The People’s Port Festival: Step inside the theatre of PE's nautical opportunities

2017-03-14 13:33 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - The first People’s Port Festival is set to showcase exciting waterfront developments for the city of Port Elizabeth.

Locals are being invited to step inside the "theatre of port operations" and experience the lifestyle and opportunities the new development holds. 

This "never before experience of the port" taking place on March 25 - 26 is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities", says  Port of Port Elizabeth port manager for Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), Rajesh Dana.

“We want people to experience the exciting world of port operations and have a glimpse into the future vision of our port and the role it plays in our city," says Dana.

What you need to know: 

Date: Saturday 25 - Sunday 26 March

Time: Gates open at 10 am, and closes at 10 pm on Saturday. From 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.

Entrance: Free - Via Baakens Street and the Campanile entrance.

There will be plenty of free parking available with hop-on-hop-off buses within the port running between the parking areas and the festival activities.

"The port has already experienced an upswing in the number of cruise liners docking in the port of Port Elizabeth. In recent years, Transnet has had on average 24 vessels arriving per year, and we are working with all tourism role players to sustain and grow this number."

Evidence of this can be seen in the fact that the Port of Port Elizabeth attracted and retained international cruise liners such as the Queen Mary 2 says Dana, "which has visited our shores many times. The port actively encourages the public to view the docking and sailing of iconic vessels."

SEE: #QM2Remastered: Cape Cruise season sails into full swing

Ports are vital to the economy, and tourism has huge potential to contribute to the growth of our economy. The People’s Port Festival is an opportunity for residents of the metro, as well as domestic and international visitors to experience the port of Port Elizabeth, and its links to other leisure pursuits in the city, like never before.

Throughout the weekend, there will be a number of unique experiences available for people to immerse themselves in:

  •        The iconic SA Aghulas which has just returned Antarctica will be available to board, with some of its scientists available to meet
  •        Winners of the event's various competitions stand a chance to board a tug and watch as it docks a cargo vessel or board a pilot boat and cross the breakwaters
  •        Experience some of the technological advancements in the ocean economy, and the technology the port of Port Elizabeth has invested in
  •        See the heavy machinery in action including a boat hoist that can lift 90 tonnes.

“The event isn’t just about showcasing the port and the cargo that is imported and exported,” says Dana. “Visitors can enjoy entertainment from national artists, purchase fresh produce in our fish market and even participate in watersports.”


 The diverse programme of activities, demonstrations and entertainment will also include:

  •        Automotive exhibition
  •        Maritime careers exhibition
  •        Discover ocean-based research in the Bay
  •        Bayworld experiences
  •        Virtual diving opportunities
  •        Watersports
  •        Family entertainment
  •        Popular live artists and DJs including Mobi Dixon and internationally renowned Mafikizolo
  •        Navy vessel tours including a navy strike craft
  •        Evening yacht procession
  •        Street soccer competition
  •        Boxing tournament
  •        Angling competition
  •        Fish braai competition
  •        Tugboat ballet
  •        Firework display
  •        Inter-quay ferry trips
  •        Fish and farmers’ markets
  •        Food trucks
  •        Bocadillos pop-up restaurant
  •        Lifestyle market

SEE: SA Insider Guide: Whats cool and happening in the friendly city