History and Achievements


SABBEX was established in 2001 by industry member Bruce Tedder to address the need for a unified presence in strengthening the country’s reputation of its boat building capacities.

The council was registered with the national Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and recognized as one of 22 national industry export councils to benefit from the dti framework and incentive schemes.

SABBEX worked closely alongside the Cape Town Boat Building and Technology Initiative (CTBi), the initial industry association that focused regionally on the Cape Town hub.

It was from the need for a more encompassing national coalition that SABBEX found its place, a coalition that would be able to tap into the industry incentive schemes offered to export councils by the dti.


The CTBi served as an export incubator for industry members to then transfer to SABBEX membership, which is now also a result of the relationship with the industry association, MIASA, which had replaced CTBi as a national body focused on a national industry growth.

In response to an appeal brought on by industry distress in 2011, the dti became involved in the establishment of the Stock Boat Manufacturing Programme.

The Stock Boat Manufacturing Programme is a loan fund available to qualifying boat builders to manufacture a stock boat to showcase at boat shows in order to attract export orders.

The programme is administered by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), and is part grant from the dti and partial interest-bearing loan from the IDC, at preferential rates.

Though the industry was initially very excited about this programme and desperate for relief, the programme criterion is strict, with interest rates and loans specific to each company’s financial state.

For the builders who have taken up the opportunity, the programme has helped to keep doors open, maintained staff employment and allowed promotional opportunities with the stock boats now being showcased at both national and international boat shows.



Registration as an export council with the Department of Trade & Industry in 2001


The inclusion of boat building as a priority sector in the country’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP)


The inclusion of the Stock Boat Manufacturing Programme in the IPAP as a key deliverable. This is a loan programme comprising a grant from the dti and low interest-bearing loan from the IDC.


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