New Mthatha airport to boost economy

AUGUST 17, 2015

Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle says the potential of the Eastern Cape’s economic growth and tourism will be further enhanced following a multi-million rand revamp of the Mthatha airport.

Premier Masualle was speaking during a tour of the new airport by provincial government officials on Thursday where the new features of the airport were shown to visitors and members of the public.

Government has spent more than R200 million on the new terminal building in a bid to make Mthatha airport more attractive to airlines. Currently, Airlink is the only airline that operates from the airport and it is hoped that with the renovations, more commercial airlines will fly to the airport.

The airport is situated in the eastern part of the province, an area rich with heritage and home to the Wild Coast frequented by international tourists.  

“We believe that through the work we have done on this airport we will be able to unlock a lot of potential and opportunities will be plenty for those who are willing to take advantage of this development,” Premier Masualle said.

“Already, through the work we have been doing here a lot of people have benefited in terms of employment and we are seeing improvements in visitors,” he said.

Mthatha airport is part of the infrastructure build programme of government and the upgrade was done under the Presidential intervention package in the past administration.

Construction was delayed due to constant rains and in some instances strike action by workers.

The facility is expected to be officially opened in October and will boast, among other attractions, restaurants, resting areas and up to nine offices for car rental companies.