27 November 2023
Renowned for its vibrant culture and breathtaking coastal landscapes, Cape Town is making waves as home to Africa’s leading ocean economy. Today, its maritime industry plays a crucial role in the economic development and environmental stewardship of the country.
The Mother City’s prime geographic location serves as an ideal gateway into Africa and beyond. Its extensive coastline, deep natural harbours, and proximity to major international shipping routes provide a competitive advantage for businesses operating in this sector.
With its thriving tourism industry, expert boatbuilding industry, well-developed infrastructure and vast ocean resources, Cape Town is set to sail into future prosperity.
Cape Town proudly stands as one of the top catamaran-producing cities globally, with more than 40 shipyards and over 5 120 artisans, carpenters, engineers, and nautical architects. Today, the sector is recognised for its skilled craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, dedication to superior quality, as well as its significant economic boost to the Mother City.
Gateway to Africa
Known for its iconic position along the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town facilitates crucial maritime trade routes linking major economies. The city boasts the region’’s largest and busiest portharbour, the Port of Cape Town, and just 60 nautical miles northwest sits the Port of Saldanha – both serving as important logistics hubs for seaborne trade industries, including oil and gas, shipping, and fishing.
Cape Town’’s stunning coastal landscapes, diverse marine wildlife, and favourable weather conditions make it a popular destination for marine tourism, which in turn contributes to the region’s economy. To protect its marine ecosystems, the City has committed to promoting sustainable practices that contribute to the long-term health of the region’’s marine resources.
As Cape Town increasingly looks to green initiatives and forward-thinking investments, the HopYacht 30 is a perfect example of what the future of boating could and should look like. This electric catamaran, the first of its kind in the city, is beautifully designed with electric- powered hob and water heaters – a significant step towards sustainable, noiseless and pollution-free modern sailing.
Waves of investment
Since 2014, Cape Town’s ocean economy has helped to secure investments worth R30 billion and create more than 7 000 direct jobs. These capital injections have been mainly in infrastructure development, marine manufacturing, aquaculture, as well as the oil and gas sector – establishing the maritime industry as a catalyst for collaboration, economic integration, and market expansion across the continent.
At the epicentre of the country’s ocean economy is BlueCape, the City of Cape Town’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the maritime industry. Founded in 2019, the SPV works to support businesses and investors in the maritime industry, by removing barriers to entry and facilitating market access. It opens ups up opportunities in the city by improving the ease of doing business, to build a resilient ocean economy.
As one of the world’’s leading players in the maritime industry, Cape Town connects businesses with emerging markets, fostering economic development and creating mutually beneficial partnerships. With its access to talent, skills, and unparalleled craftsmanship, the city’s thriving ocean economy is on a steady course towards success.