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The Maritime Transport Sector and Marine Manufacturing
The revitalisation of South Africa’s maritime transport and marine manufacturing industries, which contribute around R56.5bn to the economy each year, continues to be driven by the government’s oceans economy programme, Operation Phakisa. In the boatbuilding sector, South Africa is the second largest producer of catamarans in the world, and local boat builders are well-regarded internationally.
A Growing Industry
With around 300 million tons of seaborne cargo moving through its ports each year, South Africa ranks among the world’s top 20 shipping nations based on tonnage handled. The passenger cruise segment represents a high growth market, and there was a 29.4% increase in passenger traffic at the Port of Durban between end-October 2018 and April 2019. Maritime manufacturing has benefitted from government’s decision to designate locally-built working boats for public procurement.
Priorities of the oceans economy programme, which was launched in 2014, are maritime transport and marine manufacturing; offshore oil and gas exploration; aquaculture; marine protection services and ocean governance; coastal and marine tourism; and small harbour development. Initiatives that have been implemented since its inception include the establishment of the South African International Maritime Institute, a research, innovation and knowledge management roadmap, refurbishment and upgrades at various ports, work on an offshore oil and gas supply base in Saldanha and two new offshore supply vessels.
The report on the Maritime Transport Sector and Marine Manufacturing includes comprehensive information on maritime transport, boat building, infrastructure development and capacity expansion, as well as the size and state of the industry and the factors influencing its success. There are profiles of 58 companies including South Africa’s largest boat builder Robertson and Caine, which is renowned for its catamarans; Grindrod Shipping, a major player in maritime transport; and Port Elizabeth-based bulk shipping company Vuka Marine, which operates three of the locally-flagged ships in the South African merchant fleet.