Power lines 'an eyesore'

ESKOM power lines still intrude on the cultural landscape of the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site - three years after it had been decided to relocate them.

ESKOM power lines still intrude on the cultural landscape of the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site - three years after it had been decided to relocate them.

The power lines were erected before Mapungubwe - where the borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana meet - was declared a world heritage site in 2004.

The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape became South Africa's fifth World Heritage site in July 2003 and in May 2004 it was officially announced as the Mapungubwe National Park.

Mapungubwe was used as a power route and to tap water from the Limpopo River.

According to a United Nations Education Scientific Council and government arrangement made three years ago, the power lines that stretched from the river to farms and industrial sites in the province were supposed to be removed.

However, the relocation of the intrusive power lines is said to be very expensive.

Conservation authorities and other stakeholders in Limpopo province are due to meet with Eskom to come up with a solution that will ensure that the heritage site remains pristine.

Mapungubwe World Heritage Site chief executive Tshimangadzo Nemaheni said discussions with all stakeholders would be held soon.

"We are going to hold discussions with Eskom and all other stakeholders to plan the way forward. Already, we anticipate that the relocation of the power lines will be difficult and very expensive," he said.

Mapungubwe is expected to attract a large number of tourists to the province during the 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer.

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