Beachfront Durban KwaZulu-Natal strikes new gold

Durban's Golden Mile has been further improved with a "new" beach being created virtually at its centre.

Durban's Golden Mile has been further improved with a "new" beach being created virtually at its centre. Now the thousands of tourists flocking to Durban's coastline this festive season will have even more space to enjoy themselves.

The opening ceremony of the first phase of the beach improvement, at the end of West Street on the old Seaworld site, took place on Friday. The beach's large promenade will accommodate a range of activities, including cycling, running and walking.

It will have the capacity to hold large-scale events,
including beach soccer, touch rugby, cricket, volleyball and the city's famous Indaba beach parties. There will also be fun and games for children, including flag sprints, tug-of-war and sand castle competitions during the holiday season.

A match was played by the 2005
Beach Soccer World Cup South Africa team on the beach, to marks its opening. At the launch were eThekwini Municipality Mayor Obed Mlaba, city manager Mike Sutcliffe, Transport, Security and Community Liaison Minister Bheki Cele, Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo and a host of other VIPs.

"Durban is really moving and our beaches are our pride and joy. I made a promise that 2005 would go down as the year in which eThekwini began to increase the scale and pace of tourism-related initiatives," said Mlaba in his speech. "This development allows us to capitalize on the current significant investments of uShaka Marine Theme Park and Sun coast Casino."

The city recognized that the existing range of beachfront facilities and activities did not meet the target-market segment demands, said Mlaba. He added that the objectives included spreading the beach usage evenly by expanding the range and number of activities along the Golden Mile, increasing events space and improving management."

The developments would also create jobs
for both formal and informal retail sectors, with high-quality retail space being set aside for arts and crafts traders, he said.

The old Sea World/aquarium precinct would be used to create space for new restaurants overlooking the beach and South Beach pools. Sutcliffe said: "The design of West Street node is aimed at improving security by opening up the beaches and removing any buildings or obstacles that restrict surveillance.

"The development also tackles the historic divide between North and South beaches by encouraging people to move along the promenade."

(Source: The Independent on Saturday /10 December 2005)

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