Researcher Aims to Contribute to Maritime SMME Knowledge Chest
A lack of maritime research focusing on ocean economy Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) motivated seasoned entrepreneur, qualified mariner and seafarer, Dr Clive Zulu to contribute to the field.
‘This area of study has produced only about five PhD graduates in South Africa,’ said Zulu.
Through his doctoral research study titled: An Economic Development Policy Implementation Approach to the Creation of Sustainable Maritime SMMEs in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Zulu - Chief Executive Officer at the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone - decided to explore the implementation of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP).
Supervised by Dr Bonginkosi Zondi and Dr Tony Ngwenya, Zulu investigated pioneering the concept of a sector specific special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the development and sustainability of ocean economy SMMEs in KZN.
‘The study offers a paradigm shift in exploring optimal and available sources for developmental approaches and investments for initiatives from both the public and private sectors in the country,’ said Zulu.
‘The SPV model aims to provide new ventures and SMMEs within the ocean economy with various sources of funding and investments. The study developed an SPV model which is significant and applicable to all sectors of the Transport Maritime Sector in South Africa.’
With a career in South Africa’s maritime sector spanning over two decades, Zulu has extensive experience in various executive positions, so his PhD was the next step in his professional development.
‘Studying at UKZN gave me an opportunity to participate in research and academic workshops, seminars and conferences locally and internationally,’ he said. ‘I gained valuable insights and managed to build connections with other researchers and experts.
‘I plan to ensure that investment and funding initiatives help open up the sector’s career and entrepreneurial opportunities. The maritime transport sector must be regarded as an employer of choice with attractive study, career and entrepreneurial opportunities,’ he added.
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan