Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) recently hosted Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies, who reviewed some of the vessels under construction as well as facilities and personnel.
The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) has supported DSCT in the expansion and improvement of its shop-floor facilities, as well as in the successful launch of its apprentice training programme, the company said.
The DTI provided financial assistance for the renovation of an existing production hall and for the replacement of obsolete lifting equipment with two new units capable of lifting 10 tonnes each. This led directly to the production of three vessels in that facility, that otherwise would not have been built. With over 120,000 man hours going into each vessel during construction, the additional work has assisted in sustaining existing production jobs and created at least 50 more, DSCT said.
The minister’s visit was in recognition of the contribution that DSCT makes to creating job opportunities in South Africa and its contribution to stimulating economic growth within the shipping sector. The most recently qualified artisans of 2015 were honoured by Davies, Chairman of DSCT Sam Montsiand and DSCT Training Officer Dederick Ross during a certificate ceremony. Since 2010, 52 young people, including 11 women, have benefitted from the apprenticeship programme. Eleven new apprentices were taken on this year.
Before presenting the certificates, Davies and his team were given a tour of the yard where they viewed vessels under construction, including two Shoalbuster 3009s for local operator Smit Amandla Marine and an ATD Tug 2909 for the South African Navy, the second on order. The visitors were also taken to one of two FCS 5009 vessels, the largest of this class in the Damen range. Built at the yard, the FCS 5009 vessels are now held in stock ready for delivery to customers.