An artist’s impression of the new Durban cruise terminal. Graphic: SUPPLIED
An artist’s impression of the new Durban cruise terminal. Graphic: SUPPLIED

KwaZulu Cruise Terminal — a joint venture between MSA Cruises SA and Africa Armada Consortium — has been unveiled as the preferred bidder for the Durban Cruise Terminal, worth R100m.

Transnet National Ports Authority CEO Richard Vallihu made the announcement on Tuesday during a media conference, which was also attended by senior management of the winning company.

The company will be responsible for the design‚ financing‚ construction‚ operation‚ maintenance and transfer of a cruise terminal facility for a 25-year concession period in the Durban port.

Vallihu described the announcement of the preferred bidder as an "exciting occasion" and an important project for Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal region "that will position us as a world-class cruised capital".

He said the new international facility would expose visitors to the wide variety of tourism experiences offered by the province.

"It will be another asset within our radical port reform that will create more opportunities by opening up our port to private-sector partnerships and the communities in which we operate‚" said Vallihu.

He said the Transnet National Ports Authority wanted to offer new and modern cruise terminals that would provide gateways to unique South African experiences, and they would be working closely with municipalities‚ provinces and the tourism sector.

"I believe that our preferred bidder has put together an exciting concept that has the experience to deliver a facility that will be the jewel in the crown of the port of Durban‚" said Vallihu.

MSC Cruises SA MD Ross Volk said the project was anticipated to start in October once the negotiations around the bid had been concluded. The new terminal was expected to be operational in October 2019.

"Investment is R100m in terms of the project, and as part of the bid process we will try make job creation locally based in Durban. It will create significant employment both within the construction and operation phases of the terminal‚" said Volk.

The new security-controlled facility‚ which will be structured to accommodate two vessels‚ will also have viewing decks for communities to view ships coming in and will house the South African Police Service‚ customs‚ the Department of Home Affairs and other government departments.

"So there is a number of unintended consequences and we are very happy about the kind of spin-offs that it has for the community and the city‚" said Vallihu.

KwaZulu Cruise Terminal’s equity is currently divided into 70% ownership by MSC Cruises SA and 30% ownership by Africa Armada Consortium. MSC Cruises is the market leader in the Mediterranean‚ South African and Brazilian regions and operates in 45 countries and 180 ports.

Africa Armada Consortium is a black economic empowerment investment company aimed empowering its black investors through participation in economic activities‚ especially port and logistics developments.

TMG Digital

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