South Africa to spend R9.2bn on Saldanha oil, gas hub

Mpho Raborife, News24

Pretoria - A total of R9.2bn will be spent on developing Saldanha Bay as an oil and gas hub, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

In addition, R660m would be spent on the construction of a Burgan fuel storage facility in the port of Cape Town, he said.

Zuma was addressing the media on the progress made in Operation Phakisa, a bid to bring together business, government and academia to reignite the country's economic growth and to boost job creation.

South Africa needed to play a more active role in the ocean economy, said Zuma.

"We are not utilising our waters. There is such [an] economy there that we have never attempted to look at.

"We need to work together, not in competition. The opportunities are too much. There is enough."

He said he hoped the ocean economies would help to grow a variety of local industries.

The government was currently exploring opportunities of repairing rigs and servicing vessels, he said.

"Thirty thousand vessels pass through South Africa's waters every year, and 13 000 dock in our ports every year.

"South Africa only does maintenance on 5% of the vessels. In addition, of the 80 rigs in the Western Cape, only four are serviced per year," Zuma said.

A study conducted by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2010 on the value of South Africa's oceans revealed that the coastlines had the potential to contribute R54bn to the country's GDP and 316 000 jobs, he said.

"In 2013, it found nine sectors of the economy could generate a GDP contribution of between R129bn and R177bn by 2033 and double the number of jobs."

Operation Phakisa was launched in October last year.

News24 Source