The St Helena Bay harbour is one of 12 Western Cape harbours that are being modified as part of a long-term investment plan to support their communities. Called Operation Phakisa, the harbour forms part of a governmental plan which fast-tracks the implementation of solutions on critical development issues.
“Operation Phakisa is an innovative and pioneering approach to translate detailed plans into concrete results through dedicated delivery and collaboration,” the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation said in a statement.
‘Phakisa’ means ‘hurry up’ in Sesotho and the application of this methodology highlights government’s urgency to deliver. “It plays a crucial role in accelerating the delivery of some of the development priorities,” the Department added.
Speaking to SABC News, Robert Bower from Guerrini Construction, which is the company contracted by government to give the St Helena Bay harbour a facelift, said the silt and debris on the sea bed are stopping fishing boats from making use of the harbour. “The boats can’t enter the harbour because it’s not usable so our contract is cleaning up the harbours. It’s part of the Phakisa project and it was initially taking out the derelict and fishing boats that have sunk in the barbours and another phase is now dredging,” he said.
According to site supervisor Danie Saayman, the current aim is to ensure boats are not damaged as they get to the jetties.
“We are just deepening the harbour to three and a half metres,” he said.