A R200 million-plus project was launched at Transnet National Ports Authority has concluded an agreement that saw KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT) at an official ceremony on Monday, 16 April.

The project will finance, construct, operate, maintain and transfer a new cruise terminal facility in the Port of Durban by October 2020.The project is expected to dovetail with the promenade extension from uShaka beach southwards to the harbour entrance, as well as the development of Durban Point Waterfront. The detailed design phase will commence in April and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. This will be followed by an 18-month construction phase from January 2019 to July 2020 and the cruise terminal is expected to commence operations in October 2020 kicking off the 2020/2021 cruise season. In the event of any unforeseen delays, TNPA and KCT’s contingency planning includes the continued use of the existing N Shed Cruise Terminal.

TNPA Chief Executive, Shulami Qalinge, said the partnership was mutually beneficial.
“We are delighted to have concluded terms that will bring benefits to all parties, but most importantly to the City of Durban and South Africa as a growing cruise destination. In doing so, we will truly be positioning Durban as a ‘Smart Port City’ and a world-class cruise capital,” said Qallinge.

Transnet SOC Limited Group Chief Executive, Siyabonga Gama said that the project would create job oppertunities.

“In a few years, we will witness the rise of a much-needed brand new cruise terminal for Durban. In its wake, jobs will be created, new technologies implemented and tourism numbers boosted for Durban and for our country,” added Gama.

Representing KCT, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said that the agreement represented a great development for MSC Cruises’ South Africa operation.”We could not be prouder. It will also be a major stepping stone for Durban, paving the way for a bright common future for the cruise industry and the city. Not only will this ensure a continued growth for cruising here in Durban, and in the whole of Southern Africa. It will also result in measurable positive socioeconomic effects for the city, we will create many jobs, both during its construction and the operation. This new terminal will also help further develop Durban as an international tourist destination,” added Vago.

KCT was announced last year as the preferred bidder for the 25-year concession project. The company is a Joint Venture between MSC Cruises SA and Africa Armada Consortium, an investment company that empowers its black financiers through participation in economic activities, in particular port and logistics developments.