WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT TO SOUTH OF HARBOUR,
INCLUDING KING’S BEACH PRECINCT
The opportunity to integrate a range of commercial and domestic land uses into a mixed-use waterfront development has arisen in the Port Elizabeth Harbour. This opportunity follows on from the building of a deep water port at Coega, and the agreed plan to relocate the Manganese Ore Terminal and Tank Farm - allowing the port to focus on clean industry able to share space with non-industrial activities.
The south side of the harbour and Kings Beach Precinct has been earmarked for development, with the proposed plan including freight handling, residential and tourist facilities, and commercial operations geared at increasing the economic development and financial sustainability capacity of Nelson Mandela Bay.
The creation of Nelson Mandela Bay as a global destination linked to the existing Garden Route and Eastern Cape tourism corridors could be facilitated by such a development, which would significantly increase Nelson Mandela Bay’s global and domestic leisure and residential leverage.
At the same time such a development would create a strategic link between the city and the harbour, opening up enjoyment of the harbour area to the metro’s citizens. Linked to the development, strategically placed Transnet land in the Humerail area could be used for middle and lower income housing development, bringing poorer residents closer to the city and opening up city opportunities for them.
There will be a huge impact on job creation and the local economy from a waterfront development. A phased approach to the development will see a gradual increase in jobs and infrastructure over a 20yr timeline. The construction period alone is expected to bring a capital expenditure of R12,7 billion to Nelson Mandela Bay, creating a possible 87 780 jobs. Once fully operational, the proposed development could facilitate R27.5 billion in direct expenditure per annum, and an estimated 119 943 jobs in the Metro. These processes would generate up to R2 billion in taxes.
It is estimated that by 2030 the waterfront and related developments will make up 32% of the cities GDP and will account for 49% of jobs in Metro. The development is projected to attract an additional 46 000 foreign and 220 000 domestic tourists to Nelson Mandela Bay by 2030.
The existing cooperation between NMBM and Transnet needs to be strengthened in order to facilitate such a development, and a broader process of stakeholder engagement facilitated in order to involve the citizens of the metro in planning and implementing this crucial initiative. The NMBM needs to finalise plans for the development, and assist with enabling and servicing the land to ensure that developers are able to undertake such an ambitious project.