Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille says the Small Harbours Repairs and Maintenance Programme has brought much needed infrastructure improvements to harbours thereby benefitting coastal communities.
“The primary purpose of the repairs and maintenance programme is to bring the harbours to a greater operational efficiency to assist the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to carry out their mandate effectively with the enabling infrastructure provided by DPWI,” de Lille said.
Speaking during her visit at the Hermanus Harbour in the Western Cape on Monday, De Lille explained that the programme also aims to boost investor confidence within the harbours and many existing tenants are looking to expand their operations.
“This is coupled with a high appetite from new investors within the harbour which will assist the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) in its drive towards attracting private sector investment and revenue generation for the State.”
The Small Harbours Repairs and Maintenance Programme has been progressing well at all 13 proclaimed fishing harbours (PFHs) namely, Lamberts Bay, Laaiplek / Bergrivier Harbour, St Helena Bay, Saldanha Bay, Pepper Bay, Hout Bay, Kalk Bay, Gordons Bay, Hermanus, Gansbaai, Arniston, Struisbaai and Stilbaai.
De Lille said South Africa has over 3 000 km’s of coastline where there are 13 proclaimed fishing harbours that lie exclusively within the Western Cape.
She explained that the function of the DPWI’s Small Harbours Unit is to play an integral role in contributing towards achieving the National Development Plan 2030 goals as well as addressing the country’s triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“I am very pleased to hear that the overall progress of the programme against the priority scope of work is currently at 94% completion with the planned completion date of March 2022 still on track.
“The removal of sunken vessels activity has been completed at seven of the 13 harbours which housed sunken vessels. A total of 29 sunken vessels were removed of which 15 of these were at Hout Bay Harbour.
“The repairs and upgrades to slipways have been completed at all of the harbours with the exception of Saldanha Bay Harbour. Progress at the Saldanha Bay slipway is currently at 58% in November 2021,” the Minister said.
She said government is committed to infrastructure development in order to create the conditions conducive for economic growth and job creation by the private sector.
“The Infrastructure Investment Plan and this project is also an integral part of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan to enable economic growth and create much needed jobs for citizens.”
To date, the overall repair and maintenance programme to the proclaimed fishing harbours has created a total of 737 jobs. – SAnews.gov.za