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The South African Maritime Transport and Marine Manufacturing sector
The revitalisation of South Africa’s maritime industry, which is currently estimated to contribute R55bn to the country’s GDP, has been identified as a national imperative and in July 2014, the South African government presented its vision for the development of the nation’s relatively untapped “Blue Economy”. Known as Operation Phakisa, the flagship Oceans Economy programme seeks to shore up the nation’s rapid development agenda by providing impetus to the government’s infrastructure build programme and maximising South Africa’s competitive advantage.
A Developing Merchant Fleet
Situated at the southern tip of the African continent, South Africa is strategically positioned on the South-South Trade Corridor, linking Asia, Africa and the East Coast of the Americas. During the 2016/2017 fiscal year ended 31 March 2017, 10,945 vessels docked at South Africa’s eight commercial ports. The total volume of cargo handled locally amounted to 227.17 million metric tonnes, while containerised cargo totalled 4,466,000 TEUs. Until the second half of 2015 there were no locally-flagged cargo vessels on South Africa’s Ship Register, but as at May 2017, there are now four merchant vessels.
The South African boat building industry is characterised by a relatively high proportion of small or medium-sized owner-managed enterprises, employs around 4,000 people and is estimated to contribute R1.5bn to the domestic economy. The local sector is the world’s second-largest producer of multihull catamarans and 95% of all locally-built boats are destined for the export market. As far as the repair and refurbishment market is concerned, it is estimated that only 5% of the vessels and drilling rigs that dock in South African ports annually are serviced by the local sector.
The detailed South African Maritime Transport and Marine Manufacturing sector report focuses on current conditions and initiatives as well as investment in the sector. Profiles for 42 companies involved in the building and repairing of ships and boats are provided, ranging from the country’s largest boat builder, Cape Town-based Robertson and Caine to Gecat Marine CC, which employs eight people and manufactures two or three sports boats per year. Also profiled are 17 shipping companies that call at South Africa’s commercial harbours.