Tourists from across the world have come to Hout Bay to visit the iconic Mariner’s Wharf, and it has become a local staple for Capetonians. Sadly, it is unknown whether visitors will be able to visit it again, as the Mariner’s Wharf has announced its indefinite closure.

Not only will the famous fish and chip bistro be closing, but all other businesses that called the Wharf home.

“South Africa’s first harbour front emporium, Mariner’s Wharf has made difficult decision to cease trading until the economy recovers. Despite having spent many weeks trying to find viable alternatives to overcoming the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus, which continues to devastate the world, other factors were also taken into consideration and played a crucial role in this decision,” the Wharf said in a statement. “These include the dramatic decline in tourism numbers as a result of water restrictions, power outages, poor service delivery from Council, riots, and declining fish resources, as well as issues relating to government leases on which the building stands.”

Founder and developer of Mariner’s Wharf, Stanley Dorman, who has and continues to play a pivotal role in the growth of tourism and development in Hout Bay, had to make this extremely difficult call. The alternative could have led to a liquidation, with employees then receiving less than their full entitlements.

“Sadly therefore, we decided to draw a line to halt further expenditure and to mothball Mariner’s Wharf until our economy and international tourism recovers,” Dorman said. “Thus, effective from this month, we will be retrenching employees, the exceptions being elements of essential services such as in our security and maintenance departments. Nonetheless the company intends guaranteeing affected staff full retrenchment packages, which will also take into consideration long-service, in many instances stretching back many years.”

While humbly apologising for the shock and disappointment this outcome may cause, Dorman and his co-directors wish to thank every one of their staff and their loyal customers for having been an integral part of a truly wonderful thirty-five years and in making Mariner’s Wharf the great icon it has become.

They trust that in the not-too-distant-future, the doors will open again and that locals and international visitors alike will be able to continue enjoying the great seafood and unique harbourfront offerings for which Mariner’s Wharf has become famous.

Picture: Nidha Narrandes/Supplied

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