The richly endowed town of Barberton in Mpumalanga has been remembered by the public sector which plans to join forces to uplift the town to its past glory and also make it the perfect destination for tourists.
Barberton which was founded in the 1880s is situated in the De Kaap Valley, about 40 km from Mbombela.
The little gold mining town of Barberton can boast of several firsts – the first stock exchange in the old Transvaal – the entrance of which has been preserved, as well as the first double storey building in the province.
There is clear evidence that the little town of Barberton has become the choice of the private sector as one tours through the town. There are renewed efforts to restore dilapidated buildings to their lost glory, while new shops and businesses are springing up.
Marketing Manager of Barberton Tourism Astrid Christianson, is full of praises for the town, naming the natural endowments surrounding then and the lots of things being put in place to make it convenient for more visitors and residents to come to this little town.
“We are surrounded by 360 degrees mountains. We have the very, very first life forms on planet earth. You’re not going to see it anywhere else in the world. Our geology, anthropology, palaeontology, fauna and flora, you name it we’ve got it. I’m very, very happy to say that all the old buildings are being restored beautifully.
In the township I’ve got some beautiful places I can go and show you. We’ve got a little township tour that we’re putting together. Amazing. I love my work because of where I live.”
Christianson added that a new off-road touring business called Dusty Tracks is already taking local and overseas visitors to show them round the beautiful town of the Barberton.
The town invites both local investors and foreign investors, and has captured the heart of Danielle Vermeeren from Belgium. She and her partner opened the fine dining Belgian Restaurant, Josephine’s, in one of the town’s main roads.
Christianson, says business owners and residents in the town are very proud that their little town is being given a new life. A lot more is being planned as she says and soon the little town will be the ultimate destination in South Africa where tourists and locals will both benefit.