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Marine Transport and Manufacturing

The planning in the area of marine transport and manufacturing moved from the premise that we have not exploited South Africa’s strategic location, infrastructure and skills base to accelerate growth of this sector. The teams have highlighted a concern that South Africa currently has no registered ships. This is in spite of the fact that each year, three hundred million (300 million) tons of cargo moves through our ports in imports and exports. In addition, 1.2 million tonnes of liquid fuels move along our coast, while the rapidly expanding offshore oil and gas activities require a supporting fleet of vessels. Another opportunity arises from our country’s location.


South Africa is ideally positioned to serve the East-West cargo traffic and the booming African offshore oil and gas industry, through marine manufacturing, which includes ship and rig repair, refurbishment and boatbuilding. Despite this competitive advantage, we currently capture only one % of the global market of ship repair and refurbishment. Of the eighty oil rigs estimated to be in the range of the Western Cape, only four rigs are serviced per year, showing significant potential for growth. 


As a solution, the marine transport work stream has developed eighteen initiatives across three categories, infrastructure and operations, skills and capacity building as well as market growth to accelerate sector growth.
The initiatives will expand South African port capacity for repair work for oil ships and oil rigs. Some of the initial targets drawn up include:
  • An increase in the local manufacturing capacity through a ten % increase in the usage of local components for boat and ship building.
  • An increase in the ship repair capacity in Richards Bay, thus creating two hundred (200) direct jobs.
  • To create a dedicated occupational team for the sector within the Department of Higher Education and Training to drive alignment between theoretical and workplace learning.
  • Increasing the amount of minerals exported on South African ships, which will create more than four thousand direct jobs.


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