Southern African Shipyards

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Boasting the enviable reputation of being the largest Shipyard in Southern Africa as well as still holding the record for building the largest Ship ever built on the African Continent, Southern African Shipyards is a proudly African Company. Being a 60% Black Owned Company and 12% owned by the Employees, there is a strong emphasis on Skills Development, Training and Development as well as Enterprise Development. Shipbuilding and Ship Repair, being very labour intensive industries cannot afford not to have the slogan “People First”. It is this culture of Empowerment at all levels that forms the backbone of the Company’s strategy in expanding its footprint into other African countries. It is through a packaged offering of Skills Development, Training and Development as well as Technology Transfer Programs, that the company has been able to secure business partnerships with other African countries.


Charles Maher
General Manager - Marketing
T: +27312741800


10 Rotterdam Road
Durban, 4000, South Africa

Company Description:

SA Shipyards occupies 11 hectares of prime industrial ground in the Port of Durban Bay and has useable water frontage of almost 300 metres. The main construction halls cover an area of 320 m X 46 m. The build halls are fronted by a build way of some 220 X 32 m which has been designed for the load out of vessels up to 140 m in length onto a floating dock or docked ship. In addition, the shipyard also owns 1 of 2 privately owned floating docks in South Africa and can launch vessels up to 5000 tons. The shipyard has been accorded the Quality Assurance accreditation to ISO 9001:2008. The company currently employs about 420 people in all divisions.

The company has recently completed a series of 7 Voith Schneider for Transnet National Port Authorities. These tugs were built to world class standards and not only met the specifications and expectations of the client, but exceeded them. In recognition of their outstanding work, Southern Africa Shipyards won the KZN Top Business Award for Manufacturing Excellence and was a finalist in the National Business Awards for Manufacturing Excellence. The company has just received an order to build 9 Tugs from Transnet to the value of R1.5 billion, which is the largest Shipbuilding Contract to be awarded locally in South Africa.

Being informed by its history of building Navy Vessels for the South African Navy including the SAS Drakensberg (a fleet replenishment vessel), 6 Naval Strike Crafts and Mine Hunters, Southern African Shipyards has entered the Naval Shipbuilding Market once again. SAS recently completed the refit of 3 SA Navy Patrol Vessels as well as the engine change out on the SA Navy Frigate.

Southern African Shipyards is a recognized training provider and has embarked on a artisan training programme that is one of the largest in the province and certainly the biggest Artisan Training Program in the Shipbuilding Industry. So far we have taken on 42 apprentices of which 10 are black females. What is remarkable, despite Shipbuilding and Ship Repair being considered a man’s industry, the females are coping very well under the hard working condition and they have an excellent pass rate.

Southern African Shipyards intends to train up to 60 apprentices in the Marine Engineering field by end of 2013. Training and Development is part of the culture, ethos and heartbeat of Southern African Shipyards. It is viewed not as a social responsibility exercise, but as a key strategy to ensure highest quality standards are maintained and improved upon as well as to drive up efficiency and productivity levels that lead to international competitiveness.

Driving business and delivering world class services to our clients through empowerment and partnerships – that’s Southern African Shipyards.

International certifications and qualifications:

ISO 9001:2008 TUV - Quality Asurance

Export Markets:

Marine Repair Services

Company Brochure: Download