Redevelopment of Bayworld finally under way

By Luvuyo Bangazi – MBDA Spokesperson
Issued by Mandela Bay Development
Johannesburg, Jun 15, 2023

After a successful and extensive public and stakeholder engagement programme in 2019/20, the MBDA is now getting the ball rolling in pursuit of the Bayworld, Happy Valley, and Telkom Park precinct development.

The MBDA considers this programme (Bayworld & Happy Valley) as intricately linked to the Baakens Valley precinct development and the proposed Waterfront. When viewed together, one can see the amazing potential at the heart of Nelson Mandela Bay, and the MBDA approaches this programme with that perspective as a key growth opportunity for the Bay.

The Bayworld programme consists of 13 catalytic projects of which the first is now under way. The creation of the Bayworld Sanctuary and Park is currently under construction and making progress since contractors moved in earlier this year. The project will see to the development of a temporary relocation facility to house the live animals for the duration of the demolition of the pavilion, dolphin pool, predator tank and aquarium pool, estimated to conclude by the end of July 2023.

Once the animals are moved to the temporary facility, we estimate a period of two months to conclude the demolition of the dilapidated structures, and as an interim solution, an expanded penguin and seal enclosure will be created as well as a grassed and terraced public open space area to host public pop-up events.

R20m set aside for three phases:

Phase 1: Project Initiation

Phase 2: Preparation of relocation facility

Phase 3: Demolition, remedial work and creation of a park

The scope of work includes the preparation of a rehabilitation facility, demolition of decommissioned sections, remedial work to pools and buildings affected by the demolition and the rehabilitation of the land into a park.

Progress to date includes:

  • Site handover complete;
  • Site establishment complete;
  • Location of existing services (100%);
  • Installation of feeder pipes (70%); and
  • Earthworks for temporary holding area (50%).

R3bn investment required to realise full project potential:

The larger Bayworld redevelopment is estimated at more than R3 billion will be pursued by the MBDA through its newly established focus area of Game Changing Catalytic Programme. Through this focus, significant effort will be placed on sourcing local and external partnerships and investors.

We have already published an RFP and briefed interested bidders for a fundraising strategy that will set the foundation of an aggressive fundraising programme. We understand that the city and province are not able to fund such an ambitious programme, hence the drive for a public and private partnership approach.

Economic impact:

Once complete several years from now, the economic spin-offs of this programme are estimated to include a potential contribution to GDP of at least R1.5 billion per annum, 4 139 jobs during construction and 1 000 during operations.

The MBDA is confident that Bayworld is a strategic game-changer for Nelson Mandela Bay’s economic turnaround, and that funding partners will see value.