The Chamber is:

  an independent, non-political, subscription-based association dedicated to promoting a business-friendly environment;

  an impartial, credible non-profit association, which enables it to negotiate contracts and secure funding for projects that benefit its community;

  comprised of members from every sector of the economy, ranging from small entrepreneurs to large corporates;

  involved in a number of initiatives to promote regional development, enterprise and skills development, training and business advisory services




Batobic to deliver


30 March 2011 - Barberton Times

Since the implementation of the Barberton Tourism and Biodiversity Corridor Programme (BATOBIC) by the Barberton Chamber of Business in association with the National Department of Tourism commenced in September 2010 it has put an end to years of talk and no action. A tender was advertised in Barberton Times last year to assist in developing a sustainable, nature based, adventure and cultural tourism area in what is termed the Tourism and Biodiversity Corridor area that stretches from Kaapmuiden in the east through Barberton to Badplaas in the west.

V&L Landscape Architects situated in Pretoria was appointed by BATOBIC to undertake three projects aimed at developing regional tourism through the development of routes and nodes. The public was recently invited to a meeting at the town hall where Mandy van der Westhuizen and Peter Velcich laid a plan of action on the table for discussion and input. They have undertaken three projects aimed at developing regional tourism through the development of routes and nodes. The first is for the establishment of a geotrail along the Barberton/Bulembu Road. According to Van der Westhuizen this section of road boasts a number of cuttings exposed by the new road construction, which was also facilitated by the Barberton Chamber of Business. She showed examples of what they would suggest be done to best exhibit examples of the unique geology of the Barberton-Makhonjwa Mountain Land World Heritage Site.

The project scope entails identifying selected geological exposures and viewing sites along the route, the design of facilities at these sites, the acquisition of relevant approval by the roads authorities, and the implementation of the designs. In addition, marketing material will be developed to support the geotrail. The second project entails the upgrading and beautification of the two main access intersections into Barberton – one being at Medi-Clinic and the other at the turn-off leading to Emjindini. This includes the re-design of these intersections, the acquisition of relevant approvals by the municipal and roads authorities, and the implementation of the designs. A further aspect of the project is the rationalization of tourist and advertising signage at these intersections in an effort to eliminate clutter and create better legibility. Signage at both intersections has been a sore eye for many years and many of them are indeed illegal and will have to be removed. The third project is the establishment of a recognized Tourist Route and its associated signage along a figure-eight route incorporating the main anchor towns of Barberton, Badplaas and Low’s Creek. The roads include primarily the R38, the R40, the R541 as well as a few unnumbered and unpaved roads.

The project further includes an assessment of existing tourism signage (brown tourism signs) and tourist amenities (services, attractions and accommodation) along the route. Building on the assessments, a tourism signage plan will be developed for the route, complete with sign face designs. The project also involves the acquisition of relevant approvals by the roads authorities and the erection of selected tourist signs, as well as the branding of the route and the development of limited marketing material. Velcich explained the process of developing a distinguishable brand for the route and presented the rout name, theme, slogan and logo to those attending and it was very well received by everyone.

The big question was when all of this will start and the answer was within the next four months. If you would like to receive any relevant information on these projects you can register your name and contact details with Mandy van der Westhuizen at  or Mark Ngwenyama at the BATOBIC office at 

Mandy van der Westhuizen and Peter Velcich of V+L Landscape Architects