The police’s Sea Border Unit will receive the first of four new 16m coastal patrol boats (illustrated) being built at a cost of R32 million in Cape Town in the new year.
The 20 metric ton vessels will more than double the strength of the recently-established unit.
The Sunday Times this last weekend reported the original tender was published in January 2007 and the vessels were meant to have been delivered from May.
Police spokeswoman Director Sally de Beer says the first boat is now 95% complete with the second about 60% done.
“The builders explained to us the reasons for the delay and we accepted it,” she told defenceWeb.
Eraco Boat Builders director Deon Erasmus told the Sunday paper the delays were “nothing untoward”.
The Cape-based company has previously “landed numerous government contracts, including one for a high-speed ‘bullet boat’ for Marine and Coastal Management,” the broadsheet said.
The Sea Border Unit currently has just three boats deployed along SA’s 2500-long coast. De Beer says the new vessels will be deployed at Cape Town, Saldanha, Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth.