Operation Phakisa – the blueprint for unlocking our ocean’s economic potential – has made significant inroads, having unlocked some R24-billion in investment by 2017. This is the third blog in a three-part series click here to read part one.
INVESTMENT VALUE UNLOCKED: R444-million
The President also noted the importance of looking after our fish populations. “Our fish resources are becoming more limited and are also being exploited to the maximum. In this regard, promoting the Aquaculture Focus Area has become extremely crucial.” So far 36 aquaculture projects have been established, including building up small businesses and farming with inland freshwater fish. It also includes the creation of 1 770 jobs in marginalised coastal communities through aquaculture projects that have attracted R444-million in private and public sector investment.
There has been exciting momentum built in Operation Phakisa, evidenced by aquaculture’s inclusive growth. South Africa has shown strong growth over the past five years, with production up five-fold to 20 000 tonnes. Experts estimate the revenue contributed by aquaculture to South Africa’s economy to be as much as R3-billion, and the sector currently employs 15 000 people in direct and full-time jobs.
The initial target of 24 catalyst projects was exceeded, totalling 36 aquaculture projects. These projects do not only concern marine fish, but also inland freshwater fish. Over 15 Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) have been empowered. The Strategic Environmental Assessment for the aquaculture sector has commenced the facilitation of aquaculture development.
Coastal and Marine Tourism & Skills Development
INVESTMENT VALUE UNLOCKED: R40-million
The Coastal and Marine Tourism Lab has been approved by Cabinet, with six tourism development nodes being identified in KwaZulu-Natal‚ the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. On the education side, the National Marine Pollution Laboratory has been established at the Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape, which will analyse the water quality of our oceans.
Skills development is a core component of the oceans economy, in which women and the youth are prioritised. A total of 614 women and 1 317 youths have been trained in marine manufacturing and 733 women and
1 834 youths in marine transport sectors.
The implementation of maritime subjects in high schools and universities was discussed. According to President Zuma’s report, 18 high schools in KZN offer maritime subjects. Nelson Mandela University is home to the newly launched South African International Maritime Institute and will be coordinating the skills development programme. President Zuma said that Oceans Economy would not grow without skills development, research and innovation.