Military Wiki
Naval Base, Simon's Town
File:Simonstown Naval base from above.jpg
A view of Simon's Town and the naval base
Type Naval Base
Coordinates Latitude:
South African Navy

Naval Base Simon's Town is the South African Navy's largest naval base, situated in Simon's Town, near Cape Town. The base provides support functions to Fleet Command.[1]


In 1885 the government of the Cape Colony transferred the assets of the Simon's Bay Dock and Patent Slip Company to the British Admiralty and in 1898 the Cape vested ownership of the dockyard site with Britain.[2]

As Simon's Town was strategically important a decision was made to build the Simon's Town docks and Sir John Jackson and Co Ltd. were chosen to do the work.[2]

Construction began in 1900. The new harbour would encompass an area of 11 hectares, with a breakwater of 914m long. It would also contain a drydock 240m long and 29m wide. The drydock was named the Selborne Graving Dock after the Earl of Selborne, the High Commissioner of the Cape.[2]

Work on the Simon's Town dockyard was completed in 1910.[2]

The naval base was handed over to South Africa in 1957 under the Simonstown Agreement.[3]

The Dockyard was expanded in 1975, a large area of land was reclaimed and the harbour walls were extended to form a new Tidal Basin.[4]

Current status

As of October 2014 it is the SAN's only full base, accommodating all combat units in an attempt to curb costs. The base also houses training facilities for the frigates and submarines. There are however plans to renovate and upgrade Naval Station Durban in Durban harbour to a fully fledged second naval base which will be home to the offshore patrol flotilla.[5]


  1. Bennett, C. H. and Söderlund, A. G. (2008). South Africa's Navy : A Navy of the People and for the People. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-620-41446-3. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Goosen, C (1973). South Africa's Navy - the first Fifty years. W. J. Flesch & partners. pp. 131–132. ISBN 0 949989 02 9. 
  3. Lawrie, G C (1968). "Simonstown Agreement: South Africa, Britain and the Commonwealth". pp. 162. 

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