DURBAN - President Jacob Zuma addressed the public about Operation Phakisa: Unlocking the Economic Potential of South Africa's oceans and reported back on the progress so far.
Operation Phakisa was officially launched in July 2014, is an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology that was firts implemented in Malaysia.
The operation, according to the President, is a innovative and pioneering approach to implement policies much better, faster and more effectively.
Unlocking the Potential of South Africa's Oceans is one part of the first implementations.
Zuma expressed his delight in announcing investments worth R24.6 billion with government contributing R15 billion and 6 500 job opportunities that were created through the Oceans Economy part of Operation Phakisa.
The oceans sector contribute 4,4% to the GDP with value chains having the largest contribution.
The President also highlighted the building of specialised tugboats which is a R1,4 billion project. H e said that the project was demonstration of South Africa's capability and capacity to build specialised vessels locally.
This project has produced seven of nine tug boats so far and have also created 500 jobs,.
Another big project was announced, which is the KwaZulu-Natal Boatbuilding Park which is a part of the maritime vessel complex at Bayhead, in the Port of Durban.
This park will be the largest of its kind in Southern Africa and is planned to be a place for repair and production of leisure and commercial boats.
The project will have an investment of more than R250 million and is expected to have the ability to produce up to 150 boats annually, that will be used mainly for the export market.
President Zuma also touched on the creation of small harbours which according to him will have the capacity to open up economic opportunities and trigger local economies.
The Coastal and Marine Tourism Lab has been approved by Cabinet, therefore Operation Phakisa will take the tourism sector forward.
President expressed his aspirations to grow marine and coastal tourism destinations that are world class and sustainable.
The implementation of maritime subjects in high schools and universities was discussed. According President Zuma's report 18 high schools in KZN offer maritime subjects.
Nelson Mandela University is home to the newly launched South African International Maritime Institute will be coordinating the skills development programme.
President Zuma said that Oceans Economy would not grow without skills development, research and innovation.
-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE