A renewed interest in regenerating South Africa's small harbours may well offer big opportunities for the South African maritime sector; and the newly created Small Harbours unit within the Department of Public Works aims to attract a total of R20 billion in investment by 2020. Speaking at the recent South African Maritime Industry Conference, Dhaya Govender, DDG of the Small Harbour unit, said that the aim is to minimise what the South African government commits and "open the space for private sector to invest in these properties".

One of the first initiatives emanating from this focus on small harbours was the recent call for bids by the Coega Development Corporation, (who is assisting National Department of Public Works (NDPW) with the Implementation of Infrastructure Development and Maintenance of Proclaimed Fishing Harbours within the Western Cape) to remove sunken vessels from selected small harbours in the Western Cape. 

According to one potential bidder, the clarification meeting held last month attracted significant interest from a number of parties. He added that an extension to the closing date of 10 April had also been subsequently granted. 

The work has been divided into three Work Packages consisting of: 
1. Hout Bay, Hermanus and Saldanha Bay.
2. St Helena Bay, Laaiplek and Lamberts Bay.
3. Gansbaai

Concern, however, is that the project, once awarded, will only get underway during Cape Town's winter months making the adherence to the timelines proposed for some of the harbours difficult. 
A further step in the programme to maximise the opportunities presented by the small harbours will be realised with the call from the CDC for a bidder to manage the facilities of these harbours.
These projects will be followed by an engagement to align further development plans for each property with those of the relevant municipalities.

source: Maritime Review Africa