Learners should take advantage of careers in the Marine industry and see the ocean as a major source of economic development. This according to Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa who addressed Grade 11 and 12 learners from the city and surrounds during the launch of National Marine Week at Bolivia Lodge on Monday.
This year’s campaign has as its theme ‘Oceans 70/20 Decoding Mysteries, Maximising Opportunities’ and according to Molewa hosting the event in Limpopo, an inland province, was particularly significant.
“All life comes from the ocean and there is huge economic potential in it. Investigations have found that South Africa’s oceans has the potential to contribute more than R20 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2019 and support at least 1 million jobs by 2033. We need you to take those jobs,” Molewa told the learners.
“We want all our people, and especially the youth, to know that the ocean is also a major source of economic development. Though many of you here today will have heard the term “Oceans Economy” or “Blue Economy” I would like for a minute to decode these terms. Realising as we do that oceans have a major role to play in humanity’s future: the Oceans Economy or Blue Economy offers an approach to sustainable development,” she said.
“We see the marine and coastal environment as a key resource that doesn’t only provide food, but also livelihoods, means of transport, tourism, and energy. Day after day, new frontiers are being opened up in marine resource development ranging from energy exploitation, to the bio-prospecting and mining of the seabed for mineral and other resources. Harnessing the potential of the Oceans Economy or Blue Economy is the start of a new era in our country’s development. And we are here today to tell you that you, each and every one of you can be part of this,” Molewa explained.
Molewa said they came up with the theme because oceans are often mysterious, unexplored and full of wonder. “There are many discoveries waiting to be made benefits and influences, scientific discoveries and innovations. These mysteries need to be deciphered and uncovered, in order to show ordinary citizens, how they can play a role in their daily lives,” Molewa said.
California Papala, a Grade 11 pupil from Makgoka Secondary School said she had learnt a lot about the Marine industry. “I was not aware that there are so many opportunities in the industry. It is an interesting field and I think I will definitely consider it,” she said.
Story: Herbert Rachuene
Featured photo: Learners from Makgoka Secondary School who attended the launch.