The move is aimed partly at bolstering the local boatbuilding industry

Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has announced a berthing discount for members of the South African Boatbuilders Export Council (SABBEX).

The move is aimed partly at bolstering the local boatbuilding industry by providing easier access to water for commissioning new boats or effecting repairs. The V&A Waterfont, one of Africa’s biggest tourist attractions, is also hoping to attract a bigger share of superyacht business.

“We want to make it more viable for boatbuilders to do commissioning, at a reasonable rate, to stimulate the ocean economy,” V&A Waterfront marine and industrial executive manager Andre Blaine told SABBEX in an interview published last week in a SABBEX newsletter.

Currently berthing space in Cape Town is severely constrained, with limited space available at the Port of Cape Town. The V&A, jointly owned by Growthpoint Properties Limited and the Public Investment Corporation Ltd, is situated adjacent to the main commercial harbour but manages its own marina. The company also operates the Port’s new cruise liner terminal, where boatbuilders are sometimes permitted to launch.

Blaine said he hoped the new berthing package would promote more engagement with boatbuilders for their mutual benefit.

V&A chief executive David Green said there was a healthy synergy between tourism and boatbuilding, particularly superyachts. “The truth is there is a strong demand for superyachts. We are geographically in the right position. There is a big opportunity in that field,” Green said.

SABBEX chairman Bruce Tedder said the V&A berthing initiative was a huge opportunity for SABBEX members.