The Supreme Court of Appeal upholds prior rulings to dismiss with costs an appeal by the Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club (MBYBC) against the judgments handed down by the Western Cape High Court in favour of TNPA on two occasions, in the MBYBC’s Review Application.

Port of Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, said: “While this is a landmark victory for TNPA, there remains the Eviction Application and the Ports Regulator complaint which were stayed pending the finalisation of this Review Application. Now that the latter has been finalised, TNPA’s external attorneys have been briefed to pursue the recovery of TNPA’s legal costs and to finalise the remaining matters.”

In May 2018 TNPA issued a notice to the MBYBC to vacate its port premises by the end of May 2018. This was in accordance with the terms of a High Court order dated 30 April 2018 which dismissed the application by MBYBC to review and set aside the lease application awarded by TNPA to successor lessee Mossel Bay Waterfront Pty Ltd, a Mossel Bay based, woman-owned micro-enterprise, in October 2016.

Judge AJ Langa in his High Court judgment had said: “Judged against the values of fairness, equitableness, transparency, competitiveness and effectiveness, the third respondent’s [Mossel Bay Waterfront] tender complies with all the specifications and conditions of tender as set out in the contract documents.”

He found that the tender was neither unreasonable nor irrational and that the Mossel Bay Waterfront’s bid was fully compliant with the terms of the lease.

MBYBC had occupied premises within the port on a lease agreement which continued on a month to month basis by agreement until a new tender was advertised for the premises in August 2016. MBYBC and Mossel Bay Waterfront were the only contesting bidders for the new tender which was subsequently awarded to Mossel Bay Waterfront.

The High Court found that points awarded in the tender process to Mossel Bay Waterfront were justified for new skills development, job creation and/or preservation, small business promotion and rural / community development and regional integration.

Shadrack Tshikalange
Shadrack Tshikalange

As ports landlord, TNPA operates within a legislative and regulatory environment created by the National Ports Act No.12 of 2005. This requires the Authority to follow a public process for service providers looking to provide port services and facilities.

Tshikalange said the finalisation of this protracted process would enable the port and the new lessee – through its strong business model – to provide all members of society with an equal opportunity to participate in port activities. This is in line with TNPA’s Smart People’s Ports vision, which includes promoting greater public access and ensuring a vibrant port system that connects local communities to port activities.

TNPA is also working closely with the Mossel Bay Municipality and Mossel Bay Tourism to develop the Port of Mossel Bay as a tourist port. “The Mossel Bay Waterfront will help to make the Port of Mossel Bay an even bigger attraction on this beautiful coastline, with a mixed-use waterfront that could include retail, commercial and industrial facilities,” said Tshikalange.