The Department of Transport of South Africa has released the first draft of the South African Shipping Company Bill 2022 slated to establish the country’s first national carrier.
South African Shipping Company (SASCO) follows the government’s target to bolster its maritime sector amid supply chain disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plans to establish a state-owned national carrier have been on the cards since 2017.
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According to the bill, all ships would be flagged in South Africa and will operate alongside logistics services and infrastructure.
SASCO will also engage in tanker services, bunkering services, container services, bulk cargo services, and coastal shipping services – on top of traditional carriage of export and imports.
Funds will be provided under an Industrial Development Fund (IDC) and through the government itself.
Specific details on the financing are yet to be defined.
The Department of Transport said meetings with stakeholders will commence this month to explore interest and commitment to the shipping company.
Works at container terminals around South Africa ground to a halt last month as liners omit calls around the nation’s ports.
The congestion is a result of strike action from the United National Transport Union (UNTU) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) in a walkout over a pay dispute that rolled on for months.