SA Government to give progress on Oceans Economy

Pretoria - Government will on Friday provide a progress report on the implementation of the Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy initiative at the Port of Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape.

South Africa is unlocking the oceans economy as part of Operation Phakisa, which is modelled on the success of the Malaysian "Big Fast Results" methodology.

Operation Phakisa is one of the job drivers in the Nine-Point Plan that aims to grow the economy, create jobs, transform the economy and attract investment.

The Oceans Economy is one of the three streams of Operation Phakisa and takes the country closer to unlocking the potential of South Africa’s oceans, which has the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create over one million new jobs by 2033.

“South Africa is uniquely bordered by the ocean on three sides - east, south and west with the inclusion of Prince Edward and Marion Islands in the Southern Ocean -- with a coastline that is over 3 000km long and an extensive Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” the Presidency said on Wednesday.

However, this vast ocean space is relatively unexplored in terms of its economic potential.

In 2010, oceans contributed approximately R54 billion to South Africa's GDP and accounted for approximately 316 000 jobs. This prompted President Jacob Zuma to launch Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy in July 2014 in Durban as a results-driven approach to development, involving various sectors such as business, labour, academia, civil society, state-owned entities and government.

“The sectors worked together to develop detailed delivery action plans, set targets and monitor progress on an ongoing basis in order to address the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality,” the Presidency said.

The Oceans Economy focuses on marine transport and manufacturing, which is led by the Department of Transport; offshore oil and gas, led by the Department of Mineral Resources; aquaculture, led by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; marine protection services and ocean governance, led by the Department of Environmental Affairs; small harbours development, led by Department of Public Works; and coastal and marine tourism, led by the Department of Tourism.