Antarctica: new frontier for South Africa’s ocean economy

Venturing into Antarctica could provide numerous economic benefits to South Africa. Norway and South Africa recently held a workshop to flesh out the potential of such a venture.

Opportunities in Antarctica can improve South Africa's ocean economy. (Image: Vincent van Zeijst, Wikimedia Commons)
Opportunities in Antarctica can improve South Africa’s ocean economy. (Image: Vincent van Zeijst, Wikimedia Commons)

Brand South Africa reporter

During the Antarctica and Southern Ocean Workshop, South Africa looked into opportunities that the icy southern continent could provide for the ocean economy and the country’s international partners.

“As part of the future strategies, South Africa plans to co-operate with Norway to see how it can service countries that leave for Antarctica through the country,” said the Department of Environmental Affairs after the workshop, held on 3 November in Cape Town.

South Africa is also exploring the possibility of air corridor tourism activities such as snow skiing, ice skating and snow kite-boarding, as well as marine, animal, scenic and bird viewing in Antarctica to boost the nation’s ocean economic.

Norway, the department said, had a wealth of experience in the ocean economy.


The two countries have been key partners with a variety of joint research programmes and share a historical and common interest in Antarctica.

Norway also provided South Africa with its first base in Antarctica in 1959.

With the theme “Value Creation in Ocean Space – New Opportunities in the Blue Economy”, the shared Science Week involved stakeholders, infrastructure holders and key players from higher education, research, innovation and business in South Africa and Norway, who exchanged perspectives and expertise.

“Although progress has been made regarding research on Antarctica, there still remain vast opportunities for scientific research and innovation on which South Africa and Norway can collaborate,” the department said.

Opportunity for growth

South Africa is ideally situated to act as a gateway to Antarctica for many countries that have a presence on the icy continent.

“There are, however, a number of budget constraints which require finding new sources of funding that can be identified and ventured into.”

“Some key economic reasons to allocate budget towards the Antarctic region are that South Africa has a global position, status and stewardship and there is public goods provision, gateway income and support of sustainable development such as catching fish,” the department said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.