KZN South Coast has untapped tourism potential waiting to be uncovered

Fishermen on the KZN South Coast take advantage of the region’s ocean economy, which is abundant in fishing opportunities. Picture: Supplied

Fishermen on the KZN South Coast take advantage of the region’s ocean economy, which is abundant in fishing opportunities. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 6, 2023


Following the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition’s announcement that the government’s strategic support programme Operation Phakisa has set a target to grow the ocean economy’s GDP contribution to R177 billion by 2033, the South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) said that the KZN South Coast has tourism potential waiting to be tapped into.

According to SCTIE, the 120km coastal stretch in proximity to Durban port, three marine protected areas, and the annual sardine run combine to make the KZN South Coast a vibrant ocean destination just waiting to be uncovered.

“With South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise providing local investor support, and Operation Phakisa assisting maritime businesses at a national level, now is the time to invest in the KZN South Coast’s ocean economy,” said the South Coast tourism body.

According to SCITIE CEO Phelisa Mangcu, the maritime sector has been identified as one of their key growth sectors, and they’re working closely with local businesses to uncover the many investment opportunities available.

“With our subtropical climate, Blue Flag beaches, and world-renowned dive sites, the KZN South Coast’s tourism potential within the ocean economy is gaining ground, but there is investment potential to be found in the fisheries and boating sectors. We have licensed commercial and subsistence fishers, multiple launch sites, wholesale distributors and multiple species of fish making this a viable maritime market,” said Mangcu.

She said that the KZN South Coast’s location on the eastern seaboard of South Africa means direct access to the Indian and Pacific Ocean rims via Durban port, the continent’s busiest.

Mangcu also revealed that the region is also home to ADCAN Marine Suppliers, a large-scale commercial fishery that employs around 40 people and supplies products to hotels, restaurants, and the retail sector.

“During the winter months, the annual sardine run passes the KZN South Coast, which brings a wealth of marine activity to the region. During this time, ADCAN – which has its own processing unit – is able to process three tons daily for around six weeks. Beyond sardine supply, the company supplies local fish, tuna, crayfish, calamari, and prawns, with demand for quality seafood always a constant,” said Mangcu.

She also said that as an established tourism destination, the ocean economy holds a lot of potential for developing existing tourism products on the KZN South Coast as well as investing in new, value-add tourism opportunities.

The annual sardine run, which takes place in the winter months and is considered the greatest biomass migration on Earth, is a massive attraction for scuba divers, fishing charters, and seine netters.

“This is also a drawcard for international filmmakers and production companies looking for unique nature-based content for documentaries, feature films, series, and more. With the annual whale migration another ocean spectacle, the potential exists for shore-based whale-watching guides operating from the many whale-watching decks along the KZN South Coast,” said Mangcu.

Mangcu revealed that while SCTIE is on hand to connect investors with local business opportunities in the maritime sector, investors are also able to take advantage of the national government’s Operation Phakisa initiative.

“Launched in 2014, this initiative promotes the ocean economy by speeding up and simplifying the processes involved in creating, operating, and using the country’s ports and maritime businesses,” said Mangcu.

To find out more about KZN South Coast investment opportunities visit