Question NW1626 to the Minister of Transport

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19 May 2022 - NW1626

Profile picture: Hunsinger, Mr CH

Hunsinger, Mr CH to ask the Minister of Transport

What (a) number of ships and/or vessels were recorded under the South African flag (i) over the past five financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2022 and (b) are the future plans for the industry?


a) Number of all ships and/or vessels recorded under the South African flag over the past 5 financial years:

Number of ships on SA Register







(i) Convention vessels







(ii) Ships registered since 1 April 2022



Inclusive of all fishing vessels, yachts, small vessels and other types of vessels that are not convention vessels - the SA register record 745 vessels as of 2022/2023.

Convention vessels are vessels over 500GT that can carry cargoes, passengers or offshore tugs as example, on which Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) seafarers are employed.

It should be noted that not “all vessels” on the SA register are shown for the past five years – the reason being that the list still contains deleted vessels and we were mandated to clean up the register to only reflect vessels that are registered and not since deleted. Therefore, to report on these numbers would not be accurate and as such, only the total number for vessels for the current year end and 5 years for the Convention Vessels has been included.

b) Future plans for the industry:

The Department developed the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Sector Plan (CMTP) which speaks to 37 Policy Statements. The goal of the CMTP is to facilitate growth, development and transformation of the South Africa maritime transport sector in support of socio-economic development whilst contributing to international trade, which includes the introduction of sophisticated but integrated maritime supply chain systems; the development and enhancement of the national shipping capacity and capability within a complex of logistical environment of people and machine, able to serve trade at all levels and support the goals of the broader national interest and specific Governmental developmental programmes and initiatives.

This includes creating fiscal incentives to attract ship owners to the register their ships on the South African register. Part of these measures are to engage with financing institutions to encourage ship financing and investigate a possible model and feasibility of establishing a national ship finance corporation of South Africa. The Department will be working with relevant organs of state to implement competitive mortgage and insurance regime.

The Department is finalising the Merchant Shipping Bill, Maritime Development Fund Bill and the National Shipping Bill which will assist with growing the maritime industry in South Africa.

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