Progress in implementation of Oceans Economy

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Oceans Economy has already contributed about 4.4% to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

This is according to a progress report on the implementation of Operation Phakisa for the Oceans Economy that was recently delivered to stakeholders by President Jacob Zuma.

“Oceans Economy projects have so far unlocked a combined R24.6 billion in investment from government and the private sector, and have created more than 6 500 jobs.

“The largest investment in the Oceans Economy, facilitated through government incentives, was directed to infrastructure development, mainly ports, manufacturing, boatbuilding, aquaculture and scientific surveys in the oil and gas sector,” Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Thursday at a post Cabinet media briefing.

Operation Phakisa focuses on unlocking the economic potential of South Africa's oceans, which could contribute up to R177 billion to the GDP by 2033 and between 800 000 and one million direct jobs.

Forty-seven detailed initiatives have been identified, which on implementation, will increase the Oceans Economy's GDP contribution by R20 million and lead to the creation of 22 000 direct new jobs by 2019.

“The President’s report to stakeholders strongly demonstrates the concerted effort and support of all government partners tapping into the vast potential,” Minister Kubayi said.

Government plans to establish the single largest boatbuilding facility in southern Africa. The KwaZulu-Natal Boatbuilding Park in the Port of Durban will harvest potential from new investment, exports and job creation.

Sound economy 

Cabinet was also briefed on the meeting Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba held with sovereign credit rating agencies and investors to reaffirm South Africa’s current policies and approach to fiscal discipline.

“Cabinet is satisfied with the reassurance given to investors on government’s plans to grow the economy and government’s commitment to address governance issues in our State-owned entities,” Minister Kubayi said.

South Africa participated in the 2017 IMF and World Bank annual meetings, which took place from 13 to 15 October 2017.

The meetings provided an opportunity to assess international progress on development issues and inform South Africa’s own initiatives for socio-economic development, inclusive growth, employment creation and poverty alleviation.

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement will be tabled in Parliament next week and will outline government’s spending plans over the next three years. –   

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