A full programme of talks by maritime industry leaders and experts will greet conference attendees at the inaugural Eastern Cape Ports and Maritime Conference, in Port Elizabeth today and tomorrow.
“The expressed aim of the conference is to chart a route to harnessing maritime potential and leveraging off existing industry assets,” said Mfundo Piti, Coega Development Corporation (CDC) Project Manager and the inaugural Eastern Cape Ports and Maritime Conference co-ordinator.
The event is an initiative of industry leaders and government, including the Eastern Cape Departments of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Transport, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), both the East London and Coega Industrial Development Zones (IDZs), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Transnet and the Nelson Mandela Bay Maritime Cluster.
It is hoped that the conference will be the starting point for strengthened partnerships between these institutions.
The changing nature of ports – and its impact on the maritime industry – is one of the main topics for discussion, but dialogue points also include analysis on broad-ranging changes in the maritime industry.
Led by thinking from the highest office, the conference features a keynote address by the Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, who will position the conference in the context of ports as enablers of economic development, delving into the role ports play in facilitating external trade and internal market changes.
Also providing papers and strategic insight are speakers from Transnet, the East London and Coega IDZs, the Nelson Mandela Bay Maritime Cluster, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and a