Southern African Shipyards refitted the SAS Amatola as part of its mid-life rejuvenation Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Durban's shipbuilding excellence was on full display, when the South African Navy hosted its first ever multinational maritime exercise at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town this week. 

Durban based Southern African Shipyards was directly responsible for building and refitting several of the South African Navy’s vessels at the event which included craft from China and Russia.

The company refitted the SAS Amatola as part of its mid-life rejuvenation while several of the strike craft belonging to the SA Navy were also built by Southern African Shipyards. 

The locally built majestic SAS Drakensberg responsible for assisting and supporting the SAN's combat vessels also featured prominently at the event.

Interestingly, the SAS Protea will be replaced by the Hydrographic Survey Vessel currently being built by Southern African Shipyards.

Southern African Shipyards Chief Executive Prasheen Maharaj said it was a great statement to the world that South Africans can not only demonstrate world-class capabilities, but in fact raise the bar when it comes to competency.

Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

“Southern African Shipyards has proven beyond doubt to the SA Navy; South African National Defence Force and Armscor that the country has indigenous capacity and expertise  to take care of all their naval requirements in line with Operation Phakisa,” he said.

Maharaj insisted that South Africa should therefore not be looking abroad for any maritime expertise.

Ships from the China and Russia arrived at the Cape Town Harbour on Sunday.

The theme of the exercise is Safe Navigation and Maritime Economic Security.

Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

There will also be training to see how a multinational task force will react to and counter security threats at sea.

According to the South African Navy (SAN), the exercise is primarily focused on maritime economic security, interoperability and maintaining the good relation between the participating navies.

The five-day maritime exercise will allow the foreign navies and the South African Navy to engage in training related to security measures while at sea.

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