Tourism boost for EL
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
At least R63 million will be used for two East London Beachfront developments and upgrades by the Buffalo City Development Agency (BCDA). The projects are expected to start by the end of October 2019.
A new Court Crescent will be built in the vacant land in front of the Osner Hotel in Quigney. The second project will be upgrades of the Water World in West Bank. New facilities to be constructed at Water World include braai areas, hawker stalls, refuse stations, ablution facilities, lifesavers room, a climbing wall, change rooms, an Amphitheatre, podium seating, a bridge, sand pits and swimming pools.
“We will retain most of the existing structure and refurbish and demolish some structures such as the swimming pools. The Water World intervention is expected to ensure decentralised development for the city and reduce the heavy reliance and congestion on the Esplanade. It will be the only structure of its nature and kind for the Eastern Cape,” said Bulumko Nelana, Chief Executive Officer of the BCDA.
The Court Crescent in Quigney will be made up of an information centre, ablutions, hawker stalls, an Amphitheatre, seating areas, a water feature and drinking fountains. The Agency is currently holding consultations with a number of stockholders including a supplier development workshop and the appointment of contractors.
“Our primary goal is to ensure that Buffalo City takes its rightful place as a New Coastal Metro in the country, joining Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. This means ensuring that the Metro provides good quality living standards to its citizens. In addition to this these interventions will boost the City’s tourism attraction capabilities and invariably create much needed jobs through tourism,” said Nelana.
In 2016, approximately 9 700 employment opportunities were created by tourist spending in the Metro and that R 1.3 billion income was generated by the BCM tourism sector, according to the Agency. The interventions will hopefully improve the property value of investments by the citizens of the City especially those located in Quigney and West Bank.
The Agency is also looking at other sites for development, these include the Marina Glen (the site next to the Garden Court) as well as the Marina Glen B site popularly known as Ebuhlanti. For the Marina Glen Area, the Agency is looking at mixed development which could include hotel accommodation and retail.
“We will also be doing minor environmental upgrades in Fullers Bay and Leaches Bay; which are budgeted for this financial year,” he promised.
On August 14 -15 tender briefings for the main contractors and sub-contractors were held on both sites with a turnout of 155 individual business people.
“National Legitimation prescribes that 30 percent of major projects of this nature should be set aside for SMME development. This means the Agency and the City will have the opportunity to give back to smaller contractors that desperately need this work so that they can move up the grading ranks”.
The Agency will also be applying preferential procurement framework which gives advantage to companies with a good BBBEE status, thus also contributing to the transformation of the industry.