For many people, an ocean is often associated with fun, relaxation and escape.
It is a place where families and friends go to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. However, there is much more to the oceans than waves, relaxation and fish.
Experts say if South Africa fully takes advantage of the immense potential of its oceans, more than R30 billion can be added to the country’s economy over the next four years, leading to the creation of 70 000 jobs.
But how will this be done? Through Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy, a government initiative unveiled two years ago, Unlocking the potential
which is the main driving force behind efforts to unlock the economic potential of the country’s oceans.
And if the numbers are anything to go by, Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy is already yielding positive results for the country’s economy.
Developing infrastructure During a visit to Port Elizabeth recently, President Jacob Zuma revealed that more than Unlocking the potential
R17 billon has been unlocked in the economy since the launch of the initiative and that 4 500 people found jobs.
Most of the work has so far focused on the development of infrastructure at South Africa’s major ports to make them more efficient for the maritime industry and attract investment.
“Where government has made interventions, whether within the policy space or facilitating authorisations
and approvals or providing some incentives, it has unlocked private sector investment,” he noted.
Government will continue to work hand-in-hand with the private sector and all its partners and stakeholders to ensure more investment.
Within the past year and a half, Operation Phakisa’s primary focus has been
on implementing mechanisms to systematically clear constraints and blockages hampering the development of these projects, the President said.
“Operation Phakisa will also be used to develop rural economies. This we shall do through small harbour development, coastal and marine tourism and aquaculture which is the fish industry.”
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