South Africa will create the country’s first national shipping company

The Ministry of Transport has released the first draft of the South African Shipping Company Act 2022, which aims to create the country’s first national carrier.

South Africa is largely dependent on foreign governments and companies for essential imports and exports, and a national shipping company can protect the country from supply chain disruptions, the department said.

The South African Shipping Company (SASCO) falls under the government’s plans to reform the maritime sector, enshrined in the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy. The political initiative dates back to 2017, when the government first set itself the task.

The department’s goal was to take steps through consultation to establish a national shipping carrier as a “strategic pillar in the revival of the maritime transport industry”.

This month, it is planned to start consultations with important stakeholders from across the country. Organizations wishing to express their interest or make comments should notify the department.

The shipping company intends to own and operate a fleet of ships, bought or built, that will work together and help logistics services and infrastructure.

In addition to traditional export and import transportation as a “preferred national carrier”, SASCO will also provide the following services:

  • Tanker services;
  • Bunkering services (supply of ships with fuel);
  • Bulk cargo transportation services;
  • Coastal shipping services.

SASCO will be funded by the “Industrial Development Fund” as well as money provided by Parliament.

Specific funding details have not yet been determined.