Expect lots of activity at Port Elizabeth ports on the weekend of March 25-26.

If you are in Port Elizabeth on the weekend of March 25 and 26th then make your way down to the port.

The first People’s Port Festival will allow visitors to step inside the theatre of port operations, and experience the lifestyle and opportunities the waterfront development offers the city of Port Elizabeth.

Rajesh Dana, the port of Port Elizabeth port manager for Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) said the port is one of South Africa’s many international gateways, and the city of Port Elizabeth showcases its rich culture and heritage.

“We want people to experience the unique operations in the port, and its exciting people-centered vision. The waterfront development in our port will have a hugely positive impact on the city’s tourism and economy.

"The port has already experienced an upswing in the number of cruise liners docking in the port of Port Elizabeth. In recent years, Transnet has had on average 24 vessels arriving per year, and we are working with all tourism role players to sustain and grow this number,”  he said.

Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that the Port of Port Elizabeth attracted and retained international cruise liners such as the Queen Mary 2 which has visited our shores many times. The port actively encourages the public to view the docking and sailing of iconic vessels.

Ports are vital to the economy, and tourism has huge potential to contribute to the growth of our economy. The People’s Port Festival is an opportunity for residents of the metro, as well as domestic and international visitors to experience the port of Port Elizabeth, and its links to other leisure pursuits in the city, like never before.

Visitors can look forward to boarding the SA Aghulas which has just returned Antarctica, experience some of the technological advancements in the ocean economy, and the technology the port of Port Elizabeth has invested in and see the heavy machinery in action including a boat hoist that can lift 90 tonnes.

“The diverse programme of activities, demonstrations and entertainment includes automotive exhibition, virtual diving opportunities, popular live artists and DJs including Mobi Dixon and internationally renowned Mafikizolo, tugboat ballet, fireworks displays and Lifestyle market.

Entrance to the event will be via Baakens Street and the Campanile entrance. There will be plenty of free parking available with hop-on-hop-off buses within the port running between the parking areas and the festival activities.

Gates open at 10 am, and close at 10 pm on Saturday, and from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

More information can be found at www.peoplesport.co.za or the People’s Port Festival Facebook and Instagram pages.