Durban set to be African cruise capital as new green terminal aiming for 150+ cruise ships per year

2018-04-17 10:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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KwaZulu Cruise Terminal and Transnet sign an agree

Gianluca Suprani KwaZulu Cruise Terminal and Siyabonga Gama, Transnet Group Chief Executive, seal the deal on the Terminal Operator agreement for Durban’s new cruise terminal (Photo: Transnet)

Cape Town - The Port of Durban will get a shiny new cruise terminal as part of the City's development of Durban Point Waterfront and the extension of the beachfront to the harbour.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA)has signed the final agreement with KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT), a joint venture between MSC Cruises SA and Africa Armada Consortium. The new terminal is expected to be completed by October 2020 with a R200 million-plus price tag. The design phase will commence in April this year.

The new green terminal will be built with energy efficiency in mind and will host facilities that will allow simultaneous boarding and disembarkation of cruise passengers on multiple ships. Drop-off areas for 12 buses and parking for 200 cars will be built as well, and upgraded entry and exit points where passengers can wait in comfort to board. There will also be a retail component, as well as conferencing and event facilities.

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The project is forecast to open up 10 000 job opportunities, with R3 million going towards training and development of more than a hundred people during the construction phase, and R1.5 million will go towards bursaries and scholarships for young people pursuing careers in the maritime and cruise tourism sectors.

KCT will also boost transformation in the sector, especially black women ownership, and will be employing black owned enterprises for parts of the construction and roll-out phases.

The terminal will boost the number of cruises to Durban by about 60 to 150-plus calls and 700 000 passengers by 2040, which will boost the city's image as a top tourist destination. The additional facilities, including a training academy and office space, will keep the terminal going through off-peak seasons.

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TNPA Chief Executive, Shulami Qalinge, says, “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.”

MSC Cruises's executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago reiterated similar sentiments and is excited about the socio-economic effects it will have on the city. 

“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."

While construction is underway and in case of delays, KCT and TNPA will continue to use the existing N Shed Cruise Terminal as their contingency plan. 

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