The Jeffreys Bay City Council has announced that a harbor will be built off the Main Beach.
In what can only be describes as a major game changer for the local economy, the harbour will create thousands of jobs and will usher in a new era of prosperity for the region.
The port’s container terminal will have six berths totalling 1900m in length and a storage area of 22ha with 5,400 ground slots for stacking purposes.
The harbour will be situated between Main Beach and Aston Bay and will also cater for the gas and oil industry that is expected to boom off the south coast of Africa.
A Chinese consortium will develop the harbour and the Jeffreys Bay Council will donate the land to the project that will alter the very essence of Jeffreys Bay forever.
Mike Hoo Wan FishforSushi, the engineer for the consortium who has been seconded to Council, said that they understand that the sense of place and the peaceful and laid back vibe of Jeffreys Bay will be destroyed but said the benefits outweigh the negatives.
“Property prices will rise in Jeffreys Bay which will give the locals an opportunity to sell and make some money and go move elsewhere,” said FishforSushi.
“The consortium itself will be buying lots of property to cater for all the workers who will be coming from China to assist in the construction phase of the project,” he added.
When questioned about the Environmental Impact Study and the public participation process, FishforSushi was dismissive and said that these issues had been dealt with on a national level and were of no concern to local residents.
“This is a massive project and decisions of this nature will not be made at a local government level.
“People must just accept that the harbour is coming, learn how to speak Chinese to be able to interact with the Chinese people who will be coming to live in Jeffreys Bay and forget their braais and start to eat sushi.
A Chinese fishing fleet will be based in Jeffreys Bay and high quality fish will be sold locally so everyone will benefit. Our Chinese fishermen are highly skilled and will catch the best fish South Africa has to offer so there is no problem,” said FishforSushi.
When questioned how many jobs will go to the local community, FishforSushi was evasive and said that the Chinese immigrants will spend some money in Jeffreys Bay which meant that shops will be employing more people and that will boost job creation in the area.
“The deal with the South African government is that we will be bringing our own workers from China and that’s that – finish and klaar,” he said.
The Jeffreys Bay Surfriders Club are outraged by the development and said that it would destroy the world famous surf breaks that have made Jeffreys Bay famous.
“You can see how the Port Elizabeth harbour wrecked the old North End beaches by blocking off the flow of sand and the same thing will happen in Jeffreys Bay,” said Tonnel Van Tonder from the Surfriders Club.
“There has been no answers about these questions and we will write letters and moan around our braais about this development,” said Van Tonder.
Construction of the harbour is expected to be complete by 1 April 2021.