Transnet National Ports Authority has announced a multi-million rand transformation for the Port of Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape.

The new port will include a waterfront, a dock for cruise line passengers to disembark and various other business opportunities.

The company says the facelift will be a key catalyst for economic growth in the Garden Route.

The Port of Mossel Bay is the smallest along our coastline. But big plans are in store for it in the next five years.

Transnet wants to bring it in line with other ports around the country.

Shulami Qalinge, Transnet national ports authority chief executive says: “One of the major programmes that we are looking at is the development of the waterfront at the port of Mossel Bay. It’s meant to grow the economy, its meant to grow the business at the port itself and its meant to create job opportunities for the community.”

The plans have been welcomed.

Community Leader Bongani Swartbooi says: “It’s a new development everyone has been waiting for, we are grateful. Transnet also engaged the community, requested input for this development.”

Mossel Bay Business Chamber’s Johan Claassen says: “The more we can use the harbour to do exports, imports, tourism, we can get cruise ships here and that creates jobs.”

However, businesses leasing port property fear they’ll be side-lined.

Seavuna Fishing Company’s Raymond Williams says: “It could be that our factory has to move out at some stage which is a big concern for us. Seavuna has been in the harbour for the last 30 years and provides work for hundreds of people.”

Transnet say the port’s modification is all part of their plans for radical economic transformation in the region.