In an effort to develop the country’s ocean’s economy – in line with the government’s “Operation Phakisa” initiative – Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has started a multimillion rand infrastructural rehabilitation project at the small domestic seaport of Port Nolloth on the northwestern coast of South Africa, near the Namibian border.
Cape Town Port Manager, Sipho Nzuza (whose portfolio includes Port Nolloth) says, “Port Nolloth has historically been overlooked, but this rehabilitation project has seen us invest R7.2m to date of a budgeted project value of R39m. The full project is expected to be completed in October 2017.”
Steffanuti Stocks Marine (Pty) Ltd. is the contractor, and it commenced preparatory site establishment activities in August. The primary Transnet infrastructure at the site consists of an L-shaped concrete deck on pile jetty - including a landing quay with a length of approximately 67m and a useable area of 1,450m2.
The project includes:
- Refurbishment of the jetty structure
- Refurbishment or replacement of concrete where required
- Refurbishment of quay infrastructure
- Replacement of quayside fender systems by TNPA and De Beers
- TNPA will also do revetment works to address erosion of the shore line.
Nzuza said Port Nolloth would continue to serve as a support facility to the fishing and offshore mining industries and would play an active role as part of the Western Cape port system.
According to Maritime Logistics Professional, Port Nolloth has operated under a 10 year lease agreement to De Beers Group Services, which has used it as an offshore supply base for conducting diamond prospecting activity in Namibia. Smit Amandla supply vessels are stationed in Port Nolloth and are used for transferring supplies to De Beers’ offshore prospecting vessels.
The port has a rich history, initially acting as an export facility for copper from mines in the nearby Springbok area in the late 1800s. However, once these exports dried up, the port has mainly supported local fishing and offshore mining activity.