The COVID-19 Lockdown Impact On Operation Phakisa
The Maritime And Ocean Economy
Keywords:COVID-19, COVID-19 lockdown, Operation Phakisa, maritime and ocean economy, shipping industry, shipping logistics, supply value-chain
The maritime and ocean sector contributes a great deal to the South African economy. Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), a province housing two of the busiest ports in the country, largely depends on the revenue directly or indirectly generated by the Port of Durban and the Port of Richards Bay. All of South Africa’s ports contribute to Operation Phakisa’s ocean economy programme and any type of disturbance like the Covid 19 restrictions and the recent social unrest greatly affects the country as a whole. With Covid-19 virus rapidly spreading in 2020, restrictive measures were quickly implemented by many nations to combat its spread. South Africa was one of the countries to implement COVID-19 restrictions, and introduced the national lockdown alert level system which came in 5 levels and had adverse impact on the economy, particularly the maritime and ocean economy. This paper examined how the maritime and ocean economy was affected by the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Furthermore, the study used a desk research approach and was conducted using secondary data. The paper focused on the maritime and ocean economy, which is also one of the institution’s mandates. This study zoomed into how the lockdown restrictions affected global maritime and the shipping industry with regards to crew change and the shipping supply chain. It also elaborates on how the social unrest worsened the already crippled maritime and ocean economy and how the recent cyber security at Transnet was the nail in the coffin for South Africa’s maritime and ocean economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.