A revised Transnet Port Development Framework for Cape Town harbour has revived hopes of a new long term lease for Royal Cape Yacht Club.

The site currently occupied by the club had been earmarked as a ship repair facility; it is now zoned recreational, much to the delight of club manager Toni Mainrpize and other club officials. “The potential to keep the space is definitely back,” Mainprize told SABBEX in an interview last month. “It is quite a change in the tide. They had positioned this land (the club site) to be used for a ship repair yard and to be filled in with concrete. Their pdfs (documents) have been revised,” Mainprize said.

Responding to a SABBEX query a Transnet spokesperson confirmed the news: “The area in question has been zoned as recreational on the short and medium term outlook of the Port Development Framework Plan (PDFP).”

“The PDFP does not specify ‘yacht club’ per se, but this would be a permissible use under recreational zoning,” the spokesperson said.

Mainprize cautioned that there were still no guarantees, and the lease would still have to go out on tender as per Transnet policies. She said the Club was working with Transnet to ensure the tender was issued more than six months in advance of the lease expiry date in 2025 – to ensure the Club had sufficient time to make an alternative plan should the lease not be renewed.

She said Club management was mindful of Transnet’s policy imperative of managing a commercially viable Port: “Invariably we would have to go in with a bid which makes it a much more commercially attractive proposition,” Mainprize said, adding that the Club was in a good position to produce such a bid.

“Now we know we at least have a chance to secure our land,” she said.

Mainprize said the Club enjoyed a constructive relationship with Transnet, particularly in relation to Transnet’s new high-tech training centres: “We are partnering our academy with them to provide students (for the centres). There is lots going on,” she said.

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