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:

End

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