Go-ahead for King Shaka airport

27 March 2006

Construction on Durban’s new international airport, King Shaka International, is set to begin in 2007.

The go-ahead came after the resolution last week of a land dispute between the provincial government and the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa).

The airport will from part of an industrial development zone at La Mercy north of the city, to be managed by Dube Tradeport.

‘Exciting phase’
Dube Tradeport CE Rohan Persad said last week that Acsa had signed a memorandum of understanding with the national transport department and the provincial government.

“We have reached an exciting phase in the realisation of a dream of a world-class facility on the African continent. More importantly, this project is a catalyst for economic development and sustainable job creation in KwaZulu-Natal,” Persad told Business Day.

Acsa will manage the airport for the first ten years, with an option to buy at a later stage.

2010 World Cup
The airport, first planned 35 years ago, is due to be completed in 2009 ahead of the 2010 Football World Cup.

It is expected to cost in the region of R2 bil.

Durban’s existing international airport south of the city is the smallest of South Africa’s three international airports. The runway is too short to allow a fully-laden Boeing 747 to take off.

KwaZulu Natal Finance and Economic MEC Zweli Mkhize said in March that four tenders for the airport’s construction had been received, and the the winning bidder would be announced in September. Construction would start early in the new year.

southafrica.info reporter