The long-awaited revitalisation of Latimer's Landing in the Port of East London has moved a step closer.
This, after Transnet National Ports Authority, was granted permission to demolish the existing historic structure and to replace it with a modern fit for purpose one.
Built in the early 1900s using Karri wood, the jetty on the Buffalo River was closed in 2009 due to the negative impact seawater has had on its structural integrity," TNPA said in a statement on Wednesday.
It said it had to apply to the Eastern Cape Provincial Heritage Resource Authority for a permit to demolish the structure because it is older than 60 years and protected under the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999.
The site is also world-renowned as the place where the prehistoric coelacanth fish was brought to shore, dispelling the accepted belief that it had become extinct.
"This application has now been approved and paves the way for TNPA to proceed with phase 1 of the project which entails demolition and reconstruction," TNPA said.
East London Port Manager, Sharon Sijako, said: "Latimer's Landing is a unique and valuable asset to our city, but one that has not been optimally utilised in recent years."
She said that in line with its vision of transforming its ports into 'people's ports', TNPA envisages an array of exciting waterfront activities, water-based attractions, and quayside restaurants and coffee shops that will revitalise the area and draw steady traffic into the precinct.
The final design and feasibility study are expected by October after which the tender process will get underway.
"Once a contractor is appointed, the construction phase is expected to take 12 months," Sijako said.