BCM to build R87m beachfront park
By Khuthala Nandipha
The R87 million Court Crescent Recreational Park Development project was launched on Friday on site by Buffalo City Mayor, Xola Pakati and Buffalo City Development Agency (BCMDA) CEO, Bulumko Nelana.
Over the next 18 months, the agency will build water, sewerage and storm-water reticulation, drinking fountains, kids play areas, outdoor gyms, an amphitheatre and space for local art. The project is expected to create 75 jobs during construction and will involve local small businesses.
The prime space of the East London beachfront on the Esplanade is approximately 2.4 hectors big and is entirely owned by the Metro.
“Any beachfront is a centrepiece of its city, if we do not take care of it, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. A challenge will be how we manage this asset once it is up and running. Public property has to be managed well in order to give it a long lifespan. We are a seeing a steady rise of this City, from its ashes into a modern-day city. We are adding to its character and identity,” detailed Nelana, CEO for the BCMDA.
City Mayor, Pakati added that the tourism industry is expected to benefit from projects of this nature, especially when the country recovers from the current Covid-19 pandemic.
“BCMDA is driving economic growth and development in the City. Its job is to attract investment into the city by taking care of infrastructure for economic development and commercialisation. I want to see this project finished on time with quality work so that our people may know that they deserve the best”.
Pakati added that they are considering upgrading eBuhlanti next, taking advantage of the closure enforced by the Covid-19. The project forms part of a broader BCMDA Integrated Beach Management Programme which will include eBuhlanti and WaterWorld.
The land is currently used for ad hoc commercial activities including the seasonal fun fairs, city ceremonial events, informal trading and Sunday fairs. Informal hawkers will have brand new stalls as part of the park.
The East London Beachfront Precinct Plan aims to integrate space and improve open spaces in the beachfront with the view of promoting tourism and creating a conducive environment for crowding in further investment into the space.
During the construction period Moore Street will be partially closed while Esplanade Street will be closed off completely.
BCMDA was formed by BCMM in April 2016 as a private company, but now falls under the Metro. Its mandate is to increase economic growth through tourism, property development, socio-economic development and investment promotion.