Picture: for illustration purposes

Tourist Attractions in Durban, South Africa Face Neglect and Decline

Published September 25, 2023
9 months ago

The once bustling city centre of Durban, South Africa faces the threat of losing its charm and appeal as a significant tourist destination. The vivid nightlife, rich multicultural essence, and pristine Indian Ocean beaches, once a major draw for tourists, are rapidly losing their lustre. Neglect of the city's infrastructure, a surge in crime rates, and a lack of proper governance have already deterred significant potential tourists this festive season.

Added to this, the absence of a marketing strategy aimed at promoting Durban as a sought-after leisure destination felt markedly compared to other thriving cities such as Cape Town. Hotels located at prime locations like the South Beach promenade, once brimming with life, now witness a stark drop in occupancy rates due to reduced footfall and poor maintenance.

The faltering condition of public amenities, rising crime levels, alongside cases of vandalised infrastructure and hijacked buildings in the city centre, particularly around areas like Russell Street, intensify the worsening state of affairs. Added to this, instances of sewage leakage and unsanitary conditions heighten the concerns.

eThekwini Municipality, under whose remit Durban falls, was the first metro to seek solicitations for a massive private power generation project in 2021 to reduce the burden on its residents but has seen this project stall. This has resulted in the city centre streets dipping into darkness during power cuts while other cities cushion their residents against such impact.

It's a fateful turn of events for a tourist hub that has witnessed a significant downward spiral over the past decade, leading to pressing questions about the administration overseeing the management and redevelopment of this waning paradise.

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