TRENDGROUP Construction has officially handed over the newly constructed Semonkong Visitor Comfort Facility to the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC).
The facility worth M60 million was handed over last Friday.
The state-of-the-art facility is overlooking the majestic Maletsunyane Falls, one of the world’s highest waterfalls and one of Lesotho’s best tourist attractions.
According to LTDC, acting chief executive officer (CEO) Sehlabaka Ramafikeng, the construction of the VCF began in 2018 and was finished in October 2019. However, due to demands for running water in their villages, the handover had to be stalled.
“The LTDC is excited to finally receive this beautiful facility which we had long been waiting for,” Mr Ramafikeng said.
“It wasn’t an easy journey as there were many challenges along the way. Construction of this facility began in 2018 and was finished in 2019 but due to various constraints, we are only receiving the keys today. We are nonetheless happy for everyone who stands to benefit from it.”
The property was designed by SM Consulting Engineers and constructed by Trendgroup Construction.
Lenka Mphafi, of SM Consulting Engineers, said the construction was hampered by excessive weather.
“We are honoured to be handing over this beautiful structure to the LTDC and the Semonkong community. It was not easy to construct this facility as we encountered harsh weather.
“The facility comprises a 120-seater conference hall, restaurant, museum, amphitheatre, offices, a horse stall with capacity of housing 12 horses and staff housing. The structure was constructed in line with the LTDC’s minimum requirements.
“We however, delayed in handing over the facility to the LTDC because towards the completion of the project, residents from the area demanded that we install water taps in their respective villages. We have now done this through the support from the LTDC and the Tourism, Environment and Culture ministry,” Mr Mphafi said.
The director of tourism in the Tourism ministry, ‘Mabolaoane Selinyane, said the handover was a great achievement for the LTDC.
“This handover is indeed a great feat for the LTDC and the Semonkong community. I look forward to the official opening ceremony of this facility and call on investors to build lodges around this area as the VCF doesn’t provide accommodation,” Ms Selinyane said.
Ha-Moahloli villager, Sekholomi Thejane, said while they were happy that their demand for water had been met, more still needed to be done.
“We are thankful for this facility. We are happy that we have taps in our villages. However, we are unhappy because the road still hasn’t been repaired, we don’t have electricity in our homes and don’t have the transformer that we asked for,” Mr Thejane said.
Seven water taps were erected in the villages of Ha-Moahloli, Tjoetsoane and Motse Mocha.