Agreement paves way for new Durban Cruise Terminal

Ross Volk, Nkululeko Mchunu, Gianluca Suprani (all of KwaZulu Cruise Terminal), Siyabonga Gama (Transnet Group Chief Executive), Moshe Motlohi (Acting COO of Transnet National Ports Authority) and Shulami Qalinge (Chief Executive of Transnet National Ports Authority).

TRANSNET National Ports Authority has concluded an agreement that will see KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT) finance, construct, operate, maintain and transfer a new Cruise Terminal Facility in the Port of Durban by October 2020.

The parties signed off on this R200 million-plus project at an official ceremony on Monday, 16 April.

KCT was announced last year as the preferred bidder for the 25-year concession project. The company is a joint venture between MSC Cruises SA and Africa Armada Consortium, an investment company that empowers its black financiers through participation in economic activities, in particular port and logistics developments.

“We are delighted to have concluded terms that will bring benefits to all parties, but most importantly to the City of Durban and South Africa as a growing cruise destination. In doing so, we will truly be positioning Durban as a ‘Smart Port City’ and a world-class cruise capital,” said TNPA Chief Executive, Shulami Qalinge. 

Transnet SOC Limited Group Chief Executive, Siyabonga Gama, added: “In a few years, we will witness the rise of a much-needed brand new cruise terminal for Durban. In its wake, jobs will be created, new technologies implemented and tourism numbers boosted for Durban and for our country.”

Representing KCT, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “This agreement represents a great development for MSC Cruises’ South Africa operation, we could not be prouder. It will also be a major stepping stone for Durban, paving the way for a bright common future for the cruise industry and the city. Not only will this ensure a continued growth for cruising here in Durban, and in the whole of Southern Africa. It will also result in measurable positive socioeconomic effects for the city: we will create many jobs, both during its construction and the operation. This new terminal will also help further develop Durban as an international tourist destination.”

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The project is expected to dovetail with the City’s latest work to extend the beachfront promenade from uShaka beach southwards to the harbour entrance, as well as the development of Durban Point Waterfront.

The detailed design phase will commence in April and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. This will be followed by an 18-month construction phase from January 2019 to July 2020 and the cruise terminal is expected to commence operations in October 2020 kicking off the 2020/2021 cruise season.

In the event of any unforeseen delays, TNPA and KCT’s contingency planning includes the continued use of the existing N Shed Cruise Terminal.

Qalinge said the new terminal will have a positive impact on local tourism as it will attract larger vessels and more leading cruise liners to South Africa. The cruise season period could also be extended during the 25-year operational phase, resulting in economic spinoffs for the tourism industry.

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Annual cruise vessel calls to Durban and passenger numbers are projected to increase substantially as a result of the new terminal’s construction, helping to further develop the city as an international tourist destination.

According to KCT, the project will result in up to 10 000 employment opportunities generated through multiplier effect, of which over 100 will be direct jobs during the operation phase, and the future employment of interns in the maritime and cruise tourism sectors. KCT has set aside a budget of R3 million for the training and development of more than 100 people during the construction phase. R1.5 million will be allocated to bursaries and scholarships for students in related industries.

 

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