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Tourism Committee welcomes the declaration of Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains as a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The Portfolio Committee on Tourism has welcomed the declaration of the Makhonjwa Mountains, known as the Barberton Greenstone Belt in Mpumalanga as South Africa's 10th World Heritage Site. It comprises 40% of the BarbertonGreenstone Belt, one of the world's oldest geological structures. The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains represents the best-preserved succession of volcanic and sedimentary rockdating back 3.6 to 3.25 billion years, when the first continents were starting to form on the primitive earth. It features meteor-impact fallback breccias resulting from the impact of
meteorites formed just after the Great Bombardment (4.6 to 3.8 billion years ago).

The Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Lusizo Sharon Makhubele-Mashele said that, "the Committee is ecstatic as the Makhonjwa Mountain range in Mpumalanga has met the fourcriteria set for natural sites, which are that a site contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty, has outstanding examples that represent the major stagesof earth's history, is an outstanding example of significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of land and sea communities of plants and animals
and contains the most important natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity.

We live in a country that is resplendent in natural beauty be it the mountains, beaches or forests which makes South Africa attractive to overseas tourists and to locals alike. We callon South African Tourism (SAT) to market all the heritage sites in South Africa as tourism is one cornerstones of developing the economy and creating jobs for local people.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.
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