The residents of Nzhelele, Limpopo have made a plea to the government to resurrect the abandoned Mphephu Resort.

The Resort is managed by the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment, and Tourism [LEDET]. It featured a naturally heated pool, two regular swimming pools, a hot spring, a large park, a disco, and well-equipped accommodation facilities.

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A community leader has told Limpopo Mirror that they feel disrespected and hurt by the government for abandoning the resort.

“They are not respecting our heritage. This resort was our pride and a tourist attraction,” Samuel Lusunzi told the publication.

“It also provided valuable knowledge, like where this hot water originates. We have to travel all the way to Durban for entertainment. But we want people to come here for entertainment and to enjoy this place.”

“Our children now have to travel far just to swim for a day, even though we have this beautiful resort in our area. We have written a letter to the MEC [Rodgers Monama], informing him that we are willing to renovate the resort ourselves.

Nzhelele residents want abandoned Mphephu Resort resurrected
Nzhelele Mphephu Resort

“Our community has all the skills required to run this resort. Our children have gone to school and are employable. We have security guards, chefs, bartenders, lifeguards, managers, assistants, and more. The Vhembe community is more than capable of managing the resort without government assistance,” he said.

MPHEPHU RESORT IN NZHELELE ABANDONED

The facility, which has now become a shadow of itself, was also used as a venue for meetings, matric farewells, and entertainment events. It was opened in 1989 by former Venda President Frank Ravele. The Limpopo government renovated the facility in 2009 under then-Premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi.

According to a report by Limpopo Mirror, heavy rains in 2021 badly damaged the access bridge to the resort. But there was no subsequent effort to repair the bridge.

The facility is now in a dilapidated state, resembling nothing more than a sad, white elephant. The park’s once-vibrant lawns and gardens now lie dead and untended, the swimming pools have dried up and become dirty, and some of the buildings have been vandalised.