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"I used to stay in the hotel's backroom with my mother while she worked, now I own it..."

Updated: Jul 22

Blue Crane Mine makes significant strides in empowering Indwe community through job creation and economic development.

Blue Crane Mine, a crushed stone supplier for road construction projects in Indwe under the Chris Hani region, shared its commitment to the welfare of the Indwe community by spearheading initiatives that create jobs and stimulate economic activities. The mine, which has been instrumental in supplying high-quality crushed stone to road construction projects has now diversified its operations and acquired a hotel that aims at creating a tourist destination out of Indwe.

Two of the eight directors of Blue Crane Mine joined the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) Business Breakfast that took place on Thursday, 13 July 2023, in the Chris Hani Region, a session where the ECDC shared its 2023/24 financial year development plans to its key stakeholders and the business community in the region. Giving a testimony to the growth of the business, one of the Directors and Chairperson of the mine Mr. Mcebisi Limba shared their journey with the ECDC, which started in 2012, where they were assisted with a Feasibility Study that led to their receipt of the mining permits from the Department of Minerals and Resources, “a permit that allowed our business to start trading as a supplier of crushed stones to construction companies, with the main clients being the road construction companies.”

The business was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ECDC came in aid with the Job Stimulus Fund, saving just under 10 jobs, leading to a quick recovery and the acquisition of a 33-bedroom hotel in Indwe Town, about 7 kilometres from the Blue Crane Mine.

Mr Limba shared his story, with those of his business partners. His mother worked at the hotel while he would wait for her in the back rooms. He never saw the inside of the hotel until the day they bought it.

"I use to stay in the hotel's backroom with my mother while she worked, now I own it with the Blue Crane Mine Directors." - Mcebisi Limba

“We are determined to revitalise the hotel into a bustling centre of tourism, providing extraordinary opportunities for community members while supplementing the local economy. Our mission at Blue Crane Mine has always been to uplift the Indwe community and create a sustainable future," said Limba. "With the acquisition of this hotel and our plans to enhance it, we aim to tap into Indwe's abundant tourism potential while generating employment opportunities and fostering economic growth within our community."

The Blue Crane Mine has applied for Star Grading Assessment with the Tourism Grading Council with a vision to showcase the rich cultural heritage, captivating natural landscapes,

and warm hospitality unique to Indwe.

The hotel will not only create employment opportunities across various sectors but also serve as a launchpad for various economic activities, such as local tours, boutique shopping experiences, and immersive cultural exchanges. These initiatives will not only boost tourism but also foster the growth of small businesses in the community.

Speaking at the Business Breakfast, the ECDC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ayanda Wakaba said, the mining activities contribute to the economic development of the region. “This development can be understood from various perspectives including job creation and improved living standards; industrial linkages where opportunities are created for local businesses operating in the same eco-system; local communities benefiting from revenue sharing through reliance of mining companies in the goods and services provided by local businesses. To this effect, the ECDC, through its various business development programmes, continues to support Blue Crane Mine to ensure its sustainability.”

Also joining the session was Mandlenkosi Phakade, Director of Q4 Mining based in Ngcobo. Q4 is currently undergoing the process of securing a Feasibility Study for mining operation permits, with potential business lining up.

Both these mines are testament to Mr. Simphiwe Somdyala, ECDC Board Deputy Chairperson’s words, that the Chris Hani region is endowed with assets yet to be discovered through the collaboration of Chris Hani District Municipality and all local municipalities, and the ECDC’s newly formed unit for Economic Development and Sector Support.

“The ECDC Economic Development and Sector Support Unt is multifaced and crucial for overall economic growth for the Eastern Cape, and the region. It plays a pivotal role in driving development and promotion of sustainable economic activities by providing technical assistance, and expertise to various sectors, including mining with operations such as those in the Blue Crane Mine.” Mr. Somdyala

Issued by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation

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