Maritime Chair


UKZN Strategy 2017 – 2021

The UKZN strategy has identified four research flagships namely: African cities of the future, Inclusive society, Big data and informatics, and African Health. In implementing the African cities flagship it is the intention of the university to embed its research within the communities it serves. With its greatest footprint in Durban, the university is looking to strengthen its links with the city and its various entities. The port of Durban is recognised as Africa’s busiest general cargo port and home to one of the largest and busiest container terminals in the Southern Hemisphere. In order to position Durban as an African city of the future the University believes it must be involved in the development and growth of the city’s key asset, the port. The university works closely with the Durban Chamber of Commerce – Maritime Cluster, iDube Tradeport, eThekweni Municipality and the National Ports Regulator’s office. Through these interactions, a need has been identified for research that is excellent and relevant to the needs of the port, port operations and the ports numerous stakeholders. Currently there are silos of research taking place at UKZN in law, management and the sciences which requires co-ordination to ensure that the research serves the needs of the port, the city and the province.

Coordinating Research in Maritime Studies

Maritime Law and Maritime Studies have been focus areas of teaching and research within the College of Law and Management Studies for some time. Maritime Law was an established feature in the School of Law for many years, through what was termed the Institute of Maritime Law. Maritime Law was taught as an elective in the undergraduate LLB programme, and also as a specialist stream within the LLM suite of offerings.

Maritime Studies resides in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance and is offered as a Postgraduate Diploma in Maritime Studies and a Master of Commerce in Maritime Studies. These multi-disciplinary programmes have comprised an amalgam of maritime/port economics, maritime/trade law and customs & excise. The port cluster has a myriad of needs that the university may serve, both in terms of producing a stream of trained, specialised graduates whose skills meet the specific needs of the sector, and more importantly in this context, in satisfying the research needs of this community.

The focus of maritime studies at UKZN revolved generally around maritime economics and applied maritime law, but in other settings it takes other forms, most particularly encapsulating dimensions of the maritime/marine environment and its management, which has its roots in the natural and environmental sciences. The appointment of a Chair in Maritime Studies will galvanise these disparate disciplines and provide the necessary leadership to build the research capacity to straddle multiple disciplines in finding workable solutions for the “port of the future”.



The UKZN Foundation on behalf of the College of Law and Management Studies is seeking a strategic partner to fund the appointment of the Chair in Maritime studies for a period of five years. The appointment will include the salary of a full professor, an administrator, travel and research expenses, and five student researchers. It is estimated that the Chair and the related support structures will cost approximately R3 million per annum.

Benefit for Donors

UKZN can offer various profile-raising opportunities to donors who substantially invest in this project which includes: co-branding, naming of facilities or parts thereof (based on the prevailing naming policy), media coverage and publicity in reports, website and publications of UKZN. This project is classified as Socio-Economic Development for the purposes of BBBEE scorecard evaluation and is Section 18a tax deductible.