from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – DURBAN is poised to become a world-class tourism city, continental economic powerhouse as well as a water sport and recreation mecca in the coming months.
The South African port city will also showcase and celebrate the unique cultures of the continent through art, music and architecture.
These are the objectives of the partnership between the EThekwini Municipality, Transnet and the Provincial Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) Department to transform the Durban Bay Waterfront and Marina into an economic and tourism asset.
These developments have been integrated within Transnet National Port Authorities’ Port of Durban’s approved Master Plan.
Still in its inception phase, the development is expected to include four and five-star hotels, a museum, an exhibition centre, science centre, retail mall, apartments and an African cultural centre.
“The objectives of the Marina development are to promote world-class tourism, develop Durban and the Port of Durban as a water sport and recreation mecca, provide viable and sustainable commercial development opportunities with maximum public access, and provide positive linkages and interactions between the yacht basin and the inner city,” the municipality stated.
This is hailed as an opportunity to turn the economy of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa around while also transforming industries, prioritising African people and ensuring that the economic spin-offs are felt here at home first.
Lindiwe Khuzwayo, EThekwini Head of Communications, said, “The development will venture include five star hotels, a museum, exhibition centre, a science centre, a mall and apartment.”
The Port Master Plan embraces Transnet’s new approach to strategic thinking where the segment strategies represent a fundamental change for Transnet ─ away from a divisional, modal service offering to strategic participation and structured collaboration in integrated commodity supply chains.
The Port of Durban is the third largest port in Africa and the largest port in terms of container handling and volume of vessels in the continent.
Its proximity to Sub-Saharan African markets (300 million people within Southern African Development Community-SADC) regional bloc presents KwaZulu-Natal in general, and Durban in particular, as the gateway into the SADC region while also improving freight movement efficiency between Durban and its port hinterland, Gauteng and the SADC region.
– CAJ News