Deepening South Africa’s efforts towards rejuvenation of its maritime economic sector precisely through expanded education, training and skills development requires as much planning as it does focused engagement with partners, local and international.
It was with appreciation of that reality when early evening on Monday, a delegationof the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) joined a Philippines business delegation at the Pretoria home of the Philippines’ Ambassador to South Africa for a casual yet exploratory chat about possible links that could benefit both countries in the field of maritime.
Also in attendance were representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and appropriately, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco).
Led by its president, Teresa B. Chan, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce delegation had been in the country since November 18, meeting its business chamber counterparts in Cape Town and Johannesburg, before a brief tour of the region ending in Pretoria.
SAMSA’s interest in meeting the business group hinged on its knowledge and involvement in maritime economy development issues, specifically opportunities for cooperation in education, training and skills development and about which the Philippines is acknowledged globally.
South Africans could sooner than later readily wake up and smell the oceans around them, or while forever focused solely on the inland, rise up one day with no longer any effective control over their 3000km ocean line, never mind a heritage they could boast about.
This was the stark warning issued by participants in a Maritime Heritage Round Table discussion held in Cape Town recently.
Involved in the discussions held alongside the inaugural SA Ocean Festival, on board the SA Agulhas at Table Bay harbour, were three former ANC Umkhonto WeSizwe cadres with some unique maritime warfare experience, Fanele Mbali, 78; Rankabele Tloo Cholo, 89; and Zolile Nqose 91.
The three are part of group of only five still alive in the country today who were part of a select unit of MK soldiers involved in attempts to infiltrate South Africa for military purposes in the early 70’s, using ocean bound vessels including a United Soviet Socialist Republics’ (USSR) owned ship known as the Aventura.
Their key input at the Maritime Heritage Round Table discussion focused on the need for South Africa to expand and increase its education effort for the nation about the importance of the maritime sector, from both an economic and social perspective.
A week ago, South Africa saw the launch of the country’s Marine Tourism & Leisure strategy aimed at providing for the first time a coherent road map forward for the sub-sector of South Africa’s maritime economic sector and the latter whose focused development, transformation and integration into the main economy is deemed highly important, as clearly articulated in the current Operation Phakisa: (Ocean Economy) national campaign.
Launch of the strategy by its developer, the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) together with partners Worldsport and the V&A Waterfront, supported by financial sponsors, Calulo Group and several others; occurred during an inaugural national Ocean Festival held at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
The country’s media covered the event and picked up on key salient points.
There were salient points all right! For one thing, an interesting fact to surface was that Johannesburg is effectively a freak city, given that all around the world, cities its size are all maritime based as developed on the basis of sea trade.
For this and various other interesting illuminations, it is worth revisiting the historical event last weekend to listen carefully to the officials that presided over it and whose speeches told more than traditional media could master in its highly limited space and time.
As it transpired, on the evening of Friday, October 30, 2015; close on 100 guests gathered in a splendidly decorated marquee featuring a nautical theme, to be treated to fine sea food, a bit of friendly banter, but importantly, to share in the enthusiasm of the officials behind the event as they explained the genesis of the Marine Tourism & Leisure Strategy, its positioning within the development framework of the country’s maritime economic sector, as well its objectives for the marine sub-sector.
Focus on maritime economic sector the way to go for SA
The list of speakers on the evening, (and who incidentally were all given no more than five minutes each!) included (in order of appearance) V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.
Summarily, according to Mr Green; it was high time South Africans took to the oceans, and made use of the resource for wealth generation and sharing…….
(Please do note that audio is bad at first but improves dramatically thereafter with all the clips. Also, a video version of the speeches will be loaded soon on the “Reflections” page.)
South Africa is a maritime country. Johannesburg is a freak city!
Meanwhile, according to SAMSA CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, the launch of the Marine Tourism & Leisure Strategy marked what he described as; “the beginning of a change that one day, when our time shall have passed, from another media somewhere, we will look back and say, we thought it was a party for one day, but it happened to be a day marking the beginning of the change we have all wanted for our country…..
“The biggest frustration for all of us in the maritime sector,“ he said: “has been a failure to move the consciousness of our nation to the fact that we are a maritime country, a maritime people, who live off a maritime economy.” Importantly, he properly contextualized the entire weekend activity in terms of South Africa’s grand plan for the maritime economic sector.
Take a listen……
The private sector wants in…
Up next was Calulo Group Chairman, Mkhuseli Faku whose group of companies largely operational in maritime sector he said was excited about the openness the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reflected in its keen invitation to private sector companies to get involved and work closely with State entities. Because of it, he pledged future support of initiatives of the nature.
The Ocean Festival will be all over South Africa come 2016…
The final word on the evening fell on SAMSA partner in the Ocean Festival initiative, Worldsport, whose leader, Bruce Parker-Forsyth unpacked the Ocean Festival initiative going forward….
The SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) headquarters in Pretoria was still abuzz with fervor of excitement and a degree of nostalgia Tuesday and early Wednesday this week after confirmation of news that Ms Sindiswa Nhlumayo, an executive head of the organisation’s Centre for Maritime Excellence; has been recognized as the Institute of People Management’s “Business Leader of the Year 2015.”
The country’s top leadership recognition and achievement award was presented to Ms Nhlumayo at the IPM’s 70th anniversary celebrations and 59th year of its people management excellence awards presentations held at Sun City, North West on Tuesday evening.
By Wednesday morning the news of Ms Nhlumayo’s high recognition award had spread far and wide, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and such other modern social media communication platforms. Wednesday afternoon, SAMSA CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele in a brief general meeting with staff also shared the news, sparking a momentary frenzy of excitement characterized by ‘high fives’, hugs, kisses and handshakes.
Mr Mokhele described the awarding of the IPM’s “Business Leader of the Year Award 2015” to Ms Nhlumayo as both indicative of the high leadership qualities the award winner possesses and displays, but also an evidence of the calibre of people SAMSA has driving its programmes.
As executive head of the Centre for Maritime Excellence at SAMSA, Ms Nhlumayo is responsible for promoting and driving the growth of skills and human capacity in the Maritime Sector, promoting research, development and innovation and unleashing opportunities for economic development lying in our coastal areas and inland waterways.
Prior to her joining SAMSA, she was head of the Human Resources Development Council whose role is to ensure the implementation of the Human Resources Development Strategy for South Africa and to drive the message of ensuring that South Africa competes better through people in the entire human resources development service value chain.
Before that she was the Deputy Director General for Tourism at the National Department of Tourism and had previously served as head of the first ever Tourism Black Economic Empowerment Council. Ms Nhlumayo is also a former Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and former Chief Director for Tourism and Economic Development in the Western Cape.
She holds a Master of Science Degree from the University College of Buckinghamshire and is currently enrolled for a PhD in Maritime Affairs (World Maritime University) in Sweden, specifically focussing on maritime policy and job creation.
She is a founding member of the Cape and Craft Design Institute, and also a lifetime fellow of the Emerging Leaders Programme from Dukes University in the United States and University of Cape Town in South Africa. She currently serves on the National Heritage Council, Tourism KwaZulu Natal, TETA Maritime Chamber and Cullinan Holdings (Non-Executive Director). She was the 2013 Best Female Public Servant. She also got an award from the University of Durban Westville (University of KZN) for being exemplary alumni.
Speaking briefly to staff Wednesday afternoon, Ms Nhlumayo expressed gratitude for the support her work with people received from all, including top management, her peers as well as support staff in her centre and the rest of the establishment.
She committed to maintaining and improving the people leadership standards she’d now been formally recognized for by industry, and to continuing to share her experiences with others. For the period of her ‘reign’ as “Business Leader of the Year 2015” Ms Nhlumayo would also serve ceremoniously as ‘ambassador’ of the IPM, making such appearances at various functions or events as shall be possible.
The institute of Professional SA Mariners (IPSAM) has embarked on a public campaign, through social media platforms, to solicit input on the development of its brand colours, logos and related matters pertaining to its formal establishment.
IPSAM is a State approved governing body for professional mariners in South Africa established in terms of National Qualifications Framework Act. It gained formal government recognition and approval following to formalization of its establishment two years ago facilitated by the promulgation of the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations 2013 that year.
According to the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which houses and administers the new professional body, IPSAM’s coming into existence is yet another critical step forward in the country’s current campaign to rejuvenate, grow and develop the country’s maritime economic sector and facilitate its integration into the main economy.
IPSAM is also calling for public input into a set of documents: its founding report due for submission to the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA), a proposed Constitution, a Code of Ethics as well as disciplinary procedures for the organization.
The public has until 31 November 2015, to submit responses.
South African maritime history was made this weekend in Cape Town when the country’s inaugural national Ocean Festival was launched successfully by the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) as the country’s launchpad for the more comprehensive Marine Tourism and Leisure game plan and whose strategy objectives are to contribute to the rejuvenation, growth and integration of the country’s maritime economy sector into the country’s general economy.
Key among objectives of the SAMSA driven Marine Tourism and Leisure strategy, supported by partners Worldsport, is the entrenchment of a long term development road map that will feed into the country’s maritime economy strategy development going forward.
For more on the SAMSA Marine Tourism and Leisure strategy, click here.…