonder how much cash fell his way for the cable car?

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