Plans for Bayworld upgrades have been on hold for over 10 years - Trollip


The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Nelson Mandela Bay has accused management of the troubled Bayworld Museum and Oceanarium Complex of dragging its feet in introducing upgrades to the facility.

Addressing a small media contingent outside Bayworld after allegedly being barred from conducting an oversight visit, DA provincial leader Athol Trollip said a planning initiative between the facility, Nelson Mandela Municipality and Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, which originally formed part of then Mayor Nceba Faku’s Vision 2020 campaign in 1999, had been stagnating since 2004 despite it being declared a legal recommendation five years later.

“Mentions have also been made about a service-level agreement that MEC Pemmy Majodina claims to have signed, yet no-one at a council or legislative level as ever seen it. Until we see it, we can only assume it to be figment of someone’s imagination,” Trollip said.

He said attempts to discuss the lack of upgrades with recently appointed Bayworld Director Luvuyo Mini, came to an abrupt halt when the party was told it should have received a tabled financial report by provincial government, which was claimed to have been compiled after a provincial oversight visit in June last year.

“We investigated this and discovered that the report had in fact not been tabled and remains a draft on the desk in some forgotten corner of an office in Bhisho,” Trollip continued.

“In addition, the DA’s spokesperson and only representative on the department, Ross Prudon, was blocked from joining this oversight committee and “conveniently” deployed to visit libraries in Kokstad. It does not matter what is being said in council, it is clear that Bayworld, like other projects such as the Boet Erasmus Stadium for example, has been going backwards and nothing is being done about it”.

Flanking Trollip along with the party’s committee spokesperson on Economic Development, Tourism and Arts, Dean Biddulph and local councilors, Prudon remarked he become elated after Majodina announced the signing of the agreement, but became frustrated after no formal announcement was made afterwards.

“Over 60 000 children visit Bayworld every year and it has amazing potential as tourism, yet MEC Majodina has continued to drag her heels to the frustration of us and most likely Pierre Voges of the Mandela Bay Development Agency”.