From left: Gianluca Suprani MSC Cruises Head of Global Port Development and Shore activities, Sihle Zikalala KZN MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Siyabonga Gama Transnet Group Chief Executive and Shulami Qalinge Chief Executive for Transnet Natal Ports Authority (TNPA). PICTURE: SIBUSISO NDLOVU
DURBAN - The construction of the new R200 million Durban Cruise Terminal is expected to set Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to maximise South Africa’s share from the growing global cruise tourism industry.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) signed on the agreement that will see the delivery of the facility at the Port of Durban by October 2020. 

The detailed design phase has already commenced and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 

It will then 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.

Transnet Group chief executive Siyabonga Gama said the signing marked a crucial milestone towards achieving a slice of the market. 

The area just inside the port and adjacent to the Durban Point Waterfront development, is the preferred site for a new cruise terminal, says the Transnet National Ports Authority. MSC Cruises is one of the bidders for the project. Photo: Brian Spurr
“The signing will see Transnet introducing new entrants Armada Consortium into the market backed by a global cruise company - MSC Cruises SA. This will bring positive socio-economic spin-offs such as tourism development, job creation, skills development and supplier development,” said Gama.

KwaZulu Cruise Terminal was announced last year as the preferred bidder for the 25 year concession project.

Gama said in a few years, the rise of a much-needed brand new cruise terminal for Durban would also see new technologies implemented and tourism numbers boosted for Durban and South Africa.

“The global cruise tourism industry is worth a staggering $126 billion a year. It creates more than 1 million jobs and last year in 2017, 24.7 million passengers were transported. This is a huge economic impact where our share is miniscule.”

Transnet said the agreement was set to fundamentally change the current landscape being an epitome of an Africa that was rising and a marine economy that was re-inventing itself.

Gama said Transnet had adopted the Transnet 4.0 Strategy, which was focused on repositioning Transnet as a global integrated logistics service provider. 

“The strategy aims to grow Transnet to a R100 billion business by 2020 and a top international logistics service provider through focusing on three major growth areas geographic expansion, product and innovation diversification and manufacturing.

Gianluca Suprani MSC Cruises Head of Global Port Development and Shore activities and Siyabonga Gama Transnet Group Chief Executive. PICTURE: SIBUSISO NDLOVU
MSC South Africa chairman captain Salvatore Sarno said South Africa had been one of their preferred destinations since the beginning of their cruise activity. 
“The agreement which has been signed after 5 years of negotiations is an important milestone for the development of the city centre and the upgrading of the beachfront promenade. It has been a long and difficult road to finalise this,” said Sarno.

Sarno said the new cruise terminal would be a world class and state of the art building accommodating crew vessels. It would be a multi-user terminal that would make Durban and the province of KwaZulu-Natal an attractive destination for all passenger ships cruising around the world.

Gianluca Suprani MSC Cruises Head of Global Port Development and Shore activities and Siyabonga Gama Transnet Group Chief Executive. PICTURE: SIBUSISO NDLOVU
- BUSINESS REPORT