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South Africa unlocks over $1 billion in oceans development

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Staff writer ▼ | April 9, 2016
The South African government has unlocked investments amounting to about 17 billion rand ($1.1 billion) in developing the oceans economy, President Jacob Zuma said.
South Africa fishing
Africa   Oceans around South Africa bring $3.6 billion to GDP
Since the inception of the oceans economy, known as Operation Phakisa, over 4,500 jobs have been created in the various sectors, Zuma said in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, while giving an update on progress made in the implementation of the Operation Phakisa.

The president was on an inspection tour of the port facilities in the city.

The government launched Operation Phakisa in July 2014 as part of the National Development Plan, with the ultimate goal of boosting economic growth and create jobs.

Operation Phakisa focuses on marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas, aquaculture, marine protection services and ocean governance, small harbour development, and coastal and marine tourism.

The program has added great impetus in the development of infrastructure, particularly the development of ports, Zuma said.

"We want our ports to be more efficient and have the necessary infrastructure to service the maritime industry and attract investment," he said.

Over seven billion rand (about 470 million dollars) had been allocated by Transnet National Ports Authority to improve the ports, according to the president.

Investments in boatbuilding and a fuel storage facility in the Port of Cape Town, amounting to about 237 million dollars, have been committed, he said, adding that the establishment of three new harbours in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal would also provide opportunities for local and rural economic development.

According to a study by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, oceans around the country are estimated to have the potential of contributing about $3.6 billion to GDP and an estimated 316,000 jobs.