Maritime stakeholders are surely hoping the Mandela Peace Prize coin beneath the keel of TNPA’s new multi-purpose vessel provides the Madiba magic needed for the ports regulator to overcome its current challenges.

The coin took centre stage at a keel-laying ceremony in Cape Town to mark the construction of the new vessel which will increase TNPA’s marine fleet availability. The multi-purpose vessel will replace the current ageing pollution control vessel as TNPA pushes to increase fleet efficiency.  In maritime lore the coin will invite good fortune during the construction and life of the ship.

Already the project augurs well for the local maritime sector; the vessel is designed, manufactured and assembled in Cape Town under the guiding hand of Damen Shipyards Cape Town, due to be delivered by February 2025.  In a press release to mark the occasion TNPA said Damen had the necessary experience with low-cost maintenance vessels to deliver “an optimal layout and maintainability of all installed high-quality components.”

“The Western region is already starting to realise the economic benefits with the vessel being manufactured locally,” TNPA said.

Speaking at the ceremony, TNPA Regional Manager for Operational Performance and Oversight at Western Region Ports, Captain Vernal Jones said, “The ongoing investment in reliable port infrastructure is the creation of new assets to enable economic activity in the region and will further ensure smooth operation at the port.”

Jos Govaarts, Managing Director of DSCT, said: “DSCT is proud to be building the ship together with the local maritime industry. It creates and sustains jobs, allows us to continue training artisans on-the-job and collaboration with co-makers which actively contributes towards a future proof maritime industry.”

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