The Eastern Cape Provincial Government has approved the Oceans economy master plan, giving a green light for the implementation of this strategy estimated to inject R10.4 billion into the provincial economy and create about 33 785 jobs after the first five years of its implementation.
Joint team included the Nelson Mandela University
A joint team from Nelson Mandela University and the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council presented the draft master plan, the oceans economy research agenda, a status quo and baseline report that informed the master plan to the meeting of the Executive Council that took place in Mthatha on Wednesday, 11 December.
Investment guide to be produced
With the master plan having been approved, the provincial government, together with the University, will produce an investment book to be used in promoting available investment opportunities in the oceans economy sector, secure investments, upgrade coastal tourism infrastructure, unblock aquaculture projects, establish a catalytic oceans economy ecosystem.
The main thrust of the Eastern Cape’s oceans economy master plan is to sustain economic growth, job creation, inclusive and equitable socio-economic development linked to the structural transformation of the province’s spatial economy, increase levels of effectiveness and efficiency underpinned by knowledge-based oceans economy driven by innovation and capacity building, increased investment levels, ensure responsible and sustainable governance of oceans resources for the benefit of future generations.
Government wants to grow GDP to 5%
The planned economic spinoffs of the oceans economy master plan form part of the Provincial Development Plan through which the Eastern Cape government plans to push provincial GDP growth rate from 2.8% to 5% by 2030, increase investments into the province from 16.5% of GDP to 27.1% by 2030.
One of the goals the government wants to accomplish is to reduce unemployment in the province from 35.4% to 10%, and poverty from 36.7% to 7.7% by 2030 through a bouquet of strategies such as the oceans economy master plan.
Nelson Mandela University, which developed this master plan for the province through the funding by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, consulted all relevant stakeholders in the sector and included their insight into this master plan document and the implementation plan.
Eastern Cape wants to meet the Operation Phakisa targets
The national and provincial governments initiated the development of the oceans economy master plan to ensure that the province meets the Operation Phakisa targets of improving the GDP, creating jobs and transforming the coastal economy, while forming linkages with the terrestrial economies.