Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises
Kwazi Mbili
Development of a Durban Logistic Hub
30 August 2019 9:36 a.m.
Dear Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises,

I hereby request your assistance that your committee deal with our story after several attempts we have made trying to request the office of the Ministry of Public Enterprises and The Minister of Small business development and the Presidency intervention, to ensure that my company is able to follow through on its promise from the Transnet officials to support local BEE companies, for a project that would make a significant difference to the Durban economy in terms of job creation to the youth of Umlazi and Lamontville townships and back of port efficiencies and furthermore, to expose any potential wrong doings related to a highly dubious lease signing by Transnet with a company known as Seaworld.

By way of a brief history, we have been working on the Durban Logistics Hub development plan for over 3 years now in the Durban old airport site, in conjunction with our JV partners on this project, City Ventures(the development and investment arm of City Couriers). Amabhubesi Property Holdings is a BEE SPV set up for the purpose of this project and typifies the need for local , previously disadvantaged businessmen, to play a meaningful role in the economy and this is a perfect opportunity for Transnet to play their part in enabling this process, in a property sector currently dominated by white and Indian owned companies. I am the Managing Director in this business.

We have however hit a major setback, based on a supposed lease signed with an entity known as Seaworld, which is preventing us from moving forward with what will be a potentially significant catalytic project for the back of port strategy, be it on a medium or long term basis and as outlined in our proposal attached(this is the original proposal, there are a few completed after this, along with a recent lease application, which was approved through the Transnet Properties Durban office). Understandably, once the above is resolved, we can then proceed with concluding our deal, for what will be a significant job creation and economic catalytic project for Durban.

Transnet Properties has apparently cancelled the lease with this Seaworld entity(by whom and why this was signed perhaps needs a bit of investigation..) and are now in litigation. It is fairly common knowledge, that the individuals behind Seaworld are also involved with a dubious application to develop Virginia Airport, which itself has been turned down by the city. The lease and development application that was approved by Transnet apparently detailed Seaworld wanting to reopen the old airport as a temporary location for the Virginia operation to move to, whilst they were developing a new facility for them on the South Coast! (This usage vs the conversion of the DDOP site to a substanital temporary/semi permanent logistics hub to help alleviate existing back of port congestion as a holistic and multi beneficial solution to the area...... I must question the decision making of the TP leadership to prefer the Seaworld option over our application at that point in time...)

Please may you kindly consider taking this up with the relevant minister and president’s office on our behalf, in order for them to intervene and assist Transnet in expediting the litigation of Seaworld and getting them offsite urgently. The time is now, to unlock these type of substantial projects which our country and city so desperately needs to turn our countries economic plight around.

We want to make a contribution and assist our President in solving the current economic crises our country is facing “we are being denied access”.

Your assistance will be highly appreciated.