On 19 October 2010 BizPremises reported:
A PE Waterfront project could support tens of thousands of jobs per year during the construction phase and another 120,000 jobs once fully operational.
This is according to Linkd, a professional engineering firm, who has compiled a report detailing the construction of a waterfront development in Port Elizabeth.
The report states that a waterfront development in Port Elizabeth could potentially generate a total of R27,5 billion per year, boosting the Mandela Bay economy and creating tens of thousands of jobs.
The construction period is estimated to be 16 years, with a total of 87,780 jobs being supported per year during the development phase.
According to Linkd, R389 million would be paid in salaries over this period with around R70 million being paid in personal tax, while companies stand to earn around R1,8 billion in profits with approximately R531 million being paid in corporate tax.
Although no agreement has been made as to how the harbour should best be developed, the report outlines the benefits to Nelson Mandela Bay area and highlights its potential to be a leading tourist destination in South Africa.
Among the proposals are a mixed-use development and an expanded fishing industry with container space and auto terminals, but both scenarios have inherent problems that will need to be addressed and overcome before the project can progress.
The R4 billion site currently houses manganese storage and a tank farm, which would need to be relocated at a cost of R1,1 billion, so the new development would need to substantially offset those costs.
The original proposal of a mixed-use development, including an international conference centre, hotels, residential and retail space and tourism facilities, was, although supported by the municipality and province, turned down by the Public Enterprises Department four years ago.
Linkd, however, stated that a waterfront development would positively affect tourism, leisure, real estate, transport, retail, food, communications and social services sectors in the metro and the province.
But for the metro to become a gateway city like Cape Town or Durban it would need to manage its rapidly expanding tourism industry by offering world-class facilities and beautiful attractions.
Transnet this year proposed an alternate scenario but Linkd said ‘an expanded car freight terminal would have no multiplier effects on the metro’s economy as it does not interact significantly with any industries outside auto manufacturing,’ and that its greatest risk lies in its isolated position.
Next month the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will present the findings to the National Assembly’s Public Enterprises Committee