City to take over and expand Oribi Airport

2015-03-06 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality plans to take over the running of Pietermaritzburg (Oribi) airport next year.

The airport’s contract with Indiza Airport Management ends in March next year.

Addressing Executive Committee members yesterday, municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said they were in the process of appointing an airport manager to take over the running of the airport in April.

Indiza were appointed to manage the airport on a judge’s order.

In 2012, The Witness reported that the municipality was heavily criticised for the way it handled a tender to appoint a service provider.

Judge Rishi Seegobin set aside a decision taken by the municipality not to award the contract to Indiza Airport Management.

He accused the municipality of dishonesty.

Judge Seegobin found that the awarding had been flawed. He ordered the municipality to award the tender to the company within a month and to pay all Indiza’s costs.

Nkosi said the municipality will not put out another tender but will set up its own entity.

The entity, he said, will bring a variety of expertise to operations, including a board of directors.

“The manager will be appointed now and when the contract with Indiza expires, the manager will be able to continue running the airport,” he said.

Nkosi told The Witness that the municipality had big plans for the airport.

“The airport must be alive, it must not be what it is now where people just come and go.”

Dr Ray Ngcobo, responsible for Economic Development in the municipality, said they plan to build an airport hub that will accommodate many businesses in aviation.

He said the project has been sponsored by provincial treasury.

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