Oil prospects attract SA interest
A Western Cape Province delegation that was in the country recently on a one-day business mission, said it is looking at partnering Namibia in developing and servicing the oil industry.
In an interview with the Economist on Tuesday, the Western province premier, Helen Zille said that her government was currently looking at ways to partner with companies in the country to jointly service the oil industry.
She said: “We are both from the Western coast, we both have extensive skills in the service industry so we have tremendous opportunities and if we use them together we will be much stronger.” Zille’s comments were also echoed by the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape government, Alan Winde, who said that his government was interested in entering into partnerships with Namibia with a view to servicing the oil and gas industry.
Winde said: “We have a strong focus on servicing the oil sector. We have A-Berth in the Cape Town harbour for servicing the oil industry and we have also attracted a number of big oil companies to open up offices in Cape Town.
“We have a focus on the oil and gas industry on the West coast of Namibia and I know that Namibia has a focus of expanding Walvis Bay.
“It doesn’t make sense if we are to compete against each other. I know that 132 oil rigs and gas supply vessels went around the southern tip of Africa in the last year. We serviced three, Walvis Bay two, that is five out of 132. I think we must build a strategy on how we can grow this industry together.
“We can either fight amongst ourselves for one oil rig or we can work together on all of them and that is what we want to do,” he said. Winde added that they had discussed the possibility of working together as partners during a meeting with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hage Geingob, who asked him to put together a team to establish how best the two governments can work together.
“The Minister has asked us to put a team to see how we can best work together . As soon as I go back I will put up a team probably within the next two months,” Winde said.
Besides servicing the oil sector, the Western Cape government Minister was confident that partnerships in other sectors of the economy can also be formed.
He said: “We have already done partnership in tourism and now we must grow the partnership to other sectors. We are quite big in the finance and service sector. We also have quite a number of sectors that we are good at.
“We have thousands of business people flying everyday to Johannesburg and we would like to see thousands flying to Namibia doing business as well.”