The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies has launched a more than R290 million composite Floating Dock held at the Dormac ship-repair facility at the Port of Durban. The project will creat more than 300 jobs.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Davies said that the ship and boat manufacturing industry in South Africa has a great opportunity to supply and service the Sub-Saharan Africa with working vessels as required by state agencies, for various activities such as maritime patrol vessels to combat the scourge of piracy.
He said Dormac Shipyard was a leading ship repair company in South Africa and that about 12 000 ships call at South Africa’s ports each year, while over 30 000 vessels sail along the South African coastline annually.
“The ship repair industry is estimated at above R1 billion in Durban in normal trading conditions. This is with all docks well maintained and working as well as all other challenges addressed. Dormac 1 will go a long way towards meeting the demand for ship repair in South Africa’s busiest harbour,” he added.
According to Minister Davies, the ultimate goal is to boost, grow and industrialise the economy, and to create employment. He added that the value of South Africa’s maritime economy could generate an estimated GDP contribution of R129 billion to R177 billion by 2033, and create 600 000 jobs.
“South Africa is ideally positioned to serve the East-West cargo traffic and the booming African offshore oil and gas industry, through marine manufacturing, which includes ship and rig repair, refurbishment and boatbuilding. Despite this competitive advantage, we currently capture only 1% of the global market of ship repair and refurbishment,” said Davies.
He added that as a solution, the marine transport work stream had developed 18 initiatives across three categories, infrastructure and operations, skills and capacity building to accelerate sector growth., The Dormac 1 has received support from Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its 12i Income Tax Incentive to the value of more than R160 million.
The Managing Director at Dormac Mr Chris Sparg, said the dti’s support made it possible for his company to undertake this venture.
“the dti recognised the enormous value and potential impact on job creation, skills development and energy saving efficiency programmes, and for that we are most grateful,” he added.
Sparg highlighted that a typical dry-docking could easily entail around 30 000 hours of labour providing a substantial employment stimulus and skills generation.
“We have seen in Singapore for example that shipyards are massive contributors to employment, skills development and to the country’s GDP. The strong support which the South African government has provided through the provision of incentives, to encourage investments of this nature and to stimulate employment and economic growth in the country, is certainly moving the economy towards full scale industrialization,” said Sparg.
All views expressed in the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of SALGA.