Upgraded Saldanha Habour to spur economic activity

Upgraded Saldanha Habour to spur economic activity

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille will today visit the recently upgraded Saldanha Habour.

The upgrades to the harbour form part of a major refurbishment programme by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) to 13 proclaimed fishing harbours in the Western Cape. The upgrades were completed in March this year to the value of R501 million.

The Small Harbours Repairs and Maintenance Programme is aimed at bringing the harbours to a greater level of efficiency to revitalise the local economy and to serve the local fishermen, tenants and surrounding communities.

The programme has been completed at all 13 proclaimed fishing harbours where the scope of work included the removal of sunken vessels, dredging of the harbour basins, repairs to slipways, shore crane replacements, security, civil and electrical infrastructure upgrades.

To date, the project has created a total of 925 jobs and empowered local SMMEs to the value of over R116 million.

The bulk of the SMMEs are Level 1/2 BBBEE companies and were vastly spread, ranging from Lamberts Bay in the upper West Coast all the way to the East Coast at Stillbaai Harbour covering all 13 harbours.

The project aims to boost investor confidence within the harbours and many existing tenants are looking to expand their operations coupled with a high appetite from new investors within the harbours which will assist the department in its drive towards attracting private sector investment and revenue generation for the state.

Ultimately the economic spin-offs of the repair and maintenance programme will allow for further job creation and local economic development surrounding the 13 proclaimed fishing harbours along the Western Cape coastline.

The works completed at Saldanha and Pepper Bay Harbours included work on the slipway infrastructure at Saldanha harbour, civil infrastructure as well as electrical infrastructure work both harbours. Around R98.6 million has been spent for the infrastructure upgrades work at the two.

The Saldanha Bay Harbour main contractors appointed SMMEs from the local community. The value of work contracted to SMMEs amounted to approximately R27 million.

A total of 145 local residents also benefitted from work opportunities for the project at Saldanha Bay.

This project is a prime example of the importance of infrastructure development to spur on economic activity and much needed job creation for citizens, the department said.

Minister de Lille and Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet will visit the recently completed project and highlight the various works that have been done.

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