DSCT highlights contributions to maritime security and job creation

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Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) is delivering three new Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) to the South African Navy (SAN) under Project Biro, and these are contributing to South Africa’s maritime security as well as job creation.

Speaking at the 2024 Oceans Economy Conference and Expo in Cape Town last week, Sefale Montsi, Director of Damen Shipyards Cape Town, said, “I had the opportunity to share DSCT’s significant advancements through Project Biro and showcase how our work has impacted South Africa’s maritime industry and helped to drive sustainable economic growth.”

The two-day industry event on May 22 and 23 brought together key figures from the commercial and defence maritime industries to discuss logistics, shipping, offshore oil and gas, fisheries, tourism, and maritime defence and security.

“DSCT remains dedicated to enhancing South Africa’s maritime security and fostering sustainable economic growth through continued partnerships and local industry support. Project Biro has always been more than a maritime initiative; it has made significant contributions to job creation and the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in South Africa,” Montsi said.

The three MMIPVs built by DSCT in partnership with local suppliers are designed to enhance South Africa’s maritime security capabilities. The first MMIPV, SAS King Sekhukhune, was delivered in May 2022, followed by SAS King Shaka in October 2023, and the third vessel was ceremonially blessed in March 2024. Delivery of P1573 (future SAS Adam Kok) in Durban is expected by the beginning of November.

All three MMIPVs are DSCT Stan Patrol 6211 design platforms. The 62 metre long, 750 ton vessels have a 20 knot economical speed and a range of 2 000 nautical miles. Besides a 9 and 7 m RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) for boarding operations, each vessel is fitted with a Reutech 20 mm Super Sea Rogue marine gun and Reutech FORT (Frequency Modulated Optical Radar Tracker) Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) optronics radar tracking system.

Since 2018 the project has supported over 1 000 direct jobs and engaged nearly 4 000 individuals indirectly and a total of 848 local vendors have contributed to the manufacture of the MMIPVs.

DSCT HR and Transformation Manager, Eva Moloi, said the DSCT Training Centre was established to address the skills gap in South Africa’s maritime industry. Offering apprenticeships and partnerships with educational institutions, DSCT provides comprehensive training in various trades, including welding, boiler making, electrical work, and more. These initiatives ensure a steady supply of skilled workers to sustain and grow South Africa’s shipbuilding capabilities.

“Speaking at the conference was an opportunity to highlight the critical importance of skills development in the maritime industry,” said Moloi. “At Damen Shipyards Cape Town, we are dedicated to bridging the skills gap by providing comprehensive training programmes that not only empower individuals but also strengthen the overall capacity of our local shipbuilding sector. ”

Damen Shipyards Cape Town has to date constructed and delivered over 40 vessels for various countries on the African continent. These vessels have included offshore patrol vessels, dredgers, tugs, naval craft and supply vessels.