Progress on turning Mandela Capture Site into top attraction

The Nelson Mandela Capture Site is set to be put even more firmly on the map when two brown tourism signs are erected on the N3 to show travellers the right direction.

Blessing Manale, spokesperson for the Department of Tourism, said signs have been completed and will be placed at the approach to Exit 107 Howick (North) and at the Tweedie interchange.

Both signs will be installed at the end of the month, with an inspection to take place next month.

Brown road signs advertise, among others, tourism spots. But there was difficulty getting one installed on the N3 because certain guidelines in the road traffic manual did not allow for a sign for this particular tourist site.

The DA’s Gregory Krumbock, the deputy shadow minister of tourism, who has long promoted installing a sign on the highway, said: “The road traffic manual says if there is another road that takes you to your destination, then signage has to be on that road.

“So the brown sign could not be on the N3, and rather had to be on the R103, which takes you to the site.”

Krumbock said various bodies and government departments have been battling for a brown sign for the capture site for about seven years.

He said the process for the sign went through several delays, but it was finally agreed to recently and parts of the road traffic signs manual was amended.

Krumbock said the brown sign could be a massive boost for Howick tourism.

“Four million cars pass the N3 every year, and, with a sign, they will be directed through Howick. That traffic will now come to Howick, to the Capture Site, and to places like the [Howick] Falls, which will be a major boost for the local economy.”

The main hall looking towards the entrance of the Mandela Capture Site museum.

Meanwhile, a new museum at the Capture Site continues to be built, with more upgrades in store.

KZN Tourism acting CEO Phindile Makwakwa said the Department of Tourism has allocated funding to KZN Tourism for more developments expected to be completed by December.

She said developments will include an increase in the number of parking bays, improved landscaping, and to tar the gravel road that leads into the capture site.

“We can’t put a price to it yet as the tender process is not yet done,” she said. “The upgrades will make the site more attractive.”

Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson for the KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), told The Witness that work continues at the Capture Site to realise the original plans when the site was first unveiled.

“We want to keep people in suspense for the new upgrades,” he said. “This site is also important for uMgungundlovu, which is where many icons come from. It’s an important place for our history,” he added.