WC To Get New Maritime Cluster
The Western Cape of South Africa is poised to benefit from the incorporation of a maritime cluster that is set to develop the existing supply chain throughout the region and bolster the industry from the inside out. The voluntary non-profit is spearheaded by industry heavyweights such as Raizcorp and the WC Department of Economic Development & Tourism. Damen Shipyards, the Royal IHC and even the Kingdom of the Netherlands are lending their support as well. The hope is that more partners will join the cluster in months to come.
What is A Maritime Cluster?
A maritime cluster is an organisational instrument used to integrate sectoral policies under one roof in order to facilitate an integrated approach towards everything from the environment and tourism, to coastal protection, trade and export, fisheries, mariculture and more. When employed correctly, these entities have the potential to positively influence the development of maritime technology, boost public awareness and education, as well as streamlining research and governance.
What will the WC Maritime Cluster Do?
The aim is to support existing businesses throughout the Western Cape maritime industry and simultaneously spur on the development of new businesses in order to promote job creation. Deputy Director General Rashid Toefy was quoted as saying that the well-established oil and gas sectors have been earmarked for development and that the cluster will be seeking to empower previously disadvantaged enterprises by creating sustainable employment. Similar clusters in the information technology and textile sectors have proven immensely effective at affecting real and tangible change that impacts the lives of everyday South African citizens, and the hope is to bring this positive energy to the maritime sector by aligning business, government and labour.
The cluster will be launched publicly in October (National Transport Month in South Africa) and will then commence its endeavours in all earnest. The current aim is to establish a strong network of lobbyists and mentors who can facilitate networking opportunities and strategic alliances that will pair entrepreneurs and innovators with leading organisations and institutions to provide skills development and answer existing supply chain requirements. This is wonderful news for the shipping, maritime and ports industries, that all stand to benefit from this exciting new collaborative venture.
The Link Ship Chandlers team is always on the lookout for fresh news and information on maritime development in South Africa. Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more shipping-related news hot off the presses.