eThekwini politicians agree to R39m ICC extensions.

Posted On Sunday, 03 November 2002 10:01 Published by
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Durban - eThekwini unicity politicians have agreed to provide funding of R39 million for the first phase of extensions to the International Convention Centre (ICC).
Durban - eThekwini unicity politicians have agreed to provide funding of R39 million for the first phase of extensions to the International Convention Centre (ICC).

Alec Gilbert, the chief executive of the ICC, said the ICC had lost business to the tune of R14 million as result of the delay in the venue's extension.

'We have had to turn away a lot of business because of limited capacity, but the approval of funding will enable us to accommodate increasing demand for the venue.'

He added that the second stage of the construction would cost R211 million. Funding options for the second stage included co-funding with the private sector, cross-subsidisation with other schemes owned by the council, and funding from the council itself.

A report, in its financing
plan, provides for stage two to be completed in 2004 if partnership funding is secured, or in 2005 if further council funding is needed.

The extension will make the ICC a multipurpose facility, which will include an indoor sports complex. Construction of the first phase should start in January next year.

In an executive committee meeting held last week, it was agreed that R15 million of the first-stage funding would come from the fund that the city council set aside for the maintenance of the ICC.

Michael Sutcliffe, the city's municipal manager, said: 'We put money into the maintenance fund each year for the ICC. The other R24 million would come from a capital budget, which will be transferred from savings on projects funded from business service levies.'

Sutcliffe had headed a team that looked into planning, costs and implementation strategy to be used for the extension. He said the endorsement of the report by the politicians allowed Durban to make the Tourism Indaba a bigger event than the previous years.

The city has been holding the indaba for the past 10 years. The event brings together tourism stakeholders from the African continent to do business about tourism issues.

Gilbert added that the venue was wholly owned by the unicity, which simplified the procurement procedure.

'Under the previous legislation, the unicity was not allowed to own a company and it formed the Durban Infrastructural Development Trust to own the ICC.'

New legislation passed a few years ago resulted in the trust divesting itself of shares in the ICC Durban company.

Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

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