On 14 November 2016 Port of Port Elizabeth Port Manager, Rajesh Dana welcomed two new PE Waterfront Based Cruise operators to the Port.
In a new adventure offering for locals and tourists Stampede Cruises and Blue Pearl established unique boat based excursions that include, waterfront cruises, Island cruises and more.
The YouTube video further down contains Dana’s entire welcome message.
What Dana failed to alert the tour operators to was that the Port’s massive Managnese Ore operation would eventually have a negative effect on their businesses.
As Rod Lochhead said in a letter to The Herald recently:
“Running a marine eco tour operation from the recreational Algoa Bay marina can only be described as a living hell as we get faced with a continual blanket of ore dust and fallout. This in spite of our vessel having the closest available mooring to the Yacht Club (that is, furthest away from the main ore berth). Without exception, our guests, both local and foreign, are astounded at the incredible array of marine life and nature that we have on our doorstep in Algoa Bay. Unfortunately they are equally astounded by the filth and grimy muck we come back to in the harbour after every outing,” said Lochhead.
With reference to the crippling drought Lochhead said; “This is way more than just a cosmetic inconvenience, it penetrates the vessels and all the equipment, causing permanent damage and on top of all of this, we cannot wash boats down due to the water restrictions!”
Editor: One can see the rapid deterioration of Rod’s boat, stampede since the November 2016 launch – what once was pristine white hulls have now taken on a yellowish tinge as the Manganese Ore reacts with the fibreglass hull.
Speaking from first hand experience Lochhead said; “Transnet’s comments in The Herald following the mayor’s visit and in defence of the facility are in most cases simply not true and just a continuation of its flagrant denial as it continues to thumb its nose at the citizens of our city. Absolutely nothing has changed from its historical culture of authoritarian arrogance with complete disregard for any support for what this city could become. This disgraceful manganese ore facility is the single obstacle holding Port Elizabeth back from creating a most incredible extended waterfront development which will completely transform the city as we know it into a world-class ocean city destination for visitors and an even more wonderful residence for our citizens! Transnet continues to deny us this development, effectively holding our entire city to ransom by preventing us moving forward due to its selfish internal agenda!”
Questioning the TNPA’s proximity to the truth Rod pointed out; “The points made by Transnet in The Herald in defence of its facility are outrageously dubious and in some cases not true. To have a medical doctor effectively stating that the ore dust is somehow beneficial to those exposed to it is just disgraceful! Statements like these reinforce what we already know, and further confirm the Transnet culture and attitude of contempt and utter disregard for our citizens and the public at large.
At the 14 November launch Dana said that the mandate of the Port of PE is to drive a transformation that will eventually lead into the evolution of the Port Of Port Elizabeth into a smart people’s port. This ‘smart peoples port’ would be hinged on an enlarged automotive hub and the imminnent start of construction on a ‘world-class’ PE Waterfront.
In his presentation Dana said that he establishment of a PE Waterfront would; “…not only transform the economy of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole but also that of the entire Eastern Cape Province.”
Unlike the V&A Waterfront the Port of PE Waterfront is to be based on a people concept and would be premised around people. According to Dana this People’s Port would include a dedicated area for leisure and recreation which he firmly believes wil; “stimulate the local, national and international tourism market.” The center of this area would be a marina development; “understanding that the marina would be underpinned by activities such as yachting, sailing, angling, harbour cruises and all forms of watersports,” said Dana who expressed the TNPS’s aim in supporting Nelson Mandela Bay to seize the crown as the Watersport Capital of Africa.
Dana expressed the desire to see the establishment of a dedicated passenger cruise liner facility on the back of the catalyst created by the launch of the new cruise tours out of the Port of Port Elizabeth.
Closing up Dana assured both tour operators of TNPA’s full support and assistance in their endeavours; “We stand ready to facilitate and enable your business and we truly want to use this as a catalyst as we move towards developing this waterfront,” concluded Dana.
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