Celebrating 20 years of urban regeneration and clean audits The Mandela Bay Development Agency, a change agent of the Bay, plans long-term stadium development. The Mandela Bay Development Agency, an entity of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality established in 2003 to reverse urban decay of the Port Elizabeth inner city through urban renewal, celebrates 20 years of its existence in 2023. Some of the successes of the MBDA include pioneering the regeneration of urban nodes such as Kings Beach, Helenvale, the Kariega CBD and a significant part of the Gqeberha inner city. Other achievements include a R40-millon project in New Brighton which saw the transformation of Singaphi Street. The MBDA has only ever received successive unqualified and clean audit outcomes from the Auditor General of South Africa. In 2016, Council, on separate occasions resolved to hand over the management and operations of the Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre to the MBDA and subsequently resolved to also hand over the management of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to the MBDA effective 1 January 2017, initially for a period of three years, and this has subsequently been extended to July 2023. Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium promotes major sports, entertainment and recreational activities. The purpose of the Agency is also to stimulate social support to the communities and the province at large. The MBDA has done extremely well in achieving both focuses. This has created a heavy dent in the entity’s finances but the outlook is hopeful that it is just a matter of time before positive results are seen in bank statements. The issue around the staff contracts is still one of the high risks faced by the business. However, this does not discourage the team from continuing with the promotion and marketing of the asset. The cost of sales is growing and it is affecting budgeting and the overall bottom line. Most of the hosted events and shows are funded mainly or partly by the Agency. The number of requests for funding by the communities has increased. The number of requests for the venue for free has increased, all of which impacts on the bottom line. Investments have continued in advancing the asset and transforming it from the old ways of doing things to the modern and digital ways of doing things. Digital transformation is going to be a key focus in operations and the amendment of the product mix. This also meant relooking at the strategy of the business for the future, policies and procedure. It is vital to remain relevant and challenge for new markets that were previously not appealed to. Work on this new approach began during the previous financial year. NMB Stadium Museum launch The NMB Stadium Museum launch was a one-and-a-half-year journey which started with collecting memorabilia, historic sporting infrastructure used throughout the existence of the stadium and video clips of great NMB Stadium sporting moments. Approximately R1.5-million was spent in conducting this project which is stadium-owned and managed. The launch day was a resounding success, being well attended by dignitaries and stadium representatives.
Furthermore, there was a big media build-up leading up to the actual launch day. Notable media houses like The Herald, radio stations like Algoa FM, SABC sports as well as social media platforms from the stadium were utilised to magnify the importance of this launch as a legacy project for the city and its citizens. The NMB Stadium Museum was officially opened to the public in 2021 and has created many opportunities for engagement, the exchange of ideas and the transfer of sporting knowledge and suggestions from the public. The NMB Stadium looks forward to the next phases of this project. NMB Stadium e-gaming tournament For the third year running, the NMB Stadium e-gaming tournament was attended by more 150 guests/ participants. Seasoned presenter and SuperSport anchor Kamza Mbatha held proceedings together throughout the event as the tournament was live-streamed. Participants in the tournament were geographically spread between Asia, Europe as well as Africa, giving the tournament an international feel and extra competitiveness. The e-gaming tournament was the first of its kind for the stadium but it’s something that the stadium definitely wants to be part of, generating more numbers both locally and abroad. What the future holds for NMB Stadium The NMB Stadium is deliberately and purposefully transforming the business of stadium/facility management in South Africa and Africa. We are pioneering a new way of conducting stadium business in an African context and remain resolute as we move towards our vision, one step at a time. Here is what to expect in the next medium to long-term plans for the facility: • Focus on the development of the stadium precinct (total precinct management). • Completion of the Five-a-Side soccer courts and a hockey turf. • Grow the relationship with AIDC to build a smart academy within the precinct. • Intensify the purification of the lake water for water sports such as rowing, sailing and extreme sports. • Digitise service offerings through the NMB Stadium app. • Attracting major events for the facility including international rugby, drone racing, music concerts, motor shows and motorbike events. • Hosting of the next World Football Summit. • Collaborating with Nelson Mandela Foundation to emphasise the legacy of the late Madiba. • Collaborate with global entities to enhance product offerings and diversify the product mix. • Increase our revenue by almost 45% in five years’ time. #ourstadium #heresisto20yearsofdevelopmet #Manadelabaydevelopmentagency Acting CEO says Agency has listened MBDA Acting CEO Mpho Mokonyama writes: Our assessment of what has gone wrong points to several factors that we intend addressing through the proposed new five-year plan for 2023-2028. Much of what we aim to focus on in the next five years is fewer new builds but smarter total precinct management and facilitation of key services with partners. We have listened to stakeholders, including business and citizens who feel more must be done to coordinate security, cleansing, bylaw enforcement and improved informal trading regulation. Greater attention will be placed on the bad-buildings regime. All these issues will be addressed through a series of stakeholder agreements and we are confident that if all role-players play their part, the Baakens/Central CBD, Kariega CBD and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium precincts will all turn around into safe, clean and attractive areas for further investment.