COVID-19 and South Africa Maritime Condition
COVID-19 pandemic has brought so many changes to many countries, which mostly the bad one and problems. African countries are no exception. One of the most visible effects we can see is the maritime department. To understand more about this matter, we have collected information about the South Africa maritime condition this day.
The Largest Maritime Area with the Biggest Concern
As the country that has one of the largest maritime zones in Africa, South Africa tried to keep it safe and accessible. It is also a vital area that connects the world trade route to many countries on the Africa continent. For that reason, it needs the largest amount of funds to provide well management for the maritime sector in this country. Unfortunately, COVID-19 change that all.
The government now is focusing the budget for providing healthcare and prevention projects for the pandemic. The maritime zone management got affected by that and has to use the more limited fund to maintain the area. Because of this condition, the expert even said that South Africa won’t be able to keep their equipment to maintain its maritime zone in 2022/2023.
Currently, South Africa is using four frigates and three submarines to guard the maritime zone to provide a safe area for trading purposes. Without this equipment, we can see that it will only give the pirates chance to make a problem. Moreover, in the case of an accident, they also will have a lack of power to provide search and rescue service.
In Relation with Other Countries Trading Need
The maritime zone of South Africa also becomes a gate for the trading activity of many countries in Africa. Mozambique is one of them. Through this maritime zone, this country has been imported oil to provide the demand in its country. It was supported by South Africa through Operation Copper to protect it against piracy. This project also becomes the main protection for other cargo with crucial content in it.
However, due to restriction because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they haven’t yet to use the channel because of the uncertain condition in that maritime zone. It leads to the loss of billions of US Dollars in this industry, which give more problem to the country.
Other than finding another source of funds and creating the law to back up that effort, South Africa also tries to include other parties to support the protection effort for its maritime zone. One of them is Project Biro. This project, thankfully, has successfully collected a fund to buy the replacement for the old offshore patrol vessel. Even though it is just a small part of the big maritime zone protection, at least it shows a light that they can maintain it for a little longer.
South Africa is only one of many examples of what is happening in the African maritime zone today. Mostly, they are incapable to keep its operation because of the other use of its fund. However, we believe that this condition will slowly recover. And, South Africa maritime will return to its normal condition after the pandemic is over.