Minister Sihle Zikalala site visit at the Saldanha Bay and Hout Bay Harbours
501 million invested in small harbour upgrades - small harbours will anchor South Africa’s economic revival
The revival of small harbours has been given a massive boost after the investment of half a billion rand by government in order to propel South Africa’s economic recovery.
This announcement was made by the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Sihle Zikalala as he toured the Saldanha and Hout Bay Harbour Upgrade Projects.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has invested half a billion rand (R501 million) as part of a major refurbishment programme to the 13 Proclaimed Fishing Harbours in the Western Cape.
Small Harbours Repairs and Maintenance Programme is a strategic infrastructure programme spearheaded by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and is aimed at bringing the harbours to a greater level of efficiency to revitalize the local economy and to serve the local fishermen, tenants and surrounding communities.
The programme has a catalytic effect on local job creation and investment attraction. The programme has contributed to the removal of sunken vessels, dredging of the harbour basins, repairs to slipways, shore crane replacements, security, civil and electrical infrastructure upgrades.
The upgrades of the small harbours is aimed a creating an appetite to new investors within the harbours which will re-ignite the local economies across the coastal areas of South Africa and have a positive spin –off on job creation.
Minister Zikalala engaged with stakeholders which include the Municipality led by its Executive Mayor Cllr Andre Truter the operating company Sea Harvest, the Paramount Chiefs and Councils, Civil society organisations, business community.
The Minister expressed happiness with the work done to date in the harbour upgrades as this symbolises practically what infrastructure development is all about.
We are monitoring the work that has been done to date in both Saldanha and Hout Bay Harbours. The improvements will boost economic activity in these areas.
We want to see economic boom and the SMMEs benefitting from the oceans economy that exist in these harbours, said Minister Sihle Zikalala.
We are going to be hands on deck and work with all stakeholders in turning around our small harbours. We want to attend speedily to the remaining bottle necks such as the long term leases, security of the harbours land for human settlement purposes, localisation and empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities in the economic value chain of the harbours.
Minister Zikalala appeals for stakeholders to work together as the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure is renovating the harbours.
Zikalala expressed concern about the acts of vandalism and the acts of criminality led by poachers. The harbours are strategic entry points and vandalism and criminality in these areas pose a high risk to the economy of the country. We need to deal decisively with any lawlessness. These upgrades are a clear commitment of ensuring port efficiency and guaranteeing the economic future of our country.
Source: Government of South Africa