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Ship Building and Repairs

The ship repair, ship building and boat building industries have a long and proud history in Durban, having added immeasurably to its value and appeal as Africa's leading port by providing ship owners and operators as well as the recreational and commercial boat fraternity with the knowledge and assurance that skills, expertise and availability are readily to hand.

All three industry sectors have made great strides and significant investments in the local economy. They remain in the forefront of technical knowhow and skills development equal to the best available worldwide in their respective fields. .

KwaZulu-Natal is already regarded as the second most prolific boat-building centre in South Africa so it’s no surprise that this sector is rapidly emerging as a significant growth industry with 25% of all South African boat-building companies based in this province.  Currently the local ship and boat-building industry boasts good basic infrastructure, while tremendous possibilities exist around the Durban shoreline for the construction of ships, boats and maritime parts.

Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal, the Provincial Government entity responsible for the local and international promotion and development of investment and export trade opportunities, is actively involved in the hard-hitting promotion of this critical economic sector and, especially, locally-based companies active in the industry, while also promoting KwaZulu-Natal as being home to two of Southern Africa’s major deep-water harbours – Durban and Richards Bay – and a strategic trade gateway to South Africa, Africa and the world.

Its strategic location and highly developed industrial sector ensure a competitive edge for both local and foreign investors, as well as unique advantages for local exporters.

The South African boat-building industry has a high degree of international credibility, having doubled its exports since 1994. Numerous reports have shown that the industry has undergone an efficient industrial restructuring, making it internationally competitive with regard to price, quality – both in finish and sailing ability – and durability. Its products are highly acclaimed and have won a number of international awards. It also has a fine reputation among international boat designers, who often allocate orders and refer clients to South African boat-builders.

World demand for ships is on the increase and investment in this sector in KwaZulu-Natal would create many new employment opportunities here.


  • Direct and indirect employment
  • Skills enhancement
  • Technology transfer
  • Technological Stimulation
  • Industrial Stimulation
  • Black Empowerment
  • Export earnings
  • Import replacement
  • Contribution to the National Treasury