Independent Online

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Shipbuilding company says more can be done to unlock the potential of Operation Phakisa after Mbalula’s visit to the Port of Durban

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula visited the Port of Durban to unveil investments in the port as the sector contributes to economic reconstruction and recovery. Picture: Fikile Mbalula via Facebook.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula visited the Port of Durban to unveil investments in the port as the sector contributes to economic reconstruction and recovery. Picture: Fikile Mbalula via Facebook.

Published Jan 24, 2022

Share

SHIPBUILDING and repair company Sandock Austral says while Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s visit to the Port of Durban today was encouraging, more can be done to unlock the true potential of Operation Phakisa.

The government’s Operation Phakisa focuses on unlocking the economic potential of South Africa's oceans, which could contribute up to R177 billion to the GDP by 2033 and between 800 000 and 1 million direct jobs.

Story continues below Advertisement

Speaking following the minister's visit, Sandock Austral CEO Prasheen Maharaj said it was encouraging to see the minister personally doing site inspections to evaluate the progress of Operation Phakisa.

He said Mbalula’s visit was long overdue.

“The maritime industry has become the orphan child of the South African economy although it is the backbone of our international trade.

“With a fast declining economy and South Africa quickly losing its position as the leading maritime hub on the continent, the minister's visit signals an acknowledgement of the dire state of the maritime industry and is taking a leadership position in order to arrest the further decline in the industry,” said Maharaj.

He said being on the ground shows that the minister wants to hear directly from the affected stakeholders and not just from government entities.

This enabled stakeholders to hear first-hand about what progress has been made, the challenges the industry continues to face and most importantly to listen to suggestions as to how these challenges can be overcome in order to reach the goals and objectives encapsulated in the Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy Master Plan, he said.

Story continues below Advertisement

“Every year since 2014 we have been hoping that it was going to be the year that Operation Phakisa would gain momentum and deliver some tangible outcomes,” said Maharaj, adding that he was of this view because it was based on the “Big Fast Results” approach adopted from Malaysia.

However, Maharaj said progress has been frustratingly slow.

THE MERCURY

Story continues below Advertisement

Related Topics:

KwaZulu-Natal

Share