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South Africa: Minister Launches Botanical Garden in Eastern Cape
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, October 27, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 27, 2014

“The garden will be established in two phases. Today we mark the launch of the first phase, which is the proclamation of 160 ha portion of state land that formerly was part of the Kwelera Nature Reserve - into the natural portion of the Kwelera National Botanical Garden,” Minister Molelwa said.
She said the new garden formed part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Gardens Expansion Strategy, and work was currently underway to establish a new national botanical garden in the Limpopo Province.
The SANBI manages nine national botanical gardens spread across six provinces in South Africa.
Kwelera National Botanical Garden was South Africa’s tenth Botanical Garden and the first in the Eastern Cape.
“Through this garden we are creating an oasis of tranquillity here at Kwelera, allowing our people, many of who have never had access to such facilities before, to have an outlet for recreation and leisure.
“We are also laying the groundwork for the socio-economic upliftment of communities; and their advancement into the mainstream economy,” Minister Molelwa said.
The National Botanical Garden would be classified under the international definitions of botanical gardens as a ‘conservation garden’, which will contain, or have associated areas of natural vegetation.
She said this was in addition to cultivated collections that will be established on the land adjacent to the coastal dune forest of the Reserve.
“This area, which will form part of Phase 2, and which SANBI is currently busy acquiring, will include offices, research facilities, an education centre, visitor facilities, pathways, nursery facilities, boardwalks and demonstration gardens showcasing the breadth and diversity of the Eastern Cape’s botanical riches,” Minister Molelwa said.
She said it was hoped that the land would be acquired by SANBI in 2015 and incorporated into the existing Kwelera National Botanical Garden.
“It is envisaged that the development of these facilities will attract and host thousands of visitors to appreciate the beauty of this portion of the South-east African coastline,” Minister Molelwa said.
She said the Garden would pave the way for the growth of local tourism by linking with local and regional tourism initiatives as Jikeleza Tourism.
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