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5 religious leaders bless new tugs

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Project to begin construction of nine locally-built tugs worth 1.4-bil blessed by five religious leaders in Durban, including Progressive Rabbi Hillel Avidan, pictured. Only then were the first plates cut.
by ANT KATZ | Sep 01, 2014

A project to build nine state-of the-art tugboats in the Port of Durban, kicked off last month with Rabbi Hillel Avidan and four other provincial religious leaders being invited to bless the inauguration of the exciting R1,4-billion shipbuilding programme. The other four leaders represented Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Traditional African Religion.

Southern African Shipyards have been awarded the Transnet National Ports Authority contract to construct the tugs. After each religious leader had spoken and pronounced their blessings, the first plate of steel was ceremoniously cut. 

This project will employ some 600 people directly and several thousand indirectly through the companies supplying components to the shipyard. Among those companies are Barloworld/Caterpillar, Siemens and Voith Schneider.

A number of national and international training and development opportunities will also be created for direct employees. 

Underpinning the contract is a large Local Supplier Development Programme which ensures local content is maximised and that black suppliers, women-owned and youth-owned businesses are included in the procurement process.

The first tug will be launched in November 2015, while the last tug will be handed over in the first quarter of 2018.

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