New research aims to support marine manufacturing in South Africa

Research commissioned by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) with the support of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is being undertaken to assist the government identify opportunities and support the marine manufacturing sector.

Recognised as a potentially significant contributor to economic development as well as employment, the research aims to analyse supply chain opportunities as well as identify current challenges inhibiting growth in this sector of the marine industry.

“Our aim is to support the growth of marine manufacturing and promote exports,” says Bianca Mokuena of the dtic adding that, without reliable data, it has been difficult for the department to understand the drivers that will accelerate growth. The department is seeking to design specific interventions in boat and ship building and the related supply chain to promote increased localisation.

Appointed as lead researchers, Kaiser Economic Development Partners (Kaiser EDP) has significant experience in researching aspects of the Ocean Economy.  Kaiser EDP has worked extensively on projects concerned with examining and analysing trade data, identifying trade opportunities, as well as designing export development strategies and support models.

“We are working closely with industry stakeholders to ensure that we gather relevant data that translates into meaningful benefits for the industry,” says Michelle de Bruyn, Managing Director of Kaiser EDP. “In addition we have been mandated to ensure that the project includes the development of a tool that will allow ongoing data collection from the sector.”

The success of the project, however, relies on the willingness of the larger stakeholder base to provide company and production-related information. “We understand that there may be some initial reluctance to participate, but hope that the long-term benefit of working collaboratively to create relevant data that translates into interventions that supports localisation, growth and transformation will motivate a wider involvement,” says Andrew Mukandila of the dtic.

Part of the research will also assist the South African Boat Builders Export Council (SABBEX) submit country data for inclusion in the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) annual global statistical analysis for recreational boating.

“This will be an important milestone for the marine leisure industry in South Africa,” confirms Vanessa Davidson of SABBEX, who is supporting the research project.

“We urge industry players to participate and to circulate the survey to their suppliers so that we can ensure extensive reach along the marine manufacturing supply chain. The more data we can gather from this complex supply chain, the better positioned we will be to engage government on meaningful economic support mechanisms,” she adds.

Forming part of the industry reference group to provide guidance at the outset of the project, Patrick Kamerman of Damen Shipyards Cape Town and Peter Giliam of Robertson and Caine have expressed their willingness to support the initiative that could assist in improved localisation of their supply chain as well help government better position sector interventions.

Industry can help ensure the maximum benefit of the project by participating in the survey that can be found at: https://forms.gle/c11EasT8xLrpVaLJ8

Article by Maritime Review Africa

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