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SPILLER’S WHARF (article first published : 2006-12-24)

Building work has started on Spiller’s Wharf, a new food and lifestyle centre, designed with the natural environment and built heritage in mind, on the banks of the Mzimkhulu River in Port Shepstone.

Spiller’s Wharf will house a restaurant, coffee shop, fresh food outlets and lifestyle businesses such as beauty salons, an arts and crafts gallery and shops.

Besides spectacular views of the Mzimkhulu River there will be a jetty from where visitors can go on a cruise or take kayaks up the river. The more adventurous can go on fishing or sight-seeing trips out to sea. Others can just relax with good food and drink while watching the day’s catch being offloaded at the jetty.

“The Wharf” belongs to the Spiller family who have a long involvement with food, fishing and tourism on the lower South Coast. The late Noel Spiller created the unique Crayfish Inn in Ramsgate, from which some inspiration for the wharf comes. John Spiller ran Spillers Fresh Fish in Ramsgate and later Spiller’s Frozen Foods in Port Shepstone. Guy Spiller is a film-maker and has lent his creative talents to the project.

Guy Spiller has made a number of documentaries on heritage subjects, such as Tobias’s Bodies on human evolution in Africa, So where do we come from? about the genetic ancestry of South Africans (he tested Mandela’s DNA and found that he had Khoe-San maternal ancestry) and a series on Bushman paintings due out on SABC 3 soon.

Spiller’s love of natural history and heritage has informed his small development in a way quite unlike many of the insensitive, nature-unfriendly developments on the coast.

By renovating an existing building there is no destruction of virgin bush or soil. Originally a power station and later a frozen food factory, “The “Wharf” is being transformed into a unique landmark. The original industrial features of the site will be enhanced and a lighthouse will be built to give it the feel and atmosphere of the waterfront or harbour from which Port Shepstone gets its name.

There will be a program of alien invader eradication in the vicinity of the ‘Wharf’ and endemic indigenous trees and shrubs will be planted.

“The Wharf” already contains a fish processing factory and the popular ‘Fish on the River’ eatery, well known for its fresh, simply prepared and delicious fish, calamari, scampi and chips.

The Mzimkhulu River is the second biggest in KwaZulu-Natal and is only 15 minutes from Margate and just over an hour from Durban.

Spiller’s Wharf will have a total lettable area of 1,000 sqm on two floors, most of which faces the river. The search is now on for suitable tenants to operate food and lifestyle businesses at the Wharf.

For further information contact Guy Spiller on 082 882 2187.




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