Durban – Durban’s coastal skyline is to change dramatically within two months as the city breaks ground at the Point Waterfront. At the eThekwini executive committee (exco) meeting earlier this week, city officials said the infrastructure roll-out plan for the Point Waterfront project was expected to begin in June. eThekwini Municipal spokesman, Thulani Mbatha, said a project update report on the development was tabled before exco, outlining challenges and changes to the development.
In total 750 000 square metres will be developed, which includes high-rise developments along the waterfront and buildings in excess of 55 storeys, which will be innovatively designed. The infrastructure includes roads, public transport, water, sewerage and electricity, to support the development. The development also includes the proposed promenade extension from uShaka to the harbour entrance, to create a wrap-around promenade.
City manager, Sibusiso Sithole, said officials had been working hard behind the scenes to keep all stakeholders updated on progress made. Sithole said there were no appeals lodged regarding the environmental impact assessment of the project which was another positive sign. “We are ready to start infrastructure roll-out in June. It means it is all systems go for the Point Waterfront development. We are in a position where we can say the development will happen.
“Come 2022 when we will be hosting the Commonwealth Games, some phases of this project would have already been implemented,” he said. The project is seen as one of the key catalysts for the redevelopment and regeneration of the entire inner-city providing housing, employment, commercial, retail and recreational facilities for eThekwini residents. In turn, the inner-city will be a catalyst for stimulating economic growth in the entire region and province.
Speaker Logie Naidoo said while it had taken some time to reach this stage of the project, he was happy with the progress made thus far, including that only one appeal was lodged. “This is real development for the city, we will have skyscrapers that will change the skyline of Durban,” Naidoo said. Sithole assured the committee there would be added benefits for the city including skills development. “The issue of empowerment is central to this project. This is an opportunity to train officials in project management and learn from our Malaysian counterparts. It will build our internal capacity and the skills will be transferred to other catalytic projects,” he said.