KZN poised to exploit growth opportunities in maritime sector

14 June 2018

In a successful partnership between government, the private sector and state-owned enterprises, the province will embark on a massive project with the country’s giant transport logistics organisation, Transnet.

The ambitious project, which will see the construction of an R215-million rand cruise ship terminal at the Durban Harbour, will have a profound impact on the province’s economic growth. Speaking to investors during a post-budget breakfast session in Richards Bay, Sihle Zikalala the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs said the maritime sector held immense potential for the province.

“We are home to Africa’s busiest ports, being Durban and the port of Richards Bay respectively and the development plans by Transnet will no doubt further bolster our positioning as the gateway into Africa,” Zikalala said the maritime sector had the potential to boost the country’s GDP to R177 billion by 2033 while generating around a million job opportunities.

“With the province’s two ports already handling 60% of the nation’s sea-borne cargo, we can’t afford not joining forces with Transnet in preparing this province for a vital role in growing and transforming our economy.” He said the growth and transformation of the economy would include investing in skills development for young people to be able to seize opportunities in the maritime industry.

“The establishment of the Maritime Incubator Programme in the Richards Bay area is a testimony to the department’s commitment to position maritime as a strategic instrument to speed the process of radical socio-economic transformation,” the MEC said.

Zikalala assured investors of the province’s desire to strike a balance between investment attraction and retention and fast-tracking the empowerment of the previously marginalised. “Being a developmental state, the content of the Budget Policy Speech attempted to strike a balance between the first and second economy as it seeks to systematically bring the masses of our people to the mainstream of the economy through radical economic transformation while acknowledging the need to grow the economy using different sectors that have potential to unleash more business and employment opportunities for the province’s people.”

He said the budget, which had been centred around the theme“Sikhulisa Umnotho, Siwubuyisela Ebantwini”, was geared towards the creation of wealth that would be equitably shared by the citizens,” he said.