at uMlalazi mouth
will be 'ready for 2010'
multi-million rand hotel to be built inside an
uMhlathuze tribal authority that is expected to
be ready for 2010 has yet to start construction,
but the developers are confident they will make
the deadline, writes Jonathan Erasmus
in the Zululand Fever (17 July 2009).
Holiday Beach Resort presently occupies
the site of the proposed Sawubona Hotel
near Port Durnford.
'Serious biodiversity issues'
- KZN Wildlife
The proposed development of a large
hotel at the mouth of uMlalazi River raises
'serious biodiversity issues' according
to a report by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. It
also described the Environmental Scoping
Report produced for the Sawubona project
to be 'deficient' in its identification,
investigation and assessment of the ecology
of the proposed hotel site and its environment.
Ezemvelo previously did an Environmental
Impact Assessment of the site when the present
occupiers of the property, Shangri-La, wanted
to expand its resort by adding a further
seven accommodation units and an ablution
This application was rejected due to the
serious impact it would have on the sensitive
Given the nature of the proposed development
(which is considerably larger than anthing
Shangri-La ever envisaged), the proposed
development would be fatally flawed, the
report said. It would be unlikely to be
ecologically sustainable given the potential
for significant permanent and unavoidable
impact on critically important biodiversity.
uMlalazi estuary is rated in the top 25%
of estuaries in KZN by Ezemvelo and allowing
a development which would threaten that
status was not a feasible option.
Port Durnford development is part of aBEE R600-million
hotel chain to be called Sawubona Hotels and is
expected to accommodate almost 250 people in four
or five star accommodation.
Being financed by soccer tycoon Jomo Sono, who
already owns the Formula One Group as well as
a stake in the Southern Sun Group, Sawubona Hotel
project manager Happy Mphiphira said they are
still awaiting environmental approval which should
have been completed by the end of June.
'Change our plans'
'We believe we will be 2010 ready however we might
have to change our building plans to accommodate
the shortened time and the recommendations by
the environmental report,' said Mphiphira.
The site is on the north bank of the uMlalazi
River mouth, 20km south of Richards Bay and falls
within the Mkhwanazi Tribal Authority.
Authority spokesman Sipho Mkhwanazi said the community
would have liked the project to have started 'yesterday'
but they respect the due processes of government.
'The Mkhwanazi Tribal Authority is 100% behind
the project however we respect the relevant authorities
doing the necessary environmental assessments,'
The tribal authority has been promised a 40% stake
in the project as well as first preference and
training for employment opportunities.
hotel which was scheduled to break soil earlier
this year experienced a set-back when several
environmental bodies discarded the original scoping
report in March citing multiple omissions in the
'The document lacked necessary information such
as not giving detail of the project's footprint,
properly addressing service provision nor did
it appear to consider the Integrated Coastal Management
Act. However we are not objecting to the project
just monitoring that due process is followed,'
said WESAA KZN region EIA Co-ordinator Carolyn
surrounds multi-billion dollar theme park
proposed at Amatigulu mouth
East developers planning to build a multi-billion
dollar theme park on the Zululand coast
between Thukela River and the Amatigulu
River estuary have been very silent of late.
the announcement of the R44-billion 'unique
African' destination development - known
as Amazulu World - in October last year,
the project immediately fell foul of local
communities who would be seriously affected
by a development on this scale.
Its launch amidst great fanfare with apparent
endorsement of the Zulu monarch, King Zwelithini,
and the then Premier of KZN, Mr Sbu Ndebele,
revealed outrageous plans such as the erection
of a 106-m tall statue of King Shaka.
National Election Results
becomes Niger Delta for BBC film set
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