The eThekwini Municipality says it has “big plans” for the site on which Durban Funworld has been located for decades. However, the DA in eThekwini does not believe that anything will come of this, but that it will only contribute to the further decay of Durban.
Rhewal used to report that the iconic amusement park’s end has come and the park will finally close its doors on May 1.
“The announcement to cancel the lease comes after eThekwini has already worked on big plans for future use of the site,” says Musa Mbhele, eThekwini’s city manager.
“One of the many options the city explored for the site was to make the theme park part of uShaka Marine World, but that fell through the cracks.”
According to the municipality, Nic Steyn, third generation owner of Funworld, was not prepared to provide the financial information that would enable uShaka Marine World to make an informed decision.
The municipality is currently working on a tender process to find potential developers so that the Funworld site can be renovated.
“We hope to find a successful developer who can turn the site into a world-class facility. Our residents and visitors deserve a facility that will contribute to the overall aesthetics of our ‘Golden Mile’,” says Mbhele.
However, the DA in eThekwini appeals to the mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, to extend Steyn’s lease.
“The mayor must urgently consult with the owner of Funworld to either extend the lease of the amusement park or work with him so that he can transfer his skills to the new development that will replace Funworld,” says Sakhile Mngadi, DA councillor.
According to Mngadi, the end of this amusement park is a big blow to the central beachfront.
“eThekwini now has nothing attractive to offer tourists on its Golden Mile, the tourism office in Durban’s misery is only deepened by this. They are already struggling to market the city to international visitors.”
Mngadi says tourism is extremely important for a tourist city like Durban and that the decline of this sector plunges the metro even further into the abyss of service delivery failure and decay.
“This past December was the worst holiday season the city has ever experienced and indicators show that it was just as bad over the Easter holidays.
“Plans are allegedly being drawn up for the establishment of a new ‘world-class’ theme park in place of Durban Funworld, but like all major development plans for the city there is little to no indication that this will ever come to fruition,” says Mngadi.
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