Details about blue economy project to be made public today

OCTOBER 14, 2014

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa will release details tomorrow on the outcome and way forward of Operation Phakisa, one focus area of which is the “Blue” or “Oceans” economy.

Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo announced in his Policy Speech that his department had been elected as a partner in the development of the implementation plan to unlock the potential of the Oceans Economy nationally.

He said the department would be com-mitting a full time resource to the initiative.

Four priority areas have been selected as new growth areas in the Oceans Economy, including marine transport and manufacturing activities such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment.

The other priority sectors are: offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture and marine protection services and ocean governance, with teams from government, labour, academia and business having been working in delivery laboratories in these areas since the beginning of July.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has earmarked Port Elizabeth and East London as sites for ship repair and boat building.

The National Department of Environ-mental Affairs released a study last year that indicated that South Africa’s marine resources could be “optimised” to realise additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of between R129 and R177 billion and create approximately one million jobs by 2033. - metrominutes