SAS Boasts Southern Africa's Largest Shipyard - Business Media MAGS

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SAS Boasts Southern Africa’s Largest Shipyard

“If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

It is this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery that speaks directly to the work ethic and business philosophy of the country’s leading ship-repair company, Southern African Shipyards (SAS).

SAS has repeatedly shown that there is no substitute for a great track record.

To their credit, the company was awarded the largest contract by any state owned entity to a local company and delivered tug after tug, well within targets.

The seamless completion of the R1.4 billion Tug contract awarded by Transnet in 2018, was lauded as exemplary by private sector and the government.

More recently, SAS was appointed the main contractor to Project Hotel, to supply the SA Navy with a new hydrographic vessel and ancillary equipment.

The multi-billion rand vessel is regarded as one of the most complexed vessels that has ever been built in this country and will prove invaluable as South Africa endeavours to make its mark in the world of science and groundbreaking technology.

At the Steel Cutting Ceremony, SAS also announced they were the preferred contractor to build a first-of-its kind Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Barge for energy company DNG.

Aldworth Mbalati, CEO of DNG commended SAS for their world-class capabilities and said that they were chosen to do the job based on merit alone.

“We could have done the job anywhere in the world, but here is a company has proven their prowess in the industry,” Mbalati said.

But it is in job creation and transformation that Southern African Shipyards shines brighter than any star and SAS Chief Executive holds this dearly as the company continues to show their commitment to young Black professionals; artisans and even Military Veterans.

SAS Chief Executive, Prasheen Maharaj said the obligation for them as black industrialists were to ensure that local jobs were created and maintained and that smaller and emerging black emerging empowerment (BEE)enterprises benefited.

“This year alone SAS said it would take on 70 apprentice artisans as well as 15 to 20 graduate engineers as interns.  The transformation of the industry and the creation of opportunities for the advancement of black women remained a core strategy for the sustainable development and the success of SAS,” Maharaj said.

He added that the hydrographic survey project would take roughly three years and eventually create work for more than 500 people, including apprentices, artisans, technicians, engineering interns and engineers in different disciplines.

The project would also create about 3 500 indirect jobs. Numerous procurement and subcontract opportunities will be created for SMMEs, BEE companies and military veteran-owned companies.

“Making a firm socio-economic impact is an essential part of business for us at SAS. When you place these principles at the forefront of your operation, your success automatically translates into the success of the community you operate in.

“It’s not just about netting in greater profit at this multi-million-rand-worth operation; it’s about delivering service excellence of the highest repute, creating jobs and preserving the environment,” he said.

Named KZN Top Business of the Year for two consecutive years among other accolades, SAS has won the confidence of the Maritime Industry and larger business community and prides itself on consistency.

Operation Phakisa, the state’s drive to contribute up to R177 billion to South Africa’s GDP by 2033 and create over one million job through Maritime remains at the heart of Southern African Shipyards’ ethos.

A low-hanging fruit in achieving some of Phakisas objectives, according to Maharaj, is to develop the Fishing Industry, and so SAS is equipping itself to meet this.

Maharaj said while they were still a newcomer in the fishing industry business, their list of satisfied clients in this sector was growing while the company was on a drive to target potential customers around Africa, starting in Mozambique.

Southern African Shipyards thanks the state and private sector for choosing them as their preferred Ship Builder and Repairer.

To quote the late Don Mkhawnazi, a former executive at the company and Godfather of BEE – “Excellence has no finish line!”.

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