THE new road through the Kruger National Park to Mozambique will soon be opened.

Not only is it good news for holidaymakers, but Phalaborwa too is experiencing immense economic growth. Until now the town’s future has depended on the mines, but tourism is rapidly becoming more important.

The Phalaborwa road to the Kruger National Park stretches to Letaba, where it turns away to other camps.

As part of the Great Limpopo Transfromier Park with Mozambique and Zimbabwe, a road has been built from Letaba to the Mozambican border, as well as a border post.

The work on the South African side is just about completed, but construction work is still under way in Mozambique.

The road there has not been started yet. When the new road is completed. South Africans will be able to drive through the park to the beaches of Mozambique.

“Due to the importance of this conservation development it was recommended that this facility should be opened by the heads of state on a date to be determined by their availability,” said Ben van Eeden, the manager of the northern part of the park.

In the meantime, the route has also attracted the attention of investors and Phalaborwa is experiencing a property boom.

Chris Kruger of the Phalaborwa Trade and Tourism Board said: “We can see developers moving in from all over the country, as well as serious interest from overseas in buying property in Phalaborwa as a town. What we’ve seen previously was people investing in land outside town, but that has become very expensive.”

Phalaborwa already has 54 lodges. Three weeks ago an investor from Cape Town bought 200 sites and one of the lodges.

“We are also currently busy with negotiations with an outside investor to develop in Phalaborwa and we are looking at about R300 million, which he would invest in this area over the next three years,” said Amelia Bouwer, a Phalaborwa town marketer.

The expectations are that the border post will be opened between September and October. It will probably only be open from 5am until 4pm every day and no commercial traffic will be allowed.

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