Three South Africa youths made history in South Africa’s maritime economy sector here at the weekend when they boarded the country’s first registered cargo ship since the dawn of democracy.
Similarly, the city of Nelson Mandela Bay also marked its name in the country’s maritime sector’s history books when it was confirmed as the home of the country’s first registered vessel since 1985. The city is already home to the country’s first higher education and research institute, the SA International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) based at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
The youths, two from the Eastern Cape – Samkelo Ndongeni (25) a deck cadet from Ngqushwa near King Williams Town, and Thembani Mazingi (24) an engine cadet from Cofimvaba, and the third from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Gordon Sekatang (26), also an engine cadet – were taken on board the newly registered vessel at Saldanha Bay Friday for a hands-on ship management practical training scheduled to last six months.
The trio’s first travel aboard the Cape Orchid – a 32 day one way journey went underway at the weekend to China where the 279m long cargo vessel will off-load some 170,000 tonnes of iron ore – the vessel’s first trade cargo from South Africa since its registration under the country’s flag.
The South African government efforts to redevelop and grow the country’s maritime economic sector have been given yet another with boost with the formal registration of the first shipping vessel under the country’s flag.
The historical event that took place in China earlier this month and celebrated in Saldanha Bay on Thursday afternoon last week, marked the first time any commercial shipping vessel has been formally registered to carry a South African flag since about three decades ago.
The vessel named Cape Orchard is privately owned by Vuka Marine, a South African joint venture company between Via Maritime Holdings (South Africa) and Hong Kong based Japanese firm, K-Line.
The registered vessel, named the Cape Orchard; was officially unveiled at a ceremony in Saldanha Bay on Thursday afternoon (September 24, 2015) and during which event, the first three South African cadets onboard a South Africa registered vessel were placed– also a historical first.
If there is a sea going vessel in South Africa currently that does more than its fair share of sailing, it is the SA Agulhas vessel moored almost unceremoniously on Quay 500 at the Cape Town harbor.
Not that in its gait – even almost majestic at a length of 112-meters – nor the outlook of its surroundings; had any vile secret to share under a surprising sunny and tranquil late winter day in August 2015, at the other end of a week of weather-induced turmoil that hit the area, characterized by skin puncturing winds (called the “Cape Doctor” in the local lingo) and which wreaked havoc across the province days earlier. For the full feature, click here
Exemplary cooperation among various Government agencies including the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and ship wreck salvage company, Titan Salvage and its insurers, has been cited as a major contributor to the successful removal of a massive coal carrier off South Africa’s coast this month.
Staying constantly in touch with SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) financially sponsored students at the country’s various education institutions is among key priorities for Ms Sindiswa Nhlumayo, the executive head of the organization’s Centre for Maritime Excellence and to which SAMSA’s maritime economic sector education, training and skills development program is entrusted.
South Africa’s renewed drive to formally incorporate the country’s marine economic sector into the mainstream economy is gaining steady yet significant momentum, with education and training at both school and tertiary levels, inclusive of technical and vocational education and training; leading the initiative.
Maritime economic sector education, training and skills development is set to expand from student orientation to include actual teacher training, and engaged yet again in the endeavor is Simonstown-based Lawhill Maritime Centre, the country’s only formal high school that’s been offering maritime economy sector education subjects, such as nautical sciences and maritime economy among others.