South Africa occupies the Southern-most tip of Africa with a long coastline stretching more than 3 000 km from Namibia on the Atlantic coast around the tip of Africa to Mozambique on the Indian Ocean.
Despite its strategic location along the North/South and East/West trade corridors, South Africa does not have its own national shipping line, at least not after Maersk acquired the South African shipping line Safmarine.
Like many countries around the world, South Africa is almost entirely reliant on foreign-flagged shipping lines and companies for the shipping of its essential imports and resource-rich exports which are shipped all around the world.
The South African Government has been concerned that it might not be able to shield South Africa from supply chain disruptions, especially during times of natural disaster or international conflict due to this situation.
In order to solve the state of affairs outlined, the South African government is calling for a transformed and growing maritime transport sector as part of its Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP).
Statement 3(c) of the CMTP provides that the Department shall in consultation with relevant departments and relevant organs of state, take steps to establish a national shipping carrier as a strategic pillar in the revival of the maritime transport industry.
As part of this initiative, the Department of Transport has developed the Draft South African Shipping Company Bill 2022 and will be holding virtual stakeholders’ consultations on the Draft South African Shipping Company Bill 2022 at various locations in the country.
As per a Government Gazette published on the 1st of November 2022, these consultations will be held at the below locations
- Kwazulu Natal on 28 November 2022,
- Western Cape on 29 November 2022, and
- Eastern Cape on 30 November 2022
The Gazette invites interested stakeholders to express their interest to participate within 20 days from the date of publication and submission of written comments within 30 days from the date of publication.
Expression of interest to participate and submission of written comments may be sent to the Department of Transport for the attention of Chief Director Maritime Policy and Legislation, Private Bag X193, PRETORIA, 0001 OR be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org or mpahlwaC@dot.gov.za or email@example.com and Matlalatm@dot.gov.za
And why shouldn’t we?
We failed to run a once successful and admired national airline
We failed to run a once successful national railway
We failed to run a once successful national telephone network
We failed to run a once successful national postal service
We failed to run a once successful and caring national hospital network
We failed to run a once successful national road infrastructure
We failed to run a once successful and respected national armaments manufacturer
We failed to run a once successful national electricity generating company
We failed to run a once successful national water supply and purification plant
We failed to run a once successful national education system
We failed to run a once successful national police force to keep our citizens safe
We failed to run a once successful and respected national defense force
We failed to keep our national borders safe and secure
We failed to run an honest and efficient government
We failed to run successful municipalities
We failed to hold ‘those in charge’ accountable for their gross misdeeds and blatant plundering
And our successes????????
Only the ongoing ability in creating numerous new billionaires that are not capable of achieving anything of substance by using their own resources or their new-found wealth. .
Our list of failures is endless.
So why not add a national shipping line?
The worst that can happen is that the initial inflated and over-budgeted kick-off will not ever get off the ground (and into the water), other than create a new string of non tax-paying billionaires that have never yet had to put a toe in the water.
At least the government will not be able to blame the ‘old’ government for this one……
It is vital that RSA has a shipping line and training schools for mariners.