‘Billions unlocked for ocean economy’

2016-04-13 06:00
Pres. Jacob Zuma groet die skare in die Baaise hawe wat kom luister het na sy terugvoering oor die vordering met Operasie Phakisa. Foto: WERNER HILLS

Pres. Jacob Zuma groet die skare in die Baaise hawe wat kom luister het na sy terugvoering oor die vordering met Operasie Phakisa. Foto: WERNER HILLS

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The government investment of about R17 billion in the ocean economy was unlocked thanks to Operation Phakisa, President Jacob Zuma said at the port of Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Zuma gave feedback on the progress of the government’s plans to unlock the so-called blue economy. According to government figures, jobs for about 4 500 people have been created since the announcement of Operation Phakisa in July 2014.

A crowd of about 1 000 supporters in yellow ANC T-shirts loudly cheered for Zuma.

He said the programme has given great impetus to the development of infrastructure. “We want to make our ports more efficient, with the necessary infrastructure to serve the maritime industry and to attract investment.

“I am pleased to announce that the Transnet National Ports Authority allocated R7 billion to us to improve our ports.”

Before his speech, Zuma went on a guided tour of the harbour, where he visited the renovated slipway among others. It will be able to accommodate 12 ships for check-ups and maintenance, where previously it could take only two ships.

“I am encouraged by the remarkable progress of the proposed projects.

“Of the nine tugboats currently being built by the South African Shipyards for the Transnet port authority in the port of Durban, two are destined for the port of Port Elizabeth. I was lucky enough to see one of these boats, called Mvezo, named after the birthplace of our beloved Madiba.”

Feedback on other projects include:

  • The Durban dry dock’s caisson of R43 million has been installed;
  • The gas-specific Saldanha Bay port is part of a R9 billion investment over the next five years;
  • Boatbuilding infrastructure of R353 million for the Durban and Cape ports and creation of about 355 direct job opportunities;
  • Investments of R3.6 billion in boat building and a fuel storage facility at the port of Cape Town;

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