Implications of not having an SA owned fleet
Africa Ports & Harbours Show speaker & SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) CEO Tsietsi Mokhele is keen to have SA establish its own shipping line. South Africa does not have a single own-flagged commercial vessel on its shipping register.
The implication of not having its own domestic fleet sees SA paying billions in maritime services to foreign operators.
When compared to its BRICS counter parts â€“ SA is lagging behind by a long short. Brazil operates a fleet of 172 merchant vessels; Russia, 1891 vessels; India, 534 vessels; and that China had 2044 merchant ships.
Mokhele said that "South Africa has no ships on its register, and pays R37bn a year [2007 figures] in maritime transport services to foreign owners and operators," adding that it was the cost of moving 180 million tons of freight into and out of the country at that time. In a document tabled at the briefing, Mokhele called for a policy framework to enable the establishment of both a coastal and a blue-water (high seas) merchant fleet.
According to Fin24.com, about 98 percent of South Africa’s total import and export trade, by volume, was currently carried by foreign ships. Up to 12,000 vessels visited the country’s eight commercial ports each year. "We are almost 100 percent dependent on foreign shipping to get our goods to market," he said.