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The government is looking to establish a national shipping carrier to kick-start transformation in the transport sector, particularly in the maritime and aviation industries.

According to BusinessDay, this comes as South African Airways (SAA) undergoes business rescue in the face of liquidation.

The national airline joins the list of state-owned entities (SEOs) that were either looted at the height of state capture or are in deep financial trouble.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said in written replies to questions published in parliament last week that the government was looking into the establishment of a national shipping carrier as a means of building strategic national shipping capacity and capability.

He explained that a national shipping carrier would contribute greatly to economic growth and transformation.

“As a maritime nation with a coastline in excess of 2 500km, which is strategically located on one of the busiest shipping routes surrounded by three oceans on the eastern, western and southern seaboards, we are steadfast on our commitment to position the oceans economy as a strategic contributor to economic stimulation and growth,” said Mbalula. 

“In recognising our contribution to the country’s efforts towards realising inclusive growth, we must prioritise the acceleration of interventions that will unlock the potential of the ocean’s economy and drive transformation in an aggressive way.”

Mbalula told parliament that his department has a number of initiatives that will allow for transformation in the transport sector and increase economic participation by those aspiring to enter the industry.

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