Growing the blue economy is under the spotlight as a two-day Oceans Economy Symposium in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality looks at investing in blue growth and sustainable solutions for South Africa’s Southern Ocean.
These are areas in which South Africa is lagging far behind leading countries like Finland and Norway and the symposium, which began Monday, has engaged the African Maritime domain with experts from Finland and Norway.
In the area of marine transport and manufacturing, South Africa’s location will be used to increase its share of the global marine manufacturing market.
Professor Derrick Swartz, s the Vice-Chancellor of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, said: “We have not harnessed the resource to our best benefit, we have a traditional blue economy like fisheries and shipbuilding, we have just three shipyards in South Africa.”
South Africa is only getting 5.0 per cent of the annual ship repair market.
Blue economy expert Greg Davids said: “The greater percentages of ships that sail our oceans are built in other countries for other sea-going conditions. We have only three naval architects and that is shocking for a country surrounded by water.”
Over the next seven years, 87 billion Rand (about 6.35 billion US dollars) will be injected into South Africa’s eight commercial ports to boost infrastructure needed to enhance the blue economy.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.