New partnership set to boost South Africa’s Blue Economy
[Cape Town: 23 April 2021] In economic terms, South Africa’s oceans are a vast but limited natural resource that needs to be carefully managed for future generations. However, with proper support, innovation and good environmental management, our oceans have every potential to generate significant growth, positively impact GDP, and help meet the country’s urgent job-creation and skills development requirements in a sustainable manner.

BlueCape, is a collaborative partnership founded by the V&A Waterfront and the City of Cape Town. The goal of BlueCape is to unlock value in the oceans economy by focusing on three key marine industries:
1. marine manufacturing,
2. small board plus ocean sports and
3. superyachts.

The BlueCape partnership will be working with national and provincial governments, organisations such as Wesgro and Invest Cape Town, as well as industry bodies and organisations over the three marine industries.

BlueCape will also look to dismantle existing barriers to entry by providing more open access, support skills development, transformation, and job creation, and create economic opportunities for the marine industry to thrive.

V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said, “Internationally the Ocean Economy is a sector which provides opportunity for economic growth and Cape Town and the Western Cape are well positioned to benefit from this.

“The founding of BlueCape brings together a specific focus to three exciting areas of the overall Ocean economy; Marine manufacturing ; [small board plus ] ocean sports and superyachts, all of these are currently present in some form within the V & A Waterfront . Blue Cape will enable and encourage opportunity to make more productive and sustainable use of our oceans, and to create inclusive business opportunities in these industries. Further BlueCape will spearhead innovation in new marine sector developments.”

Bruce Tedder, one of the founding Directors of BlueCape welcomed the partnership with the V&A Waterfront. “The V&A Waterfront is a vital part of the blue/ ocean economy in our City. Together with our other founding partner, the City of Cape Town, BlueCape aims to support businesses in the ocean economy, to remove barriers to entry and to support skills development and transformation for job creation. Working collectively and collaboratively we can maximise our impact and effect real change in the sector.”

BlueCape forms a critical part of the V&A’s Ocean Cluster, which is based at the V&A Waterfront and facilitates collaboration between all Ocean Economy Tenants and other stakeholders to create an inspirational example of inclusive and sustainable Blue Ocean Economy.

The Waterfront, in collaboration with BlueCape, is also exploring the feasibility of developing an Ocean Economy Hub at the Waterfront that could provide a physical space for all three Blue Cape focus sectors. Green said, “We envisage that this hub will provide a dedicated innovation, event, skills development, networking and co-working space for the Marine Manufacturing sector and other sectors of the Blue Ocean Economy.”

Marine manufacturing
Marine manufacturing is key to developing the oceans economy. Cape Town is home to almost 70% of the local boatbuilding industry within South Africa, and offers world-class technical skills to service all types of ocean-going craft. By 2019, the value generated by boat building had reached about R2.2 billion, but that doesn’t take into account manufacturing and supply of parallel goods such as surfboards, kites, sailing apparel and wetsuits.

The city is also an attractive destination because of its well-maintained infrastructure – the City’s roads, airport, and facilities. Added to this, it provides access to vessel maintenance specialists and suppliers of fuel and food, while the V&A Waterfront offers good berthing and access to leisure activities.

The sector is supported through repair and commissioning facilities at East Quay in the Waterfront together with the Transnet run Dry dock and Syncrolift repair hub and vessel launching facility also located within the Waterfront
Currently the industry is showcased at the annual international Boat Show, Boatica, hosted at the Waterfront featuring South African skills, technology, and innovation in the sector. BlueCape will seek to attract other new international events for Cape Town such as the World Marinas Conference and Seatrade International.

Cape Town is an ideal location for Superyachts as in addition to being a spectacular location for tourism and sightseeing it offers all the required replenishment facilities together with comprehensive maintenance and repair support the boats need.
Superyachts have periodically berthed at the V&A Waterfront over the last 20 years, with some making regular appearances, however over the past few years, there has been growing interest in Cape Town as a port, and BlueCape is looking to drive significant growth in this sector.
• Data provided on the size of the superyacht market differ but there are somewhere close to 6 ,786 superyachts in 2019
• The global superyacht market represents an estimated business volume of $ 26 billion, 54% of which is concentrated in Europe
• Data provided on market growth differ, growing from a predicted ~2% and ~5% annual compound rate
• Cape Town is well positioned to support new regions as a hub for superyachts, especially for 60+m
o Focus on superyachts over 60m that have multi-oceanic travel capabilities, making them candidates for the most exotic and far flung destinations: this fleet doubled volume between 2008 and 2018.
While concierge and support services are available, the V&A Waterfront is reviewing development plans for a potential superyacht hub at Quay 7. This will support entrepreneurial innovation as well as the Superyacht Training Academy adjacent to the Synchrolift.
BlueCape will market Cape Town as a stopover to key international industry events and is working collaboratively to develop standards for providing support services to Superyachts.

Ocean sports
While Cape Town and the V & A Waterfront is well established as a host port for some of the premier international yacht races such as The Volvo Ocean Race, and the Clipper Round the World Race, and other renowned yacht races such as the TP52 Super Series, the Cape2Rio
BlueCape will lend support and focus upon the enormously popular and growing ocean sports areas including competitive kite surfing, windsurfing, open water swimming, surf lifesaving, kayaking, surfing, sports fishing, scuba diving and other emerging ocean sports.
Green concluded, “Ocean sport events are part of a larger vision of what the potential oceans economy can and should look like for Cape Town, the Western Cape, and South Africa. This, and other oceans economy plans, will receive our full support.”


PHOTO CAPTION: Front row left to right: David Green, CEO, V&A Waterfront; Bruce Tedder, Founding Director, BlueCape; Mayoral Committee Member, Alderman James Vos. Back row left to right: Andre Blaine Executive Manager: Marine and Industrial, V&A Waterfront; Ann Lamont, V&A Waterfront; Vanessa Davidson, Director, BlueCape; Lance Greyling, Director: Enterprise and Investment, City of Cape Town; Faith Kolala, Head: Sector, Investment and Trade, City of Cape Town.

Photo Credit to City of Cape Town.

Categories: V&A Waterfront.