South Africa’s flagship marina, the Royal Cape Yacht Club, is a step closer to resolving uncertainty around its lease with the national Ports Authority Transnet, the South African Boat Builders Export Council reports.

This follows Transnet’s decision to revise its Port Development Framework Plan, which now includes the yacht club area as a ‘recreational’ zone inside Cape Town harbour. Previously Transnet had earmarked the area as a future ship repair facility.

RCYC general manager Toni Mainprize told SABBEX the revised document renewed hope that the Club would be accommodated inside the port. She said the onus was now on the Club to produce a commercially competitive bid when their current lease came up for renewal. “Now we know we at least have a chance to secure our land,” Mainprize told SABBEX. “Invariably we would have to go in with a bid which makes it a much more commercially attractive proposition,” she said.

Transnet has been at loggerheads with the sailing community in recent years due to new stringent lease conditions that include higher commercial rates.  Historically water sport clubs located inside harbour facilities have enjoyed discounted rates due to their public benefit.  In March the 60-year-old Algoa Bay Yacht Club was evicted from their premises in Port Elizabeth harbour following a lengthy legal battle with Transnet.

Mainprize said the RCYC, established in 1905, was in a good position to offer a competitive bid. She said the Club was also engaging well with Transnet on a valuable cadet training programme.