TRANSNET National Ports Authority (TNPA) is calling on interested parties to respond to the request for information (RFI) on the possible appointment of a cruise terminal operator to design, develop, finance, construct, operate, maintain and transfer the cruise terminal at the Newark Precinct in the Port of Richards Bay.
These efforts follow the introduction of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) logistics hub programme, which seeks to position the Port of Richards Bay as a dry-bulk hub and a strategic player in the renewable energy space, according to TNPA. This programme has also developed the Port of Richards Bay master plans, which incorporates the development of a cruise terminal in order to fulfil the tourism industry’s growth objectives for the City of Umhlathuze and King Cetshwayo District.
“In alignment to the Department of Tourism’s cruise strategy, TNPA’s strategic position is to also offer new and modern cruise terminals that will provide an ideal gateway to a unique South African experience through its eight commercial ports,” said portfolio director: mega projects (KZN logistics hub), Dr Bridgette Gasa-Toboti.
The cruise terminals throughout the port system provide multi-modal connectivity to the region and the world, thus contributing to the growth of the South African tourism industry. The RFI, therefore, aims to provide TNPA with the necessary insights and information regarding the viability of such a facility in the Port of Richards Bay.
“These are exciting times for KZN, in particular, the Richards Bay business community. Our hope, which will also be a legacy for Transnet, is to see this development being awarded to consortiums with a local footprint. It has been a vision of the Zululand Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ZCCI) to see local businesses and communities play a key and sustainable role in developments within the Port of Richards Bay,” said president of ZCCI, Hlengiwe Mvubu.
In the 2022/23 cruise season, which runs from October 2022 until late April 2023, at least 25 luxury cruise ships are expected to visit the Port of Richards Bay and at least 239 international cruise lines are scheduled to call at the country’s six cruise ports, according to TNPA.