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ECDC: Statement by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, leads the development South Africa’s first “green” hotel at the Wild Coast (08/04/2013)

8th April 2013


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Development financier,  the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) has committed R1 million of its own funds towards the construction of South Africa’s first ever “green” hotel at Elliotdale in the Wild Coast.

Coming  at a cost of R50 million, the 100-room Nkanya Lodge will be the first of its kind where the energy generated will be from entirely green sources such as wind and solar. The hotel concept emphasises a Wild Coast experience which the rivers, bird life, sites and hiking trails which are surrounded by the villages.

Nkanya  Lodge is the realisation of a vision of four members of Nkanya village who approached ECDC with the idea of establishing a hotel in the area. The financier conducted a feasibility study which indicated the investment would be feasible.

“ECDC has already spent R1 million for a feasibility study for the hotel, environmental impact assessment as well as a site development plan. Lionsroar has already been appointed as the operator of the hotel.

“The four community members have also secured a development partner, Phambili Property Developers. The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has committed R25 million towards the project. Other partners such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have been approached to pump in an additional R25 million,” says ECDC development projects manager Phakamisa George.

George  says an access road to the site is already being developed. The development includes the hotel, one kilometre landing strip, four wind turbines to generate electricity as well as solar panels on all 23 buildings.

“The airstrip should cater for business people who want to fly in and out and have a Wild Coast experience. The hotel will have a resident ski boat for river trips and a sea experience. About 55 jobs will be created during construction growing to 134 during operation. A cooperative in the village will supply the bricks to the hotel,” George explains.

George  says interest in the Wild Coast has increased after Tourism Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk urged infrastructure investment in the area to stimulate the local tourism sector. During his visit at Morgan’s Bay late last year, Van Schalkwyk looked at challenges affecting tourism at the Wild Coast.

“The Minister found that infrastructure was poor and the marketing of the Wild Coast would require concurrent infrastructure investment such as roads, water, electricity, sanitation as well as communication networks. He called on all entities to prioritise this area and to mobilise resources,” says George.

George  adds that ECDC has also moved to improve its two hotels Oceanview and Coffee Bay Hotels at the Wild Coast. From April last year, Crawford Cabins was appointed as the new operator of Oceanview Hotel which resulted in improvements and a facelift to the hotel.

“In the past the hotel was turning about R250 000 a month, but this figure increased to R5 million in December as well as increased occupancy rates. Government has resurfaced the tarred road from the N2 in Mthatha to Coffee Bay. This has also increased occupancy rates at Coffee Bay Hotel. Two major hotel groups have been shortlisted to operate the hotel,” George adds.



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