Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) latest Request for Proposals for a new Durban cruise terminal in Durban has belly flopped.
TNPA chief executive, Richard Vallihu, said that, after two tries, there had been no suitable bids to design, develop, construct, maintain and operate the proposed facility. Long overdue, it was expected to include retail and leisure elements and form part of the renewed Point Waterfront development.
However, Vallinu said the lack of bids may indicate a “limited appetite in the market for a private player to pursue this project.” The second Request for Proposals was advertised in mid-2015. TNPA received just one bid. It will try for a third time within six months and will also review the scope of the project.
The need for new cruise terminals in Durban and Cape Town is due to massive growth in the cruise industry which is now the fastest-growing part of global tourism industry. In 2006, Durban handled 50 cruise liners and 67,017 passengers. By 2014, cruise vessel docking at N-shed had grown by 48% to 74 vessels and passengers by 224%. During the first two months of the 2015/16 cruise season, 51 vessels with 123 719 passengers called in Durban.