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  • Welcome to
    SA Shipyards

    Africa's Leading Commercial, Naval Shipbuilding & Ship Repair Company
    Building the African Marine Legacy
  • Welcome to
    SA Shipyards

    Africa's Leading Commercial, Naval Shipbuilding & Ship Repair Company
    Building the African Marine Legacy

About Us

Boasting the enviable reputation of being the largest shipyard in southern Africa as well as still holding the record for building the largest ship ever built on the African continent, Sandock Austral Shipyards is a proudly African Company. Being a 100% black owned company and 12% owned by its employees.

Sandock Austral Shipyards provides a complete in house marine solutions through our Shipbuilding, Ship Repair, Naval Maintenance , Mechanical & Fabrication and Oil & Gas departments. Our yard is ISO 9001-2015 certified and has a Level 2 BBBEE Rating.

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In house Solutions

Ship Building,Repair & more

ISO 9001:2015

TÜV Rheinland certified

SAS Cares

Check out our CSI initiatives

Our History

Sandock Austral 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. Sandock Austral 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 /Sandock Austral Shipyards
1996 - Sandock Austral Shipyards

Sandock Austral 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 Sandock Austral 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 Sandock Austral 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.


  • Well trained and stable workforce
  • Custom made and well located facility, which is well equipped for shipbuilding and ship repair
  • ISO 9001:2015 Certified
  • Construction and design of ships up to 150m
  • Stable Industrial Relations
  • Fully BEE Compliant: Level 2 contributor
  • Fairly elected and well run Workplace Liaison Committee, Health & Saftey Committee
  • Continuous Training Committee
  • Excellent shipbuilding and ship repair record
  • Largest shipbuilder in the country and one of the three largest ship repairers
  • Government now focused on the benefits of shipbuilding as a job creation industry
  • 230m Quay
  • Shipbuilders Durban (Pty) Ltd is the property company; the property comprises a ship construction facility and National Ports Authority leasehold land situated at 10 Rotterdam Road, Bayhead Durban South Africa.

    Awards & Certifications