Demolition begins at Mandela Bay aquarium

Demolition works have begun at an aquarium in South Africa, with the removal of a dolphin pool and pavillon, in the first stage of what is described as a “mega project” for the Eastern Cape Province.

An excavator with a hydraulic hammerl attachment demolishes the wall of a tropical tank enclosure Demolition teams have already taken down the outside walls of a tropical fish tank at the oceanarium. (PHOTO: Mandela Bay Development Agency)

The works to the Bayworld Oceanarium in Gqeberha are being carried out as part of a wider, R2.2 billion (US$115 million) plan to transform a 55-ha (0.5 km) site into “world-class ocean city” that showcases diversity, culture, heritage and the environment.

The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA), which is leading the redevelopment project, said: “The initial demolition is targeting structures that have already been condemned.

“This will create an entranceway from Beach Road for demolition and heavy equipment to access the oceanarium, dolphin pool, grandstand and adjacent structures from January to approximately March next year.”

The demolition phase of the stage-one project, will also see the removal of other animal enclosures such as a tropical tank and predator tank, will see the construction of a “state-of-the-art” aquarium and marine science centre, budgeted at around R20 million (US$1 million).

Comprising a 13 individual projects, the wider redevelopment project is being carried out with the support of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and the Eastern Cape Provincial DSARC.

The MBDA said: “Current estimates indicate that the larger project can make a potential contribution to the gross domestic product of at least R1.5 billion [US$79 million) per year, as well as include 4,139 jobs during construction and 1,000 during operation.”

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