Political pressure needed on Bayworld issue, says Biddulph

2015-07-22 06:00
: 
An aerial view of Bayworld. 
PHOTO: 
werner hills

: An aerial view of Bayworld. PHOTO: werner hills

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DA COUNCILLOR Dean Biddulph pleaded with Mayor Danny Jordaan in council last week to put political pressure on the provincial government to move faster in approving a draft proposal by the MBDA to revitalise Bayworld.

Biddulph said the issue had been that the proposed cabinet memorandum which the MBDA drafted for the revitalisation of Bayworld had been essentially stuck in the provincial legislature for more than two years. “This report and legal opinion and cabinet memo were drafted for Eastern Cape Arts and Culture MEC Xoliswa Tom to sign off.

“I am just concerned about this as a project which could benefit our tourism industry. I appeal to the mayor to put this on his dashboard; at the moment its lying on the airbags of the dashboard. So let’s have a look at this and try to move forward with this project,” Biddulph said during a special council meeting last week.

Biddulph said if the MBDA was able to take over as the facilitating agent, as the memo proposed, it reduces the burden on the metro to come up with the money and freed up the MBDA to seek external grant and other funding, and increased the burden on the municipality to revamp Bayworld.

According to the municipal manager, Mpilo Mbambisa, in his reply to Biddulph’s questions, the MBDA had obtained a legal opinion to determine how the facility could be taken forward as the land belonged to the metro, but the building and its content belonged to the province. “In terms of the legal opinion, the leisure facilities would be devolved to the metro and effectively the MBDA to finalise a business plan for the redevelopment; to raise funds, oversee construction and appoint an operator.”

Mbambisa said the MBDA had prepared a provincial cabinet memorandum to that effect, but the museum would still be operated by the province according to their proposal.

Bidduplh, however, expressed frustration with Mbambisa’s response, saying he had received similar responses every time he asked about Bayworld

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