The order to develop the maritime space is in conjunction with the government’s strategy towards social security, regional and economic development.
“This great work will make us [South Africa] more attractive and will ensure that we are responsive to international trade,” Naledi Pandor South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs told CNBC Africa.
The South African government has initiated the National Development Plan (NDP) which has a goal to raise trade within the Southern Africa region from 7 per cent to 25 per cent by 2030 and that trade with regional neighbours should increase from 15 per cent of total trade to 30 per cent.
(READ MORE: Africa’s nascent maritime industry)
The NDP aims to improve export infrastructure by linking local products with other emerging markets.
“This is great work to make us more attractive and to ensure we are responsive to international trade,” she said.
Government departments and local agencies were widely dispersed throughout Cape Town and the city’s harbour.
The present coordinating system of maritime ports will be abandoned in order to develop an integration centre that will combine members of staff from various departments, facilities of infrastructure and functions.
“Creating a facility like this helps develop a specialisation to train officials in immigration and other customary areas who know that they are working in dealing with cruise passengers and also container vessels in the Cape Town harbour. We have already employed over 90 people who will be based at the control centre. What we are trying to do is professionalise border management in South Africa,” said Pandor.
According to government reports, the new maritime port of entry control centre will enhance legitimate trade, logistics of capital, goods, services and security within the border.
Moreover, the South African government will seek to develop more similar centres to reach the goals of the NDP.
(WATCH VIDEO:Maritime shipping supports 90% of global trade)
“We have secured support from our treasury for our plans with regards to border infrastructure. This strategy involves developing the land, air and maritime ports of entry. We [government] have spent 20 million rand, but the entire amount for the next three years of development will be over 400 million rand, looking at the land and the two major airports,” said Pandor.
BY: THANDO MATUTU