South Africa’s first black ship surveyor dips sails for the sunset

South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) senior manager and country’s first black surveyor, Captain Francis Chilalika, 65, retires

Pretoria: 27 April 2016

IMG_2073South Africa’s first black ship surveyor, Malawian-born Captain Francis Chilalika bid farewell to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) this week after 20 years of service.

During the two decades Captain Chilalika was one of SAMSA’s strongmen, a key contributor to both the setting up of the organization in 1998 as well as its bedding down as the country’s lead authority on ocean safety and environmental protection, and crucially, the promotion of South Africa’s maritime interests domestically and globally.

At a formal low key yet highly significant event at SAMSA head office in Pretoria on Tuesday, and during which he was presented with an assortment of gifts along with his Long Service Certificate, Captain Chilalika bid a fond, emotional farewell to both management and staff of the organization, albeit, with a promise he would not be lost completely to the continent’s maritime sector. To read more, click here

 

Former SAMSA top executive honoured

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) dedicates its Resource Centre to former executive in recognition of her sterling contribution to development of country’s maritime economic sector.

Pretoria: 22 April 2016

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The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) wound down a period of mourning with a moving tribute to its former executive and highly recognized figure in the country’s maritime and tourism sectors, the late Ms Sindiswa Carol Nhlumayo, at its head office in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The official 40 days of mourning having ended a few weeks ago, on Wednesday, the organization bestowed an honour of remembrance on Ms Nhlumayo by naming a section of its office building, a resources space and library located centre of the ground floor of the multi-story building, parallel the main entrance, in her name.

Entrance to SAMSA's Resource Centre named after former executive manager, Ms Sindiswa C. Nhlumayo in honour and recognition of her contribution to both the organisation and the country's maritime economic sector development, at an event held at the SAMSA offices in Pretoria
Entrance to SAMSA’s Resource Centre named after former executive manager, Ms Sindiswa C. Nhlumayo in honour and recognition of her contribution to both the organisation and the country’s maritime economic sector development, at an event held at the SAMSA offices in Pretoria

A section of the dedicated library and resources centre, fairly modest in size, features among other things, memorabilia items inclusive of a series of Ms Nhlumayo’s photos of meetings, media engagements, tours and conference addresses in South Africa, the rest of the African continent and the rest of the world; tribute messages packaged in book form and frames, as well a .collection of her own books and writings

Ms Nhlumayo (40), an Executive Head of SAMSA’s Centre for Maritime Excellence, a division largely responsible for SAMSA’s discharge of responsibilities attaching to its third legislative mandate – the promotion of South Africa’s maritime interests – passed away on 11 February 2016 after a gutsy battle with cancer.

Her death has been mourned across both the public and private sectors inclusive of educational institutions associated with the maritime economic sector in South Africa and abroad.

At the time, the Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal born Ms Nhlumayo; widely recognized for what’s described as a massive contribution towards particularly the country’s tourism and maritime economic sectors, with passionate focus on skills development, had just been conferred the esteemed “Business Leader of the Year Award 2015” by the Institute of People Management in addition to several other awards she’d earned for her dedication and focus to her work.

She was in the process of completing her doctoral studies in maritime economy with the World Maritime University based in Sweden – an institution in which she’s almost single-handedly also helped place more than 100 South African students also pursuing Masters and Doctoral level studies in the maritime field.

The Sindiswa Nhlumayo Resource Centre will feature memorabilia of Ms Nhlumayo's works across fields inclusive of education, her academic papers, books and related.
The Sindiswa Nhlumayo Resource Centre will feature memorabilia of Ms Nhlumayo’s works across fields inclusive of education, her academic papers, books and related.

At this week’s brief and almost casual ceremony, and to which both her family members and her friends, as well as former associates of varied occupations were invited along with SAMSA executives and staff members, SAMSA CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele noted that it was the first time ever that the organization had bestowed such an honour to a past employee.

It has arisen after much deliberation, and during which it had been deemed appropriate as relevant to and in recognition and acknowledgment of the massive contribution Ms Nhlumayo had made both to the country as well as the organization and for which SAMSA was recognized with a ‘Legends of Empowerment and Transformation’ award at the 2016 Oliver Awards a week ago.

Mr Mokhele said the decision to honour Ms Nhlumayo, deliberated upon and agreed with staff;  was undertaken on the one hand as a gesture of goodwill primarily to indicate and illustrate the importance for institutions and society at large to openly, honestly give recognition to contribution made by others, especially such contribution as having clearly impacted positively the lives of others.

Part of the guests that attended the ceremony on Wednesday, among them senior executives of SAMSA, maritime, tourism, education and related sectors' representatives, as well as family members and friends.
Part of the guests that attended the ceremony on Wednesday, among them senior executives of SAMSA, maritime, tourism, education and related sectors’ representatives, as well as family members and friends.

On the other hand, Mr Mokhele said the gesture of a 40 day mourning period would now be standard for all other SAMSA employees as both an incentive and empowerment tool encompassing the inculcation of a culture of high work ethic in their respective areas of specialization.

He said organizations across various sectors of society were not independent of the people that worked in and for them, and whose work should never require little more than tolerance indicative of detachment.

“Among ourselves as management and staff, we said the new standard for SAMSA going forward would be that, in the event of the passing on of any one of our colleagues, the 40 days of mourning will stand, and it’s now up to all people who are here (at SAMSA) to make sure we don’t spend 40 days of mourning without remembering anything about a person. We want to spend the 40 days just reflecting about their own contribution for its high worth value, and that is the challenge we are all now sitting with, arising out of the contribution of one individual.

HONOURED: Former SAMSA Executive Head of the Centre for Maritime Excellence, Ms Sindiswa C. Nhlumayo
HONOURED: Former SAMSA Executive Head of the Centre for Maritime Excellence, Ms Sindiswa C. Nhlumayo

“I do not know how practically it’s going to be, but I do know that we’ve challenged ourselves strongly so that we can build a much more humane organization, and it arises out of the memory of one individual.  That to me is a living legacy that makes people passionate and view things from many dimensions over a much longer period of time.”

Mr Mokhele revealed that the steering committee of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) based at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University was also considering giving recognition to Ms Nhlumayo’s contribution and was currently weighing up ideas. At its next meeting in about two weeks’ time, the committee might take the matter forward possibly with some concrete plans.

For Mr Mokhele’ edited remarks as well as visuals of the ceremony on Wednesday afternoon click here:

Meanwhile, several guests applauded SAMSA for the initiative, with a consensus view that it was deserving of Ms Nhlumayo’s memory.

For their respective remarks, please click here:

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South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) recognized for empowerment and transformation

Pretoria: 14-04-2016

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DESERVING RECOGNITION:  South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele making a remark of appreciation to organisers of the national annual Oliver Empowerment Awards 2016 during which the parastatal was honoured with the Legend of Empowerment and Transformation Award. The award category is uncompetitive and bestowed on organisations in the country deemed by the award judges as deserving public recognition.

An apparent and ‘disturbing’ poor intake of post-graduate students by South Africa’s business sector is at best, an unusual and unacceptable anomaly given both the students’ significant academic knowledge depth but also vast economic opportunities especially in the country’s maritime economic sector.

That was the sum total of remarks by South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) chief executive officer, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele in his acceptance speech of the Oliver Empowerment Awards 2016’s Legends of Empowerment and Transformation Award bestowed the organisation at a ceremony held at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on Thursday.

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SAMSA CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele (Third from Right) with some of the organisation’s management team (from Left), Morakabe ‘Raks’ Seakgwa (Snr Manager, Centre for Maritime Excellence), Mr John Phiri (Snr Management, HR: Skills Development), Ms Lindi Makgatho (Snr Manager: Organisational Development), Mr Tudor Hungwe (Chief Financial Officer) and Mr Jeremiah Molefe (HR).

SAMSA was honored with the prestigious Legend of Empowerment and Transformation Award at this year’s 15th version  of the Annual Oliver Empowerment Awards in recognition of its sterling record in the arena of empowerment and contribution to the country’s broad transformation.

Mr Mokhele, responding in part to Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor’s complaint in her speech at the event about an apparent glaring lack of appetite by South African business for post-graduates, Mr Mokhele said the country’s maritime economic sector offers vast opportunities especially for business keen on research and innovation.

He quantified the economic benefit for innovators in the maritime economic sector as worth between R129-R179-billion per annum, and waiting for the takers.

For Mr Mokhele’s full remarks on the matter listen to this 58 seconds audi clip….

For highlights of SAMSA’s work honored at this year’s Oliver Awards 2016, please click here

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South Africa Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Naledi Pandor

In an earlier slot, main guest speaker Ms Pandor decried South Africa’s poor intake of post-graduates by the country’s businesses and outlined interventions taken by the Department of Science and Technology in response to the situation.

These include the establishment a decade ago of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to bridge what she described as “chasm” between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, and private sector, and commercialisation.

For Ms Pandor’s full remarks click here to listen…

 

 

South Africa’s Marine and Coastal tourism strategy development gets into full swing

Pretoria: 13 April 2016

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Tourism Lab members are gathered in Johannesburg to thrash out the strategy to unlock the economic potential of the sector.IMG_0720

The formalization of development of a comprehensive marine tourism and leisure subsector strategy for South Africa as part of the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) campaign formally got underway in Gauteng this week, where participants from across public and private sectors and related will sit in three groups through the process for about five weeks.

The three groups of the Marine and Coastal Tourism Lab of Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) – numbering between 15-20 people each – gathered in Johannesburg on Sunday and began work earnestly on Monday.

The Marine Tourism and Coastal Lab of the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) campaign is one of five such other labs that have been operational since launch of the campaign by President Jacob Zuma in Durban on October 15, 2014.

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At launch, according to President Zuma, Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) is in line with the goals outlined in the National Development Plan, to promote economic growth and to boost job creation.

The campaign, pursued jointly between the public and private sector as well as higher education and research institutions, was launched with an economic growth target of five percent per annum by 2019.

South Africa is surrounded by a vast ocean and yet we have not fully taken advantage

According to President Zuma, the basis for pursuit for development and full integration of the country’s maritime economic sector into the general economy was that inherently, South Africa is a maritime country.

“Our starting point,” he said: “was that South Africa is surrounded by a vast ocean and yet we have not fully taken advantage of the immense potential of this untapped resource. The oceans have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion rand to the Gross Domestic Product and create just over one million jobs by 2033.”

IMG_0902Marine tourism meanwhile, ranks among the top four sub sectors of the country’s maritime economic sector projected for phenomenal growth in the next two decades.

It contributed R19-billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, with projections currently indicating yields as high as R44-billion in 2020 and rising rapidly to R134-billion in 2033, generating between 800 000 and 1-million jobs.

The 2013 projections reflect on marine tourism as likely to be the second largest subsector contributor to South Africa’s GDP by 2033, after marine transport and manufacturing, followed by oil and gas as well as construction.

SAMSA rejoices at the elevation of marine tourism also as an important initial aspect of Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy)

A South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) preliminary study conducted in the last three years found that the marine tourism and leisure subsector was extremely diverse, covering a wide range of marine assets and tourism, recreational and leisure pursuits.IMG_0709 (2)

SAMSA in essence kick-started the process of developing an enabling environment towards development of a comprehensive marine tourism and leisure sector strategy that would dovetail for integration into the country’s tourism development programs. As part of the initiative, a year ago the organisation together with private sector partners, launched the country’s first national Ocean Festival held at the Cape Waterfront in Cape Town.

Sitting in Johannesburg from this week, the Marine and Coastal Tourism lab is anticipated to expand greatly on the work already done by SAMSA towards a fully integrated strategy for the country, both coastal and inland.

Reacting to the start of the marine tourism lab, the organisation this week expressed excitement over the development. “We are very excited as this will unveil some of the plans and ensure coherent approach to  addressing problems that are inhibiting us to reach our true potential of being a marine and coastal tourism destination and be counted among the best in the world,” said SAMSA in brief statement.

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) delivery labs are described as designed to “create transparency, debottleneck and help resolve the most critical challenges facing a sector, and hence achieve key milestones faster than in a “business as usual” context.”

“The main goal of the labs will be to produce a highly detailed (3-feet level) and costed implementation plan, including solutions, detailed execution plans with responsible owners across organisations, timelines and targets,” said a statement.

It said the three labs for the Marine and Coastal Tourism subsector would run in parallel, each with 15-20 participants carefully selected from key stakeholder groups (across public, social, private sectors and academia).

“The invited cross-organisational team works full-time in one location for five weeks. The lab will have an open, collaborative, intense problem solving atmosphere, and will be supported by a team of facilitators.”

End

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) goes full steam ahead

Eastern Cape steals national limelight on progress of South Africa maritime economic sector development

Port Elizabeth: 08 April 2016

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“SIYAQHUBA (We are making progress)” (From Left) Eastern Cape Province Premier, Mr Phumulo Masaulle with Nelson Mandela Metro Mayor, Dr Danny Jordaan at the port of Pot Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016. The pair flanked South Africa President, Mr Jacob Zuma during his inaugural national public report on the progress achieved to date with Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) since its launch in Durban in 2014.

The Eastern Cape province asserted its lead in the stakes for the country’s maritime economic sector revival when Government used the region on Friday (08 April 2016) as the host of the country’s inaugural national progress report on the implementation of Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy).

Flanked by no less than five Cabinet Ministers along with some Members of Parliament, representatives of the Eastern Cape provincial government led by their Premier, and Nelson Mandela Metro local government council led by its Mayor; President Jacob Zuma used the port of Port Elizabeth on Friday to give a most comprehensive and first formal public report of progress achieved to date since launch of the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) program in 2014.

Even as dire the current economic conditions, Mr Zuma sounded highly optimistic but especially about the both the progress being achieved as well as its positive outcomes in the not so distant future.

South Africa’s economic growth is predicted likely to grow by no more than a percentage point in 2016, or less; due to factors emanating from both internally and globally, and that recovery may be a year or three away.

However, while this might point to a gloomy economic picture in the short term, it was no reason for pessimism in the medium to long term as the situation also presented a golden opportunity for investment in sectors lacking concentration, among them the country’s maritime economic sector, long neglected until about half a decade ago.

"SIYAQHUBA" - On hand to deliver the Government's first public report on the progress achieved so far with Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) were Cabinet Ministers that included (From Left), Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Water Affairs, Foresty and Fisheries; Ms Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs; (centre right), Mr Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency) pictured here while waiting for their turn for interviews for a national television breakfast show in Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016.
“SIYAQHUBA” – On hand to deliver the Government’s first public report on the progress achieved so far with Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) were Cabinet Ministers that included (From Left), Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Foresty and Fisheries; Ms Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs; (centre right), Mr Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency) pictured here while waiting for their turn for interviews for a national television breakfast show in Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016.

Prior to his taking the podium almost two hours later than scheduled at the eleventh hour, under a mega marquee that housed as many as 10 000 people, erected at length east to west to counter the notorious PE wind, and yet barely 20 meters from the seashore in the industrial area of the port of Port Elizabeth dominated by the dusty mounds of manganese ore and a foul smell of kerosene from megaliter storage tanks of liquid fuel – a set of features of the port long at issue will local residents and business – the Cabinet Ministers, Directors-General, and some leaders of State Owned Enterprises in his tow; sought to unpack the story from early morning.

In the lead under the blinding lights of national television cameras was Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe; followed in no particular order by fellow Cabinet Ministers that included Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr Senzeni Zokwana; Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Lynne Brown as well deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, and who were ably assisted by Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masaulle as well as the Mandela Bay metro council leader, Dr Danny Jordaan.

Theirs was largely confined to a national television audience hosted by SABC2 Breakfast Show anchored by Leanne Mannas, thereafter by the SABC News Channel boxed in the pay television network, DStv, the latter which also carried live the President’s report from lunch-time.

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: Part of the port of Port Elizabeth under the spotlight on Friday
Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: Part of the port of Port Elizabeth under the spotlight on Friday

Prior to Mr Zuma’s main delivery of the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) progress report, the Government delegation led by Transnet officials at the National Ports Authority were taken on a tour of the harbour for a view of various new upgrades and particular infrastructure developed to expand business investment opportunities in the maritime economic sector in the region.

These included a new jetty slipway, as well as a new 90 ton boat hoist for boat repairers said to be only the second of its kind in the country. The entourage also boarded and toured a new a multi-million rand worth tug named Tug Mvezo, delivered from Durban only a few days earlier. The tug is named after the village near Mthatha recognized internationally for being home to global statesman, South Africa’s first president under the democratic dispensation, Nelson Mandela.

With the inspection and tours having taken longer than anticipated, Mr Zuma finally arrived at the mega marquees to a thunderous applause of song and dance from a crowd of people officially said to have touched the 10 000 people mark, and rendered rather most colourful by the dominant yellow, green and black colour attire made up of ANC T-shirts with a mixture of ANC leaders’ faces including Mr Zuma.

It was not inconsistent.

The Port Elizabeth metro (encompassing Uitenhage, the seat of German carmaker, Volkswagen; and nearby Dispatch, a town in between)  is named after Nelson Mandela and its Main Street is now known as Govan Mbeki – in honour of one of the stalwarts of the black liberation struggle, and father to Mr Mandela’s successor as country president; Mr Thabo Mbeki.

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: Part of the audience of 10 000 people that came to listen to President Jacob Zuma's report at the port of Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016.
Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: Part of the audience of 10 000 people that came to listen to President Jacob Zuma’s report at the port of Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016.

The audience for Mr Zuma on Friday also varied by age, from the youngest – several below the age of 10 years old and some of whom momentarily lost contact with their minders – to the reasonably old; and a number of whom also occasionally dozed off in the contained steamy heat of the sun and sea made no less uncomfortable by the indifferently tight walls of the giant marquees.

With children losing contact with their minders in a decidedly irritating frequency, Programme Director, Mr Mlibo Qhoboshiyane – a member of the Eastern Cape provincial government responsible for Local Government and Traditional Affairs; at one point threatened to have ‘locked up’ any parent whose child was found to have lost contact with – to the applause of the audience.

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: President Jacob Zuma delivering his report television live from Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016
Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: President Jacob Zuma delivering his report television live from Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016

In his speech, Mr Zuma said Government was relatively pleased with the progress being achieved under the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) program, but especially the Maritime Transport and Manufacturing lab, as earmarked infrastructure development involving significantly billions of rand of Government investment was gathering speed across ports in the country, from Saldanha Bay at the far western end of the Western Cape Province to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.

But crucially he said; was the need for speed in the creation of job opportunities and alongside which was a programme for education, training and skills development for many aspirant maritime economic sector career seekers.

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: School pupils from one of two High Schools in the Eastern Cape now delivering maritime economic sector dedicated education curriculum
Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: School pupils from two High Schools in the Eastern Cape, George Randall High and Ngwenyathi High Schools in East London, the first such public schools to deliver maritime economic sector dedicated education curriculum

With regards the latter, Mr Zuma pointed to two recent significant developments; the enrolment for the first time ever of two public high schools in the Eastern Cape – the George Randall and Ngwenyathi High Schools in East London – for delivery of maritime economic sector education curriculum, and which was preceded two years earlier by  the establishment of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) to focus on education, training and skills development as well as academic research into the sector.

Aptly, SAIMI – an initiative spearheaded by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in partnership with, among others; the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and the Department of Higher Education, is the first institution of its kind in the country wholly dedicated to human resources academic and vocational skills development and upliftment precisely for the country’s maritime economic sector, and located in the Eastern Cape; a region of the country reputably the ‘second poorest’ even as endowed with 900km of a coastline – the second longest after the Western Cape.

Only four of South Africa’s nine provinces are along the 3200km coastline stretching from the Atlantic Coast to the west, the Southern Ocean to the south and the Indian Ocean to the east, and therefore with a direct claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone of the oceans that stretches for more than 1.5 million square kilometres.

The location of SAIMI in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; reportedly funded currently to the tune of about R300-million, is largely due to the region’s eminent interest in contributing significantly to the revival of the country’s maritime economic sector.

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The Cape Orchid, the first commercial cargo vessel registered to carry South Africa’s flag in 2015 since about 30 years ago. (Image: SAMSA)

From a sea trade or transport perspective, the province lays claim to three major ports, two in Nelson Mandela Bay and another in East London, in addition to a sprinkling of fishing harbours dotted along the coastline between Plettenberg Bay at the western border with the Western Cape province, through to East London.

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University at which SAIMI is accommodated, and one of four universities in the province, had notably long taken a lead in expressing interest in efforts for the revival and placement of the country’s maritime economic sector central in South Africa’s socio-economic development agenda.

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy Progress Report: (Right) Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Vice Chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz with (From Left), Eastern Cape Premier Mr Phumulo Masaulle and Mandela Bay Mayor, Dr Danny Jordaan at the port of Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016.
Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy Progress Report: (Right) Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Vice Chancellor, Prof Derrick Swartz with (From Left), Eastern Cape Premier Mr Phumulo Masaulle and Mandela Bay Mayor, Dr Danny Jordaan at the port of Port Elizabeth on Friday, 08 April 2016.

The university is reportedly the first in the country to establish a functional relationship with the Malmo (Sweden) based World Maritime University and on the basis of which South Africa has been dispatching annually scores of Masters and Doctoral students for maritime studies since 2013.

With the location of SAIMI in the windy city, the country’s only dedicated cadet training vessel the SA Agulhas has found home here, as has the first commercial cargo vessel registered under the country’s flag, the Cape Orchid domesticated in the city.

Indeed, on its first voyage abroad, loaded with tons of iron ore destined for China last October, the Cape Orchid had also taken on-board a batch of cadets for training for a period of six months. Two of these young men were from villages in the mostly rural Eastern Cape.

On Friday Mr Zuma said the Eastern Cape remained poised to make even greater contribution to the country’s maritime economic revival – and about which he said most people countrywide knew little to nothing about until recently – and urged for collaboration and co-operation to ensure Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) delivered on its goals.

To the extent that the Eastern Cape gained the recognition it deserved in this regard, Friday was a good day in Port Elizabeth and it was a good day for the Friendly City.

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An elated ANC supporter brandishing two dolls dressed in the party”s colours during President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Port Elizabeth on Friday,  08 April 2016.

At least that was impression on the faces of many among the thousands that came to welcome Mr Zuma’s report.

Mr Zuma said he would be back in the city in a week’s time, but this time for the launch of his party, the ANC’s local government election manifesto.

South Africans go to the polls for local government elections on 03 August 2016.

Lookout for the audi-visuals of the event on this blog later on.

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Maritime economy education and job opportunities spread to Johannesburg

Collaboration between the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the City of Johannesburg begin to pay dividends for the unemployed!

BREAKING GROUND: Senior SAMSA officials Collins Makhado (Left) and Benard Bobison-Opoku (Right) with Mayor of Johannesburg City, Parks Tau at the conclusion of a ceremony on Tuesday to dispatch a number of youths for maritime economic sector jobs training. The youth selected youth group will be trained as cadets on international vessels over a period of time.
BREAKING GROUND: Senior SAMSA officials Collins Makhado (Left) and Benard Bobison-Opoku (Right) with Mayor of Johannesburg City, Parks Tau; at the conclusion of a ceremony on Tuesday to dispatch a number of youths from Gauteng for maritime economic sector jobs training. The youth selected youth group will be trained as cadets on international vessels over a period of time.

Pretoria: 07 April 2016

The formal dispatch of a batch of youths from Johannesburg on Tuesday (04 April 2016) for specialized training in the country’s maritime economic sector with the backing of a local government for the first time has clearly signaled the increasing recognition and appreciation by the country of the critical role the maritime economic sector can play in South Africa’s overall socio-economic development.

The event Tuesday, under the banner of a programme known as “Vulindlel’eJozi” was a culmination of collaboration and co-operation that has developed between the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Johannesburg local government, Transnet, Harambee Youth Employment Creator, MSC Cruisers and others on the importance of spreading awareness and opportunity for the country’s youth also in the country’s maritime economic sector.

Orange Farm youths.jpgThe Vulindlel’eJozi programme launched in June 2015, in partnership with SAMSA and others inclusive of the presidential programme – Operation Phakisa,  is designed to empower the youth with entry-level job training and placement in various sectors, online further education and entrepreneurship skills development.

According to Mayor Tau, so far a total 15 124 young people have directly benefited from various opportunities created through the Vulindlel’eJozi programme. include 2 895 candidates who have been placed into opportunities in various sectors of the economy such as early childhood development, hospitality, information technology, retail, financial services and business process outsourcing.

As of this week,  the programme also opened doors to maritime career opportunities for 10 Orange Farm youths who will pursue career skills development enabling them to function profitably in any of a number of maritime economic sector jobs – be it fishing, ship building, marine conservation, cargo handling or the leisure sector.

The 10 youths had reached the final stages of training in swimming and hospitality under the Vulindlel’eJozi programme and had already been through comprehensive medical examinations and a series of interviews with MSC Cruises – one of the most prestigious operators in the world.

Mayor Tau said that there were several South African companies currently being negotiated with as partners of the programme. These include Unilever, Nando’s, Mindworx consulting, Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Standard Bank, FNB, Nedbank, Imperial, Scaw Metals and Burger King.

The aim was to expand opportunities to as many as 200 00o youths.

A linked story: “Cruise ship job opportunities for Joburg youth”

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) in the national spotlight in Eastern Cape on Friday

South Africa President Jacob Zuma to formally unveil the plaque of the launch of the SA International Maritime Institute in Port Elizabeth on Friday

Port Elizabeth: 07 April 2016

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Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: Part of the port of Port Elizabeth under the spotlight on Friday

Progress achieved to date on the launch and implementation of Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) comes under national spotlight in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape on Friday where South Africa President Jacob Zuma and some national and provincial government ministers hosts a function to provide feedback.

President Jacob Zuma is scheduled for the city Friday morning, flanked by among others, national Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Lynne Brown, Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masaulle and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, Danny Jordaan.

Preliminary information indicates that highlights of the event will include a government tour of port infrastructure developments at the  Port Elizabeth harbour early Friday.

This will be followed later in the day with a formal first visit by the President to the recently established South Africa International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), currently housed at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitican University’s Bird Street Campus.

SAIMI, an initiative of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), in partnership with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), was founded in late 2014  as a vehicle to promote and coordinate maritime education, skills development and research to support South Africa in harnessing the potential of its mostly untapped maritime resources.

Also, Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy), the country’s most comprehensive maritime economy development focused programme was launched formally in 2014, with at least six subsectors of the maritime economic sector identified for specific focus for development investment in the following five years.

These comprise the Marine Transport and Manufacturing; Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration; Aquaculture; Marine Protection Services and Ocean Governance; Small Harbours Development; and  Marine Tourism and Leisure.

The event in Port Elizabeth tomorrow starts early, preceded by a national report possibly to be televised live.

The SAMSA blog will keep you updated on the event in Port Elizabeth tomorrow.