“The aspiration of the offshore oil and gas exploration focus group of the Oceans Phakisa is the drilling of 30 exploration wells in ten years‚ in their view this would produce 370‚000 barrels of oil and gas per day‚” President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
“A total of R9.2-billion rand has to be spent to develop Saldanha Bay as an oil and gas hub. The phased gas pipeline routes have also been defined.
“In addition‚ environmental authorisation has been approved for the Burgan Fuel Storage facility in the port of Cape Town. This is an investment of approximately R660-million and construction will commence by the end of August 2015.”
The finalisation of the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Development Amendment Bill‚ currently in the Parliamentary process‚ was designed to also assist South Africa to accelerate offshore oil and gas exploration‚ he said.
The president was briefing the country on Operation Phakisa which forms part of government’s Nine Point Plan to reignite growth and boost job creation‚ as announced in his State of the Nation Address. “The programme brings together various sectors such as business‚ labour‚ academia and government. They work together to develop delivery action plans in intensive work sessions called laboratories.
A study conducted recently by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University had quantified the value of South Africa’s oceans. In the initial study in 2010‚ the oceans around South Africa were estimated to have a potential to contribute about R54-billion to the GDP and an estimated 316‚000 jobs.
Further analysis undertaken in 2013‚ found that nine sectors of South Africa’s ocean economy could generate an estimated GDP contribution of R129-billion to R177-billion by 2033 and double the number of jobs estimated in 2010.
The Ocean Economy Phakisa was launched in July last year‚ with a focus on: marine transport and manufacturing led by the Department of Transport; offshore oil and gas‚ led by the Department of Mineral Resources; aquaculture‚ led by the Department of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries; and marine protection services and ocean governance‚ led by the Department of Environmental Affairs.
The Oceans laboratory phase took place in Durban from July 8 to August 15 2014. “It focused on initiatives which are able to deliver significant impact within the next five years and beyond and to lay the groundwork for sustained longer-term growth‚ not only in the four priority areas‚ but also across the ocean economy as a whole‚” the president said.
“Opportunities are being explored in various areas‚ one being the repairing of rigs and the servicing of vessels. Thirty thousand vessels pass through South Africa’s waters every year‚ and 13‚000 dock in our ports every year.
“South Africa only does maintenance on 5% of the vessels. In addition‚ of the eighty rigs in the Western Cape‚ only four are serviced per year. In addition‚ three hundred million tonnes of cargo on foreign owned vessels are shipped and 1.2 million tonnes of liquid fuel passes along our coast annually.
“In this regard‚ significant investment is required in new port infrastructure including rig repairs. The establishment of a Small Harbours Development Authority is thus necessary.”
He said the rehabilitation‚ upgrade and redevelopment of some small harbours as well as the identification and proclamation of new harbours and their integration with national coastal projects‚ had begun‚ in order to unlock the economic potential of the country’s coastline.
“We have identified Gansbaai‚ Saldanha Bay‚ Struisbaai‚ Gordons Bay and Lamberts Bay for rehabilitation and development. A roadmap has also been developed for the proclamation of new harbours in the Northern Cape‚ Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.”
-RDM News Wire