23 November 2012

Namibia: N$350 Million Marina for Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay — Coastal residents can look forward to a major private business development to the tune of N$350 million that will boost Walvis Bay's tourism industry and create much needed business and job opportunities.

The private marina development was given the green light by the Namibian Port Authority (Namport) and the Walvis Bay Municipality who made available 32 000 square metres of land for the development. The development is expected to be completed in 2014 and will give the current waterfront a much needed facelift.

The marina will comprise 100 SME trading stalls, 60 residential developments, 30 waterfront business developments and tour operator areas, and create at least 300 jobs for the hospitality industry. Although welcomed by local residents, current occupants of the waterfront area are unhappy with the 12-month eviction notice served on them two weeks ago.

They are now seeking legal advice to halt the evictions. Namport's spokesperson, Liz Sibindi, said the development will definitely become a reality and that at least six tenants were served with notices to make way for the development.

"We expect our stakeholders to engage Namport should they require clarity or are not happy. However, we will not stand in their way to follow any legal route. Rest assured the closure of the waterfront will have no impact on the town's tourism industry. In fact, the waterfront will not be closed, rather it will be transformed," she said.

Sibindi said the consultant will be appointed in January 2013 to design a detailed concept development proposal for the marina development, to facilitate development for commercial businesses through a waterfront access route. Namport plans to hand over the waterfront site to developers in the last quarter of 2013.

"Namport and the municipality will avail land but it will be a private development. If the current tenants are willing to invest they are welcome to partner with the developer and become a part from the very onset - options of which have been discussed with them," she added.

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