22 November 2012

Namibia: Marina Development to Give Walvis Bay a New Look

THE long-awaited marina development in Walvis Bay is set to take shape early next year when consultants will start drawing up detailed concept proposals.

The multimillion-dollar development forms part of a new-look waterfront. This also includes a N$3 billion injection from Government’s Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg), which will allow Namport to get a new container terminal, a ship and rig repair facility and a tanker berth. In the process, about 3 000 jobs will be created.

Namport recently gave its business tenants along the Walvis Bay waterfront a year’s notice to vacate their premises, the port’s communications manager Liz Sibindi confirmed on Tuesday.

“The notice is effective for a year, to lapse towards this time next year,” Sibindi told The Namibian. Six tenants are affected, she said.

The marina, a joint project between Namport and the Walvis Bay municipality, will be a private development of between N$300 million and N$350 million, Sibindi said.

“If the current tenants are willing to invest, they are welcome to partner with the developer and become a part from the very onset,” she said.

Laramon Tours owner Archie van der Merwe, a dolphin cruise operator and spokesman for the waterfront businesspeople, yesterday denied media reports of unhappiness about the development and possible legal action against Namport.

Van der Merwe said the businesses have a good relationship with Namport and they will only have an informed opinion on the matter after meeting with the consultants at the beginning of next year.

Sibindi said the marina development will have an “SME component for young business entrepreneurs”, and will house business developments, tour operators and restaurants. “The waterfront will not be closed, it will be transformed.”

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