from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – FISHING communities and tourism operators in the Western Cape have received a major boost with the R400 million (US$32 million) upgrade on harbours in the province.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) and Development Corporation (CDC) teamed up to upgrade 13 harbours.
Riyaadh Kara, the DPW Quantity Surveyor and Project Manager, said the project was tipped to change the lives of many fishing communities and tourism operators relying on the smaller proclaimed harbours.
The project forms part of DPW’s focus on the oceans economy and is a strategic fit to Operation Phakisa, a key component of government’s National Development Plan.
CDC, an implementing agent on behalf of DPW, has been at the coalface in rolling out and implementing the Small Harbours Programme.
Themba Koza, CDC Programme Director, said the commencement of the project, they had a great working relationship with the department.
“We have progressed at a rapid pace and hit all the right notes in supporting the DPW’s focus on developing the maritime economy,” Koza said.
The thirteen harbours are to benefit from the upgrade include Hout Bay, Kalk Bay, Saldanha Bay, Pepper Bay, Gordon’s Bay, Hermanus, Struisbaai, Gansbaai, Stilbaai, Arniston, Laaiplek, Lamberts and St. Helena Bay.
With the environmental impact assessments completed, all dredging dumping permits obtained from the Department of Environmental Affairs in January 2018.
The tenders for repairs and upgrades to slipways and the replacement of shore cranes have been advertised and are in the process of selecting successful candidates.
“We are speeding up the process as quickly as possible as we understand that the livelihoods of at least 13 coastal communities are dependent on the harbour which is used by the fishing fleet and tourism operators,” Koza said.
Work has started last year in harbours with the removal of all sunken vessels and on completion.
Maintenance dredging will commence by June.
Over 100 jobs have been created.
A total of 11 small and medium enterprises to the tune of R 3,5 million have so far benefited on the programme.