The Durban Millenium Tower, erected to mark the start of a new millennium on the Bluff headland close to the entrance to Durban’s harbour, is neither a lighthouse nor governed by the National Ports Authority. Ships utilize it as a landmark since it is a particularly magnificent sight when lit up at night.
However, the Tower does maintain a vessel tracking service system, or VTS, of all shipping activity inside the port’s boundaries. From a point three nautical miles northeast of the port entrance, all passage into and out of the port is subject to mandatory pilotage. Helicopters are used to pilot ships and boats, with a pilot boat service as a backup in case the helicopter isn’t available.
The Durban Millennium Tower, which offers occupants a 360-degree panoramic view of the port, city, and sea approaches to Durban, is thus an integral aspect of port control. While a central level is open for search and rescue activities, the operations room is located 27 meters up.
The complete tower is 37 meters high, and it has a revolving cowl and wind vane to mirror the wind’s direction. The computer-driven sunscreen is intriguing since it automatically changes a number of horizontal and vertical blinds while monitoring the sun’s movement. As a result, the tower’s exterior frequently changes throughout the day, serving as a visual cue for the time of day for those who can see it.
A random computer code that is influenced by the tide, wind direction, and humidity creates a stunning change in lighting colors within the cowl at night.