An editorial comment from The Herald dated 29 June 2012:
It’s been in the pipeline for almost 20 years, but somehow city officials have never been able to come up with a workable business plan to transform the Port Elizabeth harbour into a sustainable waterfront .
Ambitious artists’ impressions and promises of high-end developments have all come and gone, leaving only a handful of eateries and a bunch of surly security guards to greet visitors.
Now that Transnet has officially committed to relocate the ore dumps and fuel tank farm, moves to create a waterfront have once more been revived, with the announcement this week of the launch of a feasibility study for the project.
Clearly, Eastern Cape Eco- nomic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas, who has made R3-million available for the study, sees merit in such a project.
With several other successful developments having taken place in the CBD and beachfront area, the time is now ripe for the development of the adjacent harbour.
Despite complaints from a small minority of the city, the city planners – through the Mandela Bay Development Agency – have generally won high praise for the admirable job they have done in restoring the Central area.
This includes the Govan Mbeki development, the Donkin Reserve revival, and assisting with the general restoration and renovation of private businesses through tax breaks. The recent Kings Beach upgrade is also a great success.
These projects have provided some consolation for a coastal city that has over the past few years lost some of its main tourist attractions – among them Bayworld and the Apple Express – due to lack of political will and financial support.
So we hope that after years of talks and promises, the PE Waterfront development finally gets the backing to become a reality. A project of this magnitude would go a long way to boosting tourism, which, in turn, would create jobs and bring money into the region.