Durban set for small craft harbour

20 February 2009

The construction of a small craft harbour at Durban’s Point Waterfront is expected to attract investment capital in excess of R6-billion to the province.

Delivering his 2009 state of the province address on this week, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele said the small craft harbour would also create 6 000 to 8 000 direct new jobs during construction, and 6 000 permanent jobs once operational.

“This excludes the thousands of indirect jobs created as a result of an investment project of this scale,” Ndebele told the provincial legislature.

He added that once completed, the development would increase the rates base of eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality by more than R100-million per annum.

Mixed-use precinct

The development will comprise approximately 575 000 bulk square metres across a variety of usage types, including office, residential, retail and hotels, Ndebele said.

According to Business Report, the development is being carried out by the Durban Point Development Company, a joint venture between Rocpoint, a subsidiary of Malaysian group Renong, and the Durban Infrastructural Development Trust, owned by the eThekwini Municipality. Metallon Properties has a contract to manage the development.

At present, about 200 000 bulk square metres of this has been sold, representing virtually the entire stock of zoned land available prior to this week’s go-ahead from the province’s Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs.

“We foresee it becoming a safe, clean and vibrant environment, where all citizens, irrespective of class or race, can enjoy the best which Durban has to offer,” Ndebele said. “In short, we expect it to be on par with leading harbour rejuvenation projects around the world.”

The decision to go ahead with the project, he explained, was consistent with the provincial government’s vision to position KwaZulu-Natal as one of the continent’s major growth nodes.

Objections

A number of local watersport clubs had objected to the development on environmental and social grounds.

According to the Daily News, a settlement was reached between the Durban Point Development Company and three watersport clubs in November, resulting in the Point Yacht Club, Durban Ski-Boat Club and Durban Undersea Club being relocated to a nearby site.

The Durban Paddle Ski Club did not sign the agreement, however, and is currently studying the record of decision before deciding on what legal avenues to pursue.

SAinfo reporter and BuaNews

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