Coast KZN

19 Jun 2018

Oceans economy has huge employment potential

Gugu Myeni (Zululand Observer) Picture: MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, at the RBIDZ last month

Oceans Economy is increasingly being termed as the new frontier of development and economic growth

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), Sihle Zikalala, says the oceans economy has been identified as one of the sectors that have the potential to create job and business opportunities for young people.

The MEC addressed more than 10 000 people at the Youth Day commemoration in Durban on Saturday.

‘The oceans economy is increasingly being termed as the new frontier of development and economic growth in international forums.

‘In 2014 South Africa initiated Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy, a programme to fast-track initiatives to develop our oceans economy with a focus on maritime transport, ship building, off-shore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, port development, research and technology as well as industrial zone development adjacent to ports, marine and coastal tourism facilities.’

Zikalala said optimism about the prospects offered by the maritime industry is also boosted by the decision that Richards Bay will become the permanent home for a 200 megawatts power plant worth R45-billion.

The plant is expected to have a major economic impact and create employment opportunities during construction and in the general economic value chain.
‘KwaZulu-Natal has developed its own maritime industry strategy which is vital to broadening public and business awareness about the opportunities that can be explored in this sector.

‘The strategy reflects a combination of sectors and sub-sectors, such as aquaculture, transport logistics, tourism, freight, aqua sports, ship and boat building and repairs, as well as marine energy,’ Zikalala added.

He said coastal tourism also has huge opportunities that KZN has begun exploring.

‘KZN has a long coastline and pristine coastal environments that present opportunities for marine and coastal tourism development to boast local economies. This includes boat cruises, community-based tourism, development of tourism coastal nodes, beach infrastructure and many more,’ he said.