JOHANNESBURG - The Makhonjwa Mountains, known as the Barberton Greenstone Belt in Mpumalanga, have been added to the World Heritage Site list.
This brings the total South African sites up to 10.
The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism, Lusizo Sharon Makhubele-Mashele, said they are ecstatic.
The Makhonjwa Mountain range met the four criteria set for natural sites:
- The site contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty;
- The site has outstanding examples that represent the major stages of earth's history;
- The site has an outstanding example of significant ongoing ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of land and sea communities of plants and animals;
- The site contains the most important natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity.
The heritage site comprises 40 percent of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, one of the world’s oldest geological structures.
"We live in a country that is resplendent in natural beauty be it the mountains, beaches or forests which makes South Africa attractive to overseas tourists and to locals alike," said Makhubele-Mashele.
"We call on South African Tourism to market all the heritage sites in South Africa as tourism is one cornerstone of developing the economy and creating jobs for local people."
African News Agency