The Port of Port Elizabeth operated by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is transitioning into a Smart People’s Port and as part of its vision, it’s opening its doors to the public on March 25th and 26th, to experience the port like never before.
“The community in which we operate gives life to our very existence,” explains Port Elizabeth Port Manager for TNPA, Rajesh Dana. “Ports exist to serve economies and people together with communities lie at the very heart of these economies.”
“In receiving international flagged vessels, our port is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, and it’s a focal point in so many ways for so many, and we want people to experience this theatre of port operations. It’s our motivation for the People’s Port Festival.”
Becoming a Smart People’s Port
Aligned to the national strategy for South Africa’s ports, the creation of a smart port as seen in Europe and the Far East will embrace smart energy, logistics, processes, environment and management. “A Smart People’s Port will be a driving force for the socio-economic development of the city and our province,” adds Dana. “We cannot create and operate a smart port in a vacuum. It needs to be integrated with smart cities and its people.”
As part of the waterfront development for the city of Port Elizabeth, the role the evolved port will play is key. It will connect its theatre of operations with the city’s tourism and leisure vision. “We are ideally located to showcase the rich culture of South Africa to international tourists,” enthuses Dana. “We already have approximately 24 cruise vessels arriving annually. And as we become a ‘cleaner’, less industrial port, I am sure this figure will rise.”
It is the blend of port operations, the marine economy, local and international tourism and leisure pursuits available in the city, that will be showcased and be available for enjoyment at the TNPA’s inaugural People’s Port Festival.
About the People’s Port Festival: March 25th and 26th
The Port of Port Elizabeth will showcase some of the incredible technology, machinery, and ocean experiences to be had, as well as offering tours to areas, usually closed to the public. Access is free to all, and there will be entertainment and exciting experiences for all ages.
With a diverse programme of activities, demonstrations and entertainment, visitors to the festival will be able to explore the inner-workings of a busy port, the magic of the ocean, watersports and the lifestyle the port offers.
The initial programme of events include:
- Getting up close to the tech and machinery used within the port
- Exporters exhibition
- Discover ocean-based research in the Bay
- Bayworld experiences including interaction with seals
- Virtual diving opportunities
- Watersports programme
- Family entertainment
- Popular live artists and DJs including Mafikizolo and Mobi Dixon
- Tours of boats including SA Aghulhas
- Evening yacht procession
- Tugboat ballet
- Firework display
- Ferry trips
- Fresh fish market
- Food trucks
- Bocadillos pop-up restaurant
- Lifestyle market
- Masterchef celebrity demonstrations
Opening hours: 25 March 10 am – 10 pm or 26 March 10 am – 4 pm.