By Staff Reporter

Hoedspruit, Mpumalanga: The Mutlhwarheni Youth Primary Cooperative has sealed a stake in a multi-million rand luxury game lodge through grant funding from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The Mpumalanga based co-operative today officially launches the first 10 luxury suites at the Mont’Dor Orpen Kruger Lodge in a partnership with the Mont’Dor Clarens group which is set to not only change the lives of those in the co-op but reignite the Mpumalanga tourism sector.

Mont d’Or Clarens

The Orpen Kruger is based at the Orpen and Manyalethi gates of the Kruger National Park, a prime spot at the heart of Mpumalanga’s tourism hub which attracts both local and international tourists.

The milestone is a prime example of how public-private partnerships can work very well to build sectors and industries. The different spheres of government and business were pulled together to make this project work. “ For the IDC, The Orpen Kruger is one of the projects we are investing in to reignite the tourism sector post the damaging effects of the lockdown. It is part of our broader strategy to invest in the tourism value chain in Mpumalanga and revive a sector which is critical to the provincial economy,’ says Tshepo Ramodibe, Head of Corporate Affairs at the IDC.

Today marks a great highlight in the four-year history of this project. “The work to start this project commenced what seems like many moons ago. The onset of the national lockdown also put a serious spanner in the works for us, but we have managed to reach this great milestone today through the assistance of our partners, especially the IDC,” says Marnus Coetzee, Director at Mont’Dor Clarens.

True localisation was at the heart of establishing this luxury lodge. Local community members were hired in the construction phase of the project, which created 35 temporary jobs and now provides 15 permanent jobs for members of the community.

Mont d’Or Clarens

Today’s launch is a stepping stone towards a bright future for The Kruger Orpen. The lodge is already in talks to ramp up to the second phase of its plans which are set to introduce local game on the premises and add an additional 10 chalets which will create around more jobs for the local community.