The V&A Waterfront was named after Queen Victoria and her second son Prince Alfred, who made a visit to the Cape Colony Harbour in 1860 as a 16-year-old Royal Navy Midshipman. So it became V&A Waterfront. Behind the V&A Waterfront is the renown Table Mountain.
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is one of Africa’s most visited destinations and attracts 24 million people every year. Its setting, in the oldest working harbour in the southern hemisphere, is simply spectacular: it has Table Mountain as a dramatic backdrop as well as extensive views of the ocean, city bowl and the mountain peaks of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains.
It is also the operator of the newly upgraded Cape Town Cruise Terminal – within walking distance of Zeitz MOCAA. The V&A is jointly owned by Growthpoint Properties Limited and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), represented by the Public Investment Corporation Limited (PIC).
History about V&A
The V&A Waterfront is a central part of the very beginning of the settlement of the city of Cape Town. In 1654, two years after his arrival in this relatively safe bay at the foot of Table Mountain, Jan van Riebeeck built a small jetty as part of his task to establish a refreshment station at the Cape. Fresh water and fresh produce were provided to the ships of the Dutch East India Company on their arduous and lengthy journey to their outposts in Java and Batavia. The sea and the harbour lie at the heart of Cape Town’s history.
In June 1858 serious winter storms, which were a common occurrence, wrecked over 30 vessels. As a consequence, Lloyds of London refused to cover ships spending the winter in Table Bay. On a sunny day in September 17, 1860 Midshipman HRH Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria’s second son, tipped the first load of stone to start construction of the breakwater for Cape Town’s first harbour to make it a safe haven all year round for passing ships.
The V&A Waterfront today
In November 1988, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (Pty) Ltd (“V&AW”) was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary by Transnet Ltd. Its aim was to redevelop the historic docklands around the Victoria and Alfred Basins as a mixed-use area with a focus on retail, tourism and residential development with a working harbour at its centre.