The commercial sites, which will be leasable for a minimum of five years, present opportunities for new entrants who have a minimum of 51% Black Ownership to participate in port related activities.
Port Manager for the Port of Durban, Moshe Motlohi said this exercise was part of transforming the port space and making it more inclusive for interested businesses especially new entrants.
“This is the first ever real estate lease application exercise of this magnitude and we hope that it will be well received by the public, especially for communities residing in and around the Port of Durban,” he said.
“As the national ports authority, we have a responsibility to the country to help address the three scourges plaguing South Africa – unemployment, poverty and inequality – by making business opportunities available for small and emerging businesses owned by previously disadvantaged individuals to operate within the port environment,” said Motlohi.
The commercial sites range in size from 14 square metres (m2) to 5000 square metres (m2) and are mostly used for port and logistics related activities such as light industrial engineering workshops, repair operations and storage warehouses/sites. The properties up for grabs also include a restaurant which caters for the Bayhead industrial workers market and sites suitable for local sporting bodies, boating clubs and fishing clubs.
“Currently the Port of Durban has been leasing these properties on a month-to-month basis to a group of businesses for more than 20 years. This will now change, as most of the lease agreement terms will be on a five-year lease term agreement,” explained Gary Young, Real Estate Manager at the Port of Durban.
Young added that whilst most of the properties were still occupied, their lease agreements were soon coming to an end.
“Where the lease expires, we put them out to the market through a public process to identify new participants,” Young said.
Current tenants are encouraged to participate in the process, however, further recognition will be given to new entrants and applicants who have a minimum of 51% Black Ownership.
TNPA Chief Executive Richard Vallihu has repeatedly reinforced the view that the country’s ports are a catalyst for economic growth, pushing for what TNPA calls “Radical Port Reform”. This includes unleashing the potential of the ports to create jobs and open up the space for the participation of historically disadvantaged communities.
The Port of Durban which has a land area of 985 hectares, has at least 352 lease agreements with a number of businesses operating within the port vicinity.