THE Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is establishing a centre which will act as a single point of co-ordination, facilitation and provision for all business and investor services in the region.
The municipality’s economic development and tourism committee agreed to this at its meeting yesterday. The centre will be set up as a private company and a board of directors will be appointed.
“It will be known as the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Centre.
“It’s establishment is in line with the municipality’s economic growth and development strategy to position the region as a competitive world-class business and investment destination in Africa, by providing meaningful business support services and conducive environment to all sizes and types of businesses and investors,” said committee chairman Mike Kwenaite.
The municipality, with key local, provincial and national stakeholders, will set up the facility.
Kwenaite said the setting up of such a centre was integral to the strengthening of the local business and investment climate to realise the municipality’s Vision 2020.
A business plan for the centre has already been approved, with the municipality making available a budget of R2-million for this financial year.
Total funding proposals of R7-million are awaiting confirmation by, among other potential funders, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation and the department of economic affairs and should be available by the end of this month.
The centre will comprise an investor service centre, a trade point for exporters, a small businesses centre and a black economic empowerment centre.
The committee recommended yesterday that the centre be registered as a private company to improve efficiency levels in service delivery for investors as well as enterprise development through the small businesses support centre, and offer tender advice and facilitate business linkages through the black economic empowerment centre.
Committee deputy chairman Mcebisi Msizi, who chaired the meeting yesterday in the absence of chairman Mike Kwenaite, said money had already been received from the national government and other sources to start the project.
“We are seeking advice from the national treasury on whether to set it up as a private limited company, or to second it to an already existing municipal entity,” said Msizi.
So as i said in the Pretoria thread, all cities now think they need an ICC, and that they will all succeed...but will they?? He's the issue surrounding the PE councils idea
Pollok 'wrong for conference centre'
15 Feb 2006
Inet Bridge -
Summerstrand residents say they were not against the concept of an international conference centre in PE, but did object to its being built at Pollok Beach
By Bianca Capazorio
Summerstrand residents said on Monday they were not against the concept of an international conference centre in Port Elizabeth, but did object to its being built at Pollok Beach.
They were speaking at a meeting with Coastal and Environmental Services director Ted Avis, in which he presented a breakdown of the draft scoping report.
The report is the first phase of the environmental impact assessment and gauges public opinion of the development. Coastal and Environmental Services is a private firm hired by the municipality to conduct the environmental impact assessment .
Avis said the three proposed sites, namely Kings Beach, Pollok Beach and Moreton Bay, had been chosen for their size, availability of land and marketability, among other things.
The three were then pitted against each other for suitability, and Kings Beach came out tops with an 86 % suitability rating.
Despite this, the Pollok Beach site, which had a 43% suitability rating, was "the preferred site of the metro", Avis said.
Residents at the meeting questioned why, in the face of lack of space to develop further and the availability of more suitable sites, Pollok Beach was chosen.
"What I can't understand is why all the other sites that were too small fell away, but Pollok, which is also too small, actually gets it," one resident said.
Dr Peter Swartz, of the Coastal Environmental Trust called the scoping study "flawed", as neither of the two sites were suitable.
"This is all part of the municipality's plan to fast-track this thing, and instead of waiting for other land to open up, they just went ahead".
He said the land of all three sites was also "free", as it already belonged to the municipality, thus speeding up the process.
In response, Avis said that the decision on which site was chosen ultimately lay with the provincial government; the environment department.
Avis said the Moreton Bay site was owned by the National Ports Authority, not the municipality.
Feather Market Centre director Keith Murcott said that while the Pollok site was not ideal, the ICC would mean a major injection into the city's economy.
He said he had been mandated to create a report on how much money the Feather Market Centre had contributed to the economy in the past five years, and had come up with a figure of R200-million.
He said that Nelson Mandela Bay "must move quickly", as South Africa already had three international conference venues, with East London, Bloemfontein and George also considering building such centres.
surely it should be located close to the attractiopns of the casio, city centre and beaches so things are clustered , instead of away from them? I would have thought a convemntion centre woiuyld be an ideal anchor for the waterfront re-development
PRELIMINARY works have begun for the redevelopment of Govan Mbeki Avenue as a pedestrian mall.
The central business district and parts of Central have been turned into a trench town as workmen dig up the sides of the roads to put in new fibre-optic cables.
Some of the cables being laid are for the 28 security cameras to be installed in the CBD and Central, and which will be controlled from the main fire station in Humewood.
Residents have been inconvenienced by the digging, which in some cases has caused traffic jams, particularly along Military Road, between Baakens Street and the high court.
Electricity and energy business unit manager George Ferreira said yesterday municipal departments were involved in the project. These were the water, infrastructure and engineering department and electricity and energy.
“We are installing a cable from the Russell Road sub-station to the harbour. We are also putting in provision for fibre-optic cables for the security cameras to be installed in the CBD and Central,” said Ferreira.
Acting safety and security business unit manager Wimpie Kruger yesterday declined to reveal the exact positions where the cameras will be installed.
“That is confidential. We will destroy the whole purpose of installing the security cameras if we reveal their location,” said Kruger.
As Govan Mbeki Avenue will be upgraded, and the huge water pipe running underneath the street from Humerail is to be realigned as it is now heavily corroded, the municipality is putting in pipes to augment stormwater drainage.
About R12-million has been budgeted for the first phase of the upgrading of the street from the City Hall to Donkin Street.
Due to the increase in population in Mandela Bay, now about 1,3 million, the infrastructure has been stretched to the limit, resulting in services being affected.
The municipality has serious maintenance backlogs and lacks adequate funding to embark on the much-needed new developments.
The institution has to provide new infrastructure, but because of the huge maintenance costs and backlogs, this is impossible.
A report released last year said that to adequately handle stormwater, the municipality required R55-million to deal with the current maintenance backlog over the next five years.
E Cape auto plant gears up for Hummer
The Eastern Cape plant operated by General Motors, and which currently assembles Opel products, is undergoing an extensive expansion to gear up for production of the Hummer H3 later this year.
Plant manager at Struandale, Peter Frost, says that since the commissioning of the plant in 1996, the facility has almost doubled in size to cover 75 625 square metres.
"We currently run production over two shifts in the body shop, three shifts in the paint shop and operate normal single day shifts for general assembly," he says. "However, as Hummer production increases, the plant will migrate to a two-shift shift operation in our general assembly areas."
Isuzu light commercial vehicles and trucks are currently assembled at the company's Kempston Road plant, while Opel Corsa passenger vehicles and utilities are assembled at Struandale.
By September, the total number of employees at GM South Africa would have increased from 3600 to 4100.
Port Elizabeth - The "Friendly City" has to decide if it wants to be known as a retirement village or as a city that will draw thousands of tourists in the future.
"We need an infrastructure with restaurants, clubs, pubs, and other places of entertainment to offer tourists something to do when they visit our city.
"Too many of our residents are way out of fashion and very conservative.
"This city projects the image of an old age home," said Nceba Moss, chairperson of Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT).
He participated in a discussion forum this week on preparations in the region for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and said visitors to Cape Town spent their nights in clubs and that's what visitors to Port Elizabeth also wanted to do.
Moss lashed out at constant criticism from certain residential areas over alleged noise when entertainment was presented on the beach front.
"We are now receiving complaints over the pedestrian mall being constructed at Pollock Beach.
"Some of the residents complain that it will draw burglars because it passes the front of their residential complex."
Should a restaurant keeper dare to place tables and chairs on the sidewalk in front of his establishment - as is the case in all major cities in the world - there will be someone to complain about the obstructions on the sidewalk, Moss said.
Moss said: "Tourism is becoming a vexing problem.
"Tourism does not belong to Summer Strand and it also does not belong to a specific political party."
It was the responsibility of the NMBT to create a lively city pulsating with rhythm that will draw visitors.
This aim of the NMBT is being thwarted by the lack of cultural activity and recreational options in the city.
"Just think of our Opera House - its doors were closed in December last year - and that while the streets were teeming with tourists dying to find something to do at night," Moss said.
Port Elizabeth to host major property investors conference
(Eastern Cape) The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), tasked with revitalising the Port Elizabeth CBD and inner city, is to host a Property Investors Conference on 25 August in the city. Minster of Public Enterprises, Mr Alec Erwin, will deliver the keynote address. The Minister is expected to outline Government's plan to dispose of land identified as non-core assets.
“PE has many such tracts of land in and around its CBD that are not nature reserves and are currently deserted. This derelict land can easily be turned into profitable commercial and residential developments by property developers,” says MBDA Chairman, Sipho Pityana.
The MBDA CEO, Pierre Voges, will outline the MBDA’s master plan, and tourism and property specialists will discuss important trends in the region. The day-long conference will culminate in a brief tour of the area.
Pityana explains, “The MBDA has been tasked with facilitating the redevelopment of the existing PE harbour for non-industrial purposes such as leisure, retail, office space and residential – similar to the process undertaken at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town several years ago, but on a smaller scale. The harbour and surrounding land will fall into disuse once Ngqura Port at the Coega IDZ is up and running and it will become available for other kinds of development.
“We also have the task of revitalising the Port Elizabeth Central Business District, which has involved getting the basics right first. This entails introducing a permit system for informal traders, heightening security in the area by appointing a security firm to guard the area as well as to install security cameras. It also involves appointing a private company to clean the area, boosting the municipality’s efforts. This must all be done before we can go into a higher level of property development in the CBD,” he says.
“In order to boost private sector investment in the CBD, Government has introduced powerful tax incentives, which apply to investors and landlords who wish to erect or effect capital improvements to buildings in a designated area known as an Urban Development Zone.
“We need to attract opportunities for a wide range of sustainable businesses, building on and adding to the existing industrial, commercial, port/airport and finance activities in the region. As the largest city and fastest growing economy in the Eastern Cape, PE is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities available to it,” he says.
“We are already seeing a major boost in confidence in the area, people are already buying both residential and commercial property as an investment on the assumption that things will change. We are hoping the Investors’ Conference will further boost excitement and property investment in the mandate area, by providing interested investors with the right information,” Pityana says.
PE property developer and MD of Auspex Properties, Ben Nyaumwe says, “The Government's property charter is noteworthy – Government has R 400 billion worth of property nationally to dispose of over ten years.
“The challenge to investors and in the CBD is take into account the opportunities in the new markets. I share the MBDA’s vision at to what this area can be. I’ve seen other African cities that have their own African dynamic that works. For example, Kinshasa in Kenya is an African city that has embraced different cultures. In South Africa, Durban has incorporated African, Indian and European cultures Durban city is alive and has attracted world-class developments like Ushaka Marine World and the Point Development. This is what PE is aiming for.
“The MBDA has done a great job of cleaning up central PE and increasing security in the area. A lot of retail business is coming back and I know of a few exciting retail developments coming to the area in the near future. The retail space on Govan Mbeki is at 100% occupancy and to get space there is near impossible.
“Office to residential conversions are also going to be huge and a PE developer already has such developments in the pipeline.
“PE has the economic capacity to revitalise the CBD and sustain it. We need people who share the vision to invest. In ten years, those that make the investment now are going to be doing the Madiba shuffle because Mandela Bay will be shining alongside other dynamic African cities,” he adds.
IN another boost to Mandela Bay‘s buoyant economy, a Thai firm announced yesterday that it was looking into setting up a R750-million motorcycle and car parts plant in the city.
A high-powered six-member delegation from Thai Summit Autoparts Industry Company arrived yesterday to finalise discussions with the municipality.
The visit follows one made to Thailand by an Eastern Cape delegation in June. It was led by Premier Nosimo Balindlela and joined by Mandela Bay mayor Nondumiso Maphazi.
Speaking at the city hall, where the proposed investment was announced, Maphazi said she had made proposals to the company and encouraged them to set up a motorcycle plant in the city.
She said the investment “holds positive spin-offs not only for us in particular, but for the province as a whole”.
“Bringing the production of motorcycles to this region could encourage the use of this mode of transport. It will also encourage recreation, with the various sporting events associated with motorcycling.
“The company also makes a variety of motor parts for General Motors, Volkswagen SA and Volvo.”
She emphasised the company was not only focusing on Mandela Bay, but looking at investing across the province.
The company‘s business development general manager, Sathien Jetanapong, said they had not initially been keen to invest in the city, but after talks with Maphazi and seeing the “excellent” infrastructure and the region‘s beauty, they had reconsidered.
“We are happy to invest here. We are one of the biggest motorcycle manufacturing companies in Asia and are pleased to bring our expertise here. This is a good investment environment.”
Mandela Bay tourism and economic development committee chairman Mike Kwenaite said: “This confirms our economy is going in the right direction. Investors are drawn here due to skills availability, a stable, growing economy, political stability and proper management of our economy.”
The Thai company has more than 30 subsidiaries in Asia and employs more than 13 000 people.
Mandela Bay has seen several major projects announced in the last month, including:
? The signing of a deal between the Coega Development Corporation and Russia‘s Renova Investments for a R7-billion manganese smelter.
? A R511-million, five-year municipal rehabilitation plan for Soweto-on-Sea.
? A proposal for a R307-million water treatment plant at Coega.
Also, Alcan has announced it will make a final decision on its R14-billion smelter by the end of this month and Eskom announced recently it is planning three multi-billion-rand investments at Coega as well as “other exciting developments”.
Demolition clears land for stadium
03 Oct 2006 - Inet Bridge -
Construction crews has begun demolition work on the site
By Duncan Reyneke
As Nelson Mandela Bay finally began work on the site of its 2010 World Cup stadium last week, officials announced the city no longer feared any accommodation shortage during the tournament.
Municipal spokesman Roland Williams said construction crews had begun demolition work on the site, including the demolition of the Park Rugby Club, to make way for the R1,1-billion stadium.
"All the demolition work has been completed, and the R86-million that has been received from national government has already been allocated to various components of construction.
"It's really full steam ahead now," said Williams.
Councillor Mike Kwenaite said the World Cup local organising committee (LOC) had advised the city not to start construction of any new guesthouses if it did not need them and could not sustain them after 2010.
"We're not actually calling for any new hotels or guesthouses for the World Cup - we have enough space.
"Obviously anybody who already had plans to set up is more than welcome, but it's all a question of sustainability," said Kwenaite.
"We feel we're well on track for accommodation, but what we need to concentrate on now are the levels of service on offer to tourists."
Peter Myles, director of the Centre for Tourism Studies at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, agreed with Kwenaite.
"At this stage, if you take into account the existing beds, as well as accommodation from outlying areas and private accommodation, I feel we?re pretty safe for 2010. Private accommodation definitely needs to be closely monitored, though, but I would definitely say we seem to have enough room for the projected figure (around 29 000 beds)."
Myles said: "There are obviously other factors that need to be monitored in order to ensure we have enough room.
"We look ready for it, but which teams and which matches we host all play a big part, and they are all being monitored at the moment.
"Other plans will have to be made if we host a team such as Brazil or Germany, but then again if we host some less followed teams we could end up having extra space."
Although the municipality is satisfied it has enough beds for the tournament, it has helped launch a number of tourism businesses in the metro recently.
Friday saw the launch of the three-star, seven-room Rainbow Guest House and Tours, a black-owned participative development initiative (PDI) project in Strelitzia Park, Uitenhage.
The guest house is owned by Nonzwanga Thisani.
"This is one of quite a number of SMMEs for tourism we've helped set up this year, all of whose staff received six months of aggressive training in all aspects of tourism," Kwenaite said at the launch.
"Mrs Thisani's establishment received a three-star grading from our grading council just recently."
Kwenaite said it was "lovely to be able to tie this in with tourism and heritage month".
PE se hart wil vlamvat
09/10/2006 19:25 - (SA) Druk artikel E-pos storie aan 'n vriend
Fase een van die opgradering van Govan Mbeki-rylaan in die middestad van Port Elizabeth, die brood*nodige inspuiting om nuwe lewe in die stad en omgewing te blaas, het in alle erns begin.
Dié projek, deel van ’n strategiese plan van die Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), gaan die Nelson Mandela Bay-munisipaliteit sowat R25 miljoen kos en sal die weg baan vir verdere ontwikkeling, volgens mnr. Mike Kwenaite, raadslid belas met ekonomiese ontwikkeling.
Mnr. Pierre Voges, uitvoerende hoof van die MBDA, beskryf die projek as die grootste stedelike vernuwingsprojek nóg in die middestad van Port Elizabeth nadat daar die afgelope 15 jaar niks gebeur het nie.
Hy sê fase een van die Govan Mbeki-rylaan-opgradering, wat die gebied van markplein tot Donkinstraat insluit, behels die skep van ’n wandellaan met winkels aan weerskante, waar die straat deels vir voertuie gesluit word met ruimte vir eenrigtingverkeer en beperkte parkering.
“Ons wil die idee skep van ’n opelug-winkelsentrum met ruimte vir voetgangers en straatkafees en koffiewinkels, asook winkels gerig op toeriste. Dit gaan spesifiek daaroor om die voertuie uit die middestad te haal en die mense terug te bring,” sê hy.
Kleinhandelaars op die grondvlak van geboue in Govan Mbeki-rylaan vaar baie goed, sê hy, maar van die eerste verdieping op boontoe staan die geboue leeg. Dit laat ruimte vir residensiële omskakelings, asook akkommodasie vir kleiner ondernemings.
Informele handelaars sal in spesiale kiosks geakkommodeer word en daar word gehoop dat van die handelaars sal wegbeweeg van die verkoop van vrugte en groente en meer begin fokus op kunsvlytprodukte.
Dié fase sal sowat tien maande neem om te voltooi, waarna die tweede fase sal begin. Hy sê die volgende fase sal die opgradering van Parlement- en Strandstraat wees, asook die ou Tramways-gebou, die voormalige ysskaatsbaan. Planne vir die gebou behels onder meer ’n kleinhandel-, kantoor- en ontspanningsontwikkeling, waarby die private sektor betrek sal word. Die gebou behoort aan die munisipaliteit en daar word beoog om dit op lang termyn te verhuur.
Voges sê die onlangse eiendomsbeleggerskonferensie in Port Elizabeth het belangstelling in die middestad aangewakker en hopelik sal beleggersvertroue uit die private sektor die katalisator en ’n hupstoot vir die vernuwingsproses wees.
^^I noticed that you have posted this article in the "Other Cities" thread earlier.
I'm overly excited about what's happening in PE. Can't wait to see the Waterfront development there. Any latest construction pictures in PE, and or of Port Nqura?
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