Benedicta Durcan is a seasoned professional with 20 years’ experience across both private and public sectors. Her maritime experience began with 7 years in the offshore oil and gas industry having worked on exploration projects across the globe with Schlumberger. She moved onshore to work with Maersk Line South Africa, where she gained experience in the shipping sub-sector.
For the last 8 years, she has worked at Executive Management level for Freeport Saldanha (previously named the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone), a Special Economic Zone with an original mandate in the Oil and Gas sector and a subsequent mandate in Maritime and Energy. As the Executive Head of the Ease of Doing Business she is acutely aware of the steps that must be taken to reduce red tape and facilitate business growth in South Africa. She has been instrumental in the development of South Africa’s first Freeport with her work in designing and implementing an Ease of Doing Business model for the zone that would make the Freeport Saldanha attractive to the Oil & Gas, Energy and Maritime sector customers and their value chains.
Her background is in Chemical Engineering and she recently graduated from an Executive MBA with UCT GSB. Her thesis focused on the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), with an interest to further explore intra-african trade.
She is a STEM advocate with accolades such as the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans to watch 2017, Science and Technology category and one of the Inspiring Fifty Women in STEM: South Africa in 2018.