Tourism and heritage sectors throw weight behind initiatives to boost Bay economy
The Mandela Bay Development Agency’s new CEO Anele Qaba continues to engage with key sectors in his quest to build partnerships and collaborations as the entity looks forward to kicking off the new financial year and commemoration of its 20 years in existence.
On Wednesday, 28 June, Qaba met with representatives of the Historical Society of Port Elizabeth (HSPE) led by Chairperson Graham Taylor. “We discussed several initiatives that we will soon be working closely on, and these include the removal of high-risk landmark plaques for the purposes of replacement with composite material, and the safekeeping of those materials,” said Qaba.
“I am glad to announce that we have already secured the services required to remove these threatened items and replace them with the international blue composite alternatives, and the society will play a pivotal role in that. Other areas of collaboration include the need to do detailed feasibility studies on the potential of the marine heritage and the establishment of a hub that can display and promote this unique history of Algoa Bay.”
On Thursday, 29 June, Qaba met with the tourism body, Discover Nelson Mandela Bay. Emphasising the importance of strong collaborations, those at the meeting agreed to pursue several projects that could have a major impact on the Bay’s economy. Top of the list is the long outstanding development of an International Convention Centre (ICC) and Exhibitions facility.
“The MBDA has a standing council resolution to establish an ICC at the old Boet Erasmus (Telkom Park), and not much has happened since the demolition in 2017. The ICC project is a quick win and one that already has a significant portion of work completed in terms of spatial plans and urban design. A follow-up detailed working meeting will be set with technical teams to look at scenarios and draw up an action plan.”
The MBDA Board recently approved a new five-year plan, and Qaba is determined to take this plan to stakeholders and build collaborations because the window of opportunity for the Bay is closing. “The city has many plans, but now is the time to get on with it,” Qaba concluded.
Earlier in the week, Qaba met with wards 1 and 5 councillors, Renaldo Gouws and Terry Stander. The two wards are central to the original mandate of the MBDA, and the ward offices are a key gateway to stakeholders and communities in those areas.
Meetings are set with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBC) and Central Special Ratings Area (SRA) to build a coalition of like-minded bodies to bring change.
As a municipal entity, the MBDA is governed primarily by the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 and receives its mandate from the NMBM through Council resolutions. The mandate is enacted through the completion of a Service Delivery Agreement (SDA) between the entity and the Parent Municipality. In terms of legislation, and delegation of authorities, the Board’s responsibility is to provide oversight and strategic direction, whereas Management is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organisation, led by the Chief Executive Officer. Operationally, the MBDA reports into the NMBM through the Office of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the relevant political oversight champion as directed by the Executive Mayor.
In 2012, Council resolved to incorporate the Helenvale Urban Renewal Programme (HURP) into the MBDA to execute and implement the German Development Bank, KfW funded Safety and Peace through Urban Upgrading programme (SPUU). The SPUU programme was an NMBM programme mandated to the MBDA for project management and implementation. Through the NMBM and KfW agreement, the NMBM would provide co-funding and take over completed initiatives and infrastructure.
In 2016, on separate occasions, Council resolved to handover the management and operations of the
Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre to the MBDA, and subsequently resolved to also handover the management of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to the MBDA, effective 01 January 2017, initially for a period of three years, and this has subsequently been extended to June 2023.
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NMB Science & Tech Centre: https://nmbstc.co.za/
Issued by MBDA Spokeperson, Luvuyo Bangazi.