The Witbank Dam is said to be the largest municipal dam in South Africa and was identified as one of the tourism product development nodes in Mpumalanga. As part of the province’s tourism growth strategy, the Emalahleni Municipality’s key focus area is the revamping and development of this facility into a theme and amusement park. The project is part of the Local Economic Development commitments of the Zeekoewater Quarry for 2018-2022.

Afrisam’s Community Development Specialist Mathapelo Sehloho said: “AfriSam’s overall community upliftment mission is to understand the needs of the society and communities in areas where we do business to make meaningful and sustainable contributions to their upliftment as well as long-term development.”

The resort is ideal for swimming and is popular for watersports such as skiing, windsurfing and fishing. This was once a thriving resort, but has come under increasing criticism due to the degradation of the facilities. The biggest challenge faced by the municipality, as outlined in the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), is the lack of funding for the upgrading of tourism facilities owned by the municipality.

For the implementation of this project, AfriSam contracted local enterprises for construction, and specialists in manufacturing, supply and installation of water slides were sourced nationally.  The project experienced serious delays with the lack of specialised skills locally for the waterslide, and the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.

The project included, among others, dismantling the old water slide, replacing the fibreglass components and the steel structures, refurbishing the water pumps and valves and assembling and installing the new water slide. The big swimming pool was walls and floor were refurbished with new marblite coating and paving. A new children’s play area was set up in full view of the life guard stations which were also revamped.

“We are delighted to have contributed towards the tourism sector in Mpumalanga as the country endeavours to recover from the economic slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  We believe the Mpumalanga Recreational Resort-Swimming Pool and Waterslide Supertube project will play a vital role in achieving our objective,” added Sehloho.

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