sa shipyards logo slogan
Home divider About divider Facilities divider Ship Building divider Drop Down Menu divider Oil & Gas Services divider Naval Maintenance divider Drop Down Menu divider Drop Down Menu divider Drop Down Menu Contact


Southern African Shipyards has a proud and illustrious history in the South African shipbuilding industry. The yard was established in 1960 by a ship building company called Barends. In 1973 the yard was taken over by another ship building company called Sandock Austral to commence a Naval Ship Building Program. During the 1980s Oceanco entered into an agreement with Dorbyl Marine in Durban, whereby the basic construction of these vessels would be performed in South Africa under the joint management control of Oceanco and Dorbyl. The yachts would then be transported to Holland for final finishing and sea trials.

This arrangement continued until 1995 when Dorbyl announced that it was to close its shipbuilding operations in the Durban area and that it would no longer be able to manufacture for Oceanco. Southern African Shipyards (SAS) entered into negotiations with Dorbyl and Oceanco which resulted in the purchase of 11 hectare shipyard from Dorbyl. An agreement was reached between Oceanco and SAS whereby SAS would continue to manufacture the vessels for Oceanco on a dedicated supplier basis.

Timeline of the yard

1960 – Barends
1973 - Sandock-Austral
1987 - Dorbyl /Southern African Shipyards
1996 - Southern African Shipyards

Southern African Shipyards is located in Durban in the Bayhead area, close to the Salisbury Island Naval base. It is a shipyard which was purpose built for the envisioned naval building programme. Sandock-Austral completed the building of six Strikecraft, two Minehunters and the replenishment ship, S.A.S. Drakensbergs.

During this period 14 vessels were constructed in Durban and transported to Holland for final fit-out. Shipbuilding in South Africa has been ongoing for some 30 years albeit in a stop-start fashion. This has resulted in a pool of expertise being created which has steadily gained experience from the diversity of projects undertaken locally. At Southern African Shipyards, we have many years of innovative and highly skilled Shipbuilding and Ship Repair history to draw from. The CV's of our personnel reflect the experience base line in management and first line supervision in ship repair. Behind each person is a wealth of project management and hands-on ship repair and operational experience that is invaluable to our customers. The experience is being passed on to the new employees of the Company by on the job training in the fields of management, design, project management, safety and the full range of shipbuilding disciplines. Training Initiative: Shipbuilding is traditionally very manpower intensive with a broad band of specialized skills requirements. History has shown that Shipbuilding Artisans are a desired commodity in related industries; therefore for the Shipbuilding Industry to survive, training is essential. The introduction of the Skills and Development Act has brought new challenges to the Shipbuilding Industry. SAS is registered with SEIFSA and MERSETA. As the workload and available finances grow, the Learnerships will be expended. SAS is committed to the training of 60 apprentices over the next 5 years.

The yard normally has 200-400 persons in its employ and when required can operate on a dual - shift build programme. The ship repair department is working 24/7 wherever required Southern African Shipyards is a fully Black Empowered company. The Shipyard strives to be fully compliant with the latest South African Labour legislation and is committed to Employment Equity and the uplift of Previously Disadvantaged Individuals.

home pic

competitive edge

News and Media
Quick Links
Quick Links
Contact Us

10 Rotterdam Road,Congella
Bayhead, Durban, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa,4000
Phone: +27 (0) 31-274 1800 • Fax: +27 (0) 31-205 3600
Copyright © SA Shipyards    |    Designed by The Creative Factor    |    Advertising Agency      Emergency Number - 083 296 1095