EThekwini Maritime Cluster Managing Director Ms. Thato Tsautse urged the community of KZN to shift their focus to the maritime industry and utilize the opportunities available at the port for their development.

Speaking at the Community Media Forum at Durban ICC on Wednesday, 22 February2017, was elaborating on the theme of the April 3-4 2nd Annual Maritime Summit which is Connecting Ports Ships and Communities. She said the main aim of the summit is based on the mandate for EMC which is to make sure that the community - is aware of the Port of Durban and the opportunities the port has for them.

Tsautse - outlined - the programme of the summit on the 3-4 April 2016. She mentioned that - Enterprise Development which help small businesses venture into doing business with port will be amongst topics for discussion. She said that this element is also part of what EMC pursues under its business incubator programme which accustoms small businesses to the standards of doing business with the maritime industry.

“We need to ask ourselves that who is participating at the port and who is doing business with the port of Durban. If not us then who?” she said.

She also mentioned the launches that will take place as part of the summit programme which include the launch of Marine and Costal Tourism which is part of Operation Phakisa, launch of the Port Regulators port tariff application methodology for 2018-2020 and the launch of Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Exporters Awards, and the launch of the South African company that owns ships registered in South Africa - Africa Marine Solutions.

Other programmes for the summit mentioned included the Trade Expo s where delegates will meet port suppliers to talk about how they are going to open up their database for small businesses.

“There will also be a Careers Expo, but I want to emphasize and encourage parents that is not just for children but for parents who can be able to advise their children about something that they are also informed about” said Tsautse

Among dignitaries who spoke to the community media present was the EThekwini Municipality Mayor Cllr Zandile Gumede who encouraged the local media to work closely with the municipality as a strategic partner for development. The mayor was speaking on the Radical Economic Transformation Framework for EThekwini Municipality.

The programme of the day also included the Municipal Annual Report – Highlights and challenges presented by Philemon Mashoko, Deputy City Manager Trading Services.