THE SUBMARINE MUSEUM PROJECT
The Daphne class submarine SAS Assegaai (ex Johanna van der Merwe) ceased operational employment within the South African Navy in 2003 and was transferred to the South African Naval Museum to become a Museum of Submarine Technology. The submarine was successfully operated as a museum by the Naval Heritage Trust (NHT), utilising volunteers as guides, as an alongside museum, while still in the water from 2011 to 2015. The submarine required docking in 2015 in order to undertake extensive maintenance work and has since taken up valuable working space within the Naval Dockyard whilst awaiting funding for the required maintenance.
The South African Navy is intent to preserve the SAS Assegaai as a museum and has indicated its intent to retain ownership of the SAS Assegaai as an artefact of the South African Naval Museum, BUT to transfer the responsibility to the NHT to preserve, finance, manage and operate the SAS Assegaai as a non-profit venture as a museum in Simon’s Town in accordance with a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). This MoA was duly signed between the Navy and the NHT at Fleet Command Headquarters on 16 May 2022.
In accordance with the MoA the NHT has accepted the responsibility to fund, preserve, move, prepare and finally operate the SAS Assegaai as a museum on behalf of the South African Navy as a permanent arrangement. An area has been allocated for the submarine museum in the southwestern corner of Cole Point parking where work has begun to prepare for the big move.
To support this project, especially in terms of much needed funding go to https://navalheritagetrust.co.za/sas-assegaai/