If the DA is serious about creating jobs through tourism in the metro then it needs to intervene urgently in the spat between the Algoa Bay yacht club and Transnet National Ports Authority.
Without a yacht club there will quickly be no marina, which means no yachts in what was once marketed as one of the most perfect bays in the world for watersport.
The city will also no longer host national and international regattas.
Transnet lost us the highly prestigious Volvo Ocean Race in 2010, but feelers are again out for Nelson Mandela Bay to host it.
No amount of marketing money can buy the type of international exposure that the Volvo Ocean Race will give to Algoa Bay and surrounds.
There will be more repercussions – any attempt to create a sustainable waterfront will sink without the atmosphere and activities created by the yachts.
Jobs will be lost because there will be no yachts to clean and work on – which means that the marine engineering companies become more marginal.
If they close then Transnet’s investment in its synchro lift becomes a white elephant. Attempts to develop a local boat-building and repair industry will be becalmed.
What is puzzling is why Transnet seems so set on evicting the 58-year-old yacht club. It has no other obvious use for the land, except perhaps as a manganese storage area.
With most of the container traffic having moved to Ngqura all that sustains the port is the manganese exports – which already occupy three quays. Transnet is clearly in no hurry to move the manganese operations.
And, as long as the manganese dump and manganese skip loading operations remain in the port the land occupied by the yacht club has very little value.
It is industrial land in a dirty port. Certainly not worth the reported R46 000 a month Transnet wants to charge in rental.
That sum is for the land only – the members of the yacht club financed and maintain the building.
Transnet must come clean if its vision for the port is as a manganese export hub, and admit that it has no real intention to promote tourism-related economic development and job creation in Nelson Mandela Bay.
If Transnet National Ports Authority is not taken to task by the metro and the business chambers then the company, which has its headquarters in land-locked Gauteng, will continue to take far-reaching decisions that destroy our jobs and prospects.
See more here: Could this be a body blow to the much vaunted PE Waterfront
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/algoa-bay-yacht-club-debacle/92410/2017/08