It is all systems go for the multi-million rand Durban Point Waterfront development with the infrastructure rollout plan for the project expected to begin in June. A project update report on the development was tabled before the eThekwini municipality executive committee this week, outlining challenges and changes to the development. A review of the framework plan was done in 2015 to address a number of identified shortcomings. “This assisted in creating a new, more powerful vision for the area that would attract residents, workers and visitors. Critical to this new vision is a proposed increase in bulk rights to create a more dense and vibrant hub that anchors the southern end of the Point area,” eThekwini’s spokesperson Thulani Mbatha said.
The proposed increase in bulk rights potentially grants the developer, development rights up to 750000m². It is envisaged that this increase in bulk and other scheme amendments, would provide the necessary stimulus to renew interest in the Point area. Approximately 200 000m² of the approved bulk has been developed. The remaining 550000m² is still to be developed as well as the supporting infrastructure which includes the proposed promenade extension from uShaka to Vetch’s Pier (harbour entrance channel) to create a wrap around promenade. Other proposed world class developments include high rise developments along the waterfront and buildings in excess of 55 storeys, incorporating innovative designs and materials, as well as infrastructure which includes roads, public transport, water, sewer and electricity, to support the development.
The project will be managed by the Durban Point Development Company which is jointly owned by the eThekwini municipality and ROC Point via the Malaysian UEM Sunrise. eThekwini municipality will be responsible for providing the infrastructure including the elevated promenade to support the development. He said this project was 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.
City manager Sibusiso Sithole said only one appeal was received regarding the proposed development, which was subsequently withdrawn. He said officials had been working hard behind the scenes to keep all concerned stakeholders updated on progress made. There were no appeals lodged regarding the environmental impact assessment of the project which was another positive sign. “We are ready to start infrastructure rollout 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 will have already been implemented,” Sithole said.
Deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said she supported this development fully and was confident all the work would be up to standard. 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. This project is exciting,” 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 and the role we play. This is also an opportunity to train officials in project management and learn from our Malaysian counterparts. This will build our internal capacity and the skills will be transferred to other catalytic projects to be implemented in the city,” he said. NOKUTHULA NTULI