/Upcoming Port Development Debacle

Upcoming Port Development Debacle

On the left is the current state of the old Durban International Airport, and on the right side is Transnet’s proposed port development plan.
Transnet has bought the old Durban International Airport area with intention of developing it into a completely new deep water harbour. The eThekwini Municipality released draft proposals to develop the back of the port. The Back of Port Interface Local Area Plan is part of a strategy to create support of international stature, and is linked to Transnet’s plans to invest R100bn in the new Dug-out Port at the site of the old airport. At the same time, the 91-year-old Clairwood Racecourse has been sold by Gold Circle for R430m to Capital Property Fund with the aim of developing a Warehouse & Logistics Park to service the port. There are also plans to extend Berths 203-205 in the existing harbour which is currently under review. The South Durban area will be greatly affected by these proposed developments. While some maintain that they will help boost the economy, it is debatable whether these claims are true.
Recently Transnet stated that there is a delay in these developments and therefore the Durban Dig out Port will have a four year delay due to planning and more research. Although these developments are attracting foreign investors, it is of huge question whether or not South Africa can afford to owe more money going forward in terms of finances. Will it be another white elephant in which the tax payer’s purse dominates?  

On the left is what the Clairwood Racecourse looked like before construction began, and on the right is the proposed finished transformation of the racecourse into a logistics and distribution hub.
However other developments and accommodating ventures to the overall port expansion project are still proceeding such as the Clairwood Racecourse. Extensive comments have been submitted by SDCEA from late 2012 when we became aware of this development. It was then positively authorized in 2014 and we have appealed that decision on many social and environmental grounds which were not considered in the initial decision. Therefore we are now in a process of awaiting that final decision. 

Construction activities that are taking place at the Clairwood Racecourse before official authorization.

By | 2017-07-13T07:39:24+00:00 April 10th, 2015|Infratructure & Development|Comments Off on Upcoming Port Development Debacle
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) is an environmental justice organization based in South Durban, South Africa. It is made up of 16 affiliate organizations and has been active since its formation in 1995. It is a non-government organization existing solely on finances sourced from funders and sponsors in order to remain totally independent. It makes no profit and exists solely for the benefit of the people it represents.