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The Sekhukhune Development Agency is improving the Schuinsdraai Nature Reserve, on the banks of the Flag Boshielo Dam. The dam is popular for fishing while the reserve offers game viewing.

SDA CEO Sephaka Motswiane plans to introduce water sports to Flag Boshielo DamSDA CEO Sephaka Motswiane plans to introduce water sports to Flag Boshielo Dam
15 self-catering rondavels overlook the dam15 self-catering rondavels overlook the dam

2 April 2013

Plans to improve Schuinsdraai Nature Reserve to meet the increasingly sophisticated expectations of today's visitors are under way.

The Sekhukhune Development Agency (SDA) is also taking steps to promote the 9 037ha nature reserve, which lies north of the town of Marble Hall, in the Sekhukhune District Municipality in Limpopo. The agency was set up by the district municipality and the Industrial Development Corporation to leverage sustainable local economic development in the region.

The nature reserve surrounds the Flag Boshielo Dam, a popular destination for anglers because of its abundant fish species, which include the world-renowned carp. Visitors to the area include university students studying nature-related subjects, overseas and local tourists.

A top priority for the SDA is to turn Flag Boshielo Dam into a greater tourism drawcard. Its chief executive officer, Sephaka Motswiane, said his agency was planning to introduce water sports to the dam. "We plan to introduce various forms of water sports on the vast dam. This will not only improve the local economy but also generate employment on a large scale."

Tambotie Ridge Lodge, part of the Schuinsdraai Nature Reserve, has about 15 self-catering rondavels that overlook the dam, providing spectacular views.

At present, a bar, restaurant and swimming pool entertainment area are being constructed by Limpopo Wildlife Resorts to upgrade the facility. A conference hall accommodating 200 people will also form part of the project, along with the extension of the Schuinsdraai game fence towards Marble Hall to cover critical areas of the resort and to monitor visitors to the dam.

Motswiane said development of the dam would only start after stakeholders agreed on the best model of business. "Our strategic intent is [that] the dam becomes a tool for the empowerment and socio-economic prosperity of the people of Sekhukhune," said Motswiane, adding that the renovations to the nature reserve would create 40 employment opportunities for local residents.

There is a controlled crocodile population in the dam, while at Schuinsdraai there is kudu, impala, eland, warthog and rare roan antelope.

Casper Chauke, the general assistant at Tambotie Ridge Lodge, said Schuinsdraai Nature Reserve was often busy over weekends and on public holidays. "This place is largely popular because of the dam. Many people come here to hold weddings, parties and gala dinners," said Chauke.

Other activities offered at the reserve are self-game drives, bird watching and walking safaris.

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