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Submitted by mahesh_admin on July 16, 2023
Bioprospecting Ecological Infrastructure
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Maloti Thaba Tsa Metsi Protected Area
Short Description
The Maloti community is a successful community-driven biodiversity conservation model and agent for socio-economic development through collaborative nature-based economic activity.


To expand protected areas and strengthen their management, improve access to remote areas, including access to education; develop mechanisms to manage human-environment conflict and utilise mountain water sources in a more integrated highland-lowland interaction.

Investment Range / ROI

R5 Million - R20 Million 
ROI - 12% pa

Public or Private Sector

This is a Private Sector Opportunity

Investment Readiness

Environment & Social Impact

• Ecotourism Development
• Job Creation
• Skills Development
• SMME Development
• Socio-economic Development
• Expansion of Protected Areas 


Investment Opportunity at a Glance


Land Ownership and Governance

Land Ownership

Land Restitution process underway
The protected area comprises of six Traditional Authorities, consisting of about 62 farms.


Governance Structure

Community Property Association
Joint Venture partnership

Land Size

49 797 Hectares


Eastern Cape

Investment Opportunity Assessment

Ecological Infrastructure

Core Operations

  • Invasive alien plant clearing and harvesting
  • Invasive alien plant benefaction
  • Water value chain



Wattle tree beneficiation.
Piping infrastructure for pumping water from the higher mountain.

Investment Opportunities


  • Management of Water Conservation (Harvesting dams, spring protection, reticulation) bottled water sales
  • Rangeland Management, Building of Firebreaks, roads, paddocks & feedlots
  • Building a beef and mutton throughput abattoir      
  • Sheep rearing and shearing (stock, feed, shearing, meat, distribution)
  • Developing Aquaculture to establish fish and crocodile farms  
  • Purchase of equipment for eradicating Invasive species & biomass beneficiation
  • Marketing budget for hiking trails and camping hides
  • Training, skills development, & capacity building  is required for 6 communities

Investment Requirements


Investment Range Required
R5 million - R20 million

Type of Investment Required
Capital Expenditure
Infrastructure Funding
Working Capital

Funding Type for Financial Requirements
Equity, Debt, Grant

Non-Financial Requirements
Technical services
Capacity building

Value Proposition and Enablers


Value Proposition

  • Close proximity to a popular World Heritage Site, namely Maloti Drakensberg Park
  • Protected Biodiversity Stewardship Site
  • Unique landscape, biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Task Team in place trained to eradicate alien species in the area
  • The site has vast water supplies
  • Community-owned land with no legal disputes


Key  Enablers

  • Initiate and manage  water conservation and complementary nature-based business ventures; protecting and harnessing the natural water sources in the Maluti and Drakensberg mountains
  • Enhance existing community and socio-economic development initiatives
  • Develop a regenerative biodiversity business model to complement the ecotourism and recreation offering

Business Operations

Ecological infrastructure


Primary Customers


Local butcheries and meat consumers, sheep farmers, retailers, wool brokers and tourists.

Active Business Entities


Voluntary Association consisting of two representatives from each of the Traditional Authorities, ERS acting as a secretariat to provide administrative support, and relative specialists to assist with various responsibilities.

About this Opportunity


Maloti is a composite site consisting of about 62 farms, located in the Alfred Nzo District, Eastern Cape Province, in the lesser explored southern Drakensberg region, this site lies 70 kilometres from Kokstad, at the nexus of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and southern Lesotho.

The protected area comprises six Traditional Authorities, which form the core of the Management Authority for the declared Protected Environment. The name ‘Maloti Thaba Tsa Metsi’ was decided on by the Traditional Authority leaders together with stakeholders from the UCP support partners.

The anchor business is based on mobilising people around water conservation and linking it directly to socio economic development initiatives and revenue generating business.

The six Maloti chieftains and their people recognize that water is the source of life, given that mountain areas generate high precipitation and discharge essential water supplies into river systems, and water bodies.