Government is hard at work to develop new and refurbish existing infrastructure at ports.
This is being done through the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) with the aim of revitalising the oceans economy while creating opportunities for broader economic activity around the ports.
“Through this, opportunities are therefore created for the development of industrial clusters around the various ports across the country. These include boat building, boat and ship repairs, rig repairs, oil and gas, and aquaculture among others."
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown was speaking during a presidential visit to the Port of Port Elizabeth recently.
“Transnet National Ports Authority has the responsibility of providing access to the land and ports infra-structure for the competing economic activities within the oceans economy.”
In the case of the Port Elizabeth, the intention was to create the boat building and boat repair industries and the composite cluster at the back of the port.
Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle noted that the province boasts 820 kilometres of the country' coastline and the ocean is key to the province’s economy.
“Infrastructure projects are beginning to bear fruit in our oceans and we are continuing to build and unlock the ocean economy,” Premier Masualle said.
He said through initiatives such as the Coega Development Cooperation as well as East London and Port Elizabeth Industrial Development Zones, the province would continue to take advantage of its oceans to bring about economic development.
Oceans economy creating jobs
Minister Brown said South Africa’s eight commercial ports and numerous small ports have great potential to perform even better.
Up to R7 billion has been committed towards new port facilities and refurbishments and already 200 jobs have been created already.
“I have approved the model that Transnet will fund and operate five initiatives and seek private sector participation for the new facilities in Saldanha, Richards Bay and East London,” said Minister Brown.