US Government maintains engagement with SAMSA for possible closer collaboration on marine domain security

IN PURSUIT OF OCEANS SAFETY: Back Row (From Left): Mr Hagen Maroney, US Embassy (South Africa) Environment, Science and Technology Officer; Mr Sizwe Nkukwana, SAMSA Manager for Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy); Ms Ameliah L. Croft, US Embassy (South Africa) Foreign Affairs Officer; Mr  David Moisi, SAMSA Manager for International Relations and Protocol,  and Mr Martin Matlebyane, US Embassy (South Africa) Environment, Science and Technology Specialist. Front Row: (From Left), Ms Rebecca R. White, US Embassy (South Africa) Transportation and Telecommunication Officer, and Professor Jane Lubchenco, US Department of State advisor in Marine Studies and US Science envoy for the Ocean.
IN PURSUIT OF OCEANS SAFETY: Back Row (From Left): Mr Hagen Maroney, US Embassy (South Africa) Environment, Science and Technology Officer; Mr Sizwe Nkukwana, SAMSA Manager for Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy); Ms Ameliah L. Croft, US Embassy (South Africa) Foreign Affairs Officer; Mr David Moisi, SAMSA Manager for International Relations and Protocol, and Mr Martin Matlebyane, US Embassy (South Africa) Environment, Science and Technology Specialist.
Front Row: (From Left), Ms Rebecca R. White, US Embassy (South Africa) Transportation and Telecommunication Officer, and Professor Jane Lubchenco, US Department of State advisor in Marine Studies and US Science envoy for the Ocean.

26 July 2016

Closer collaboration between the United States of America (USA) and the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) on various aspects affecting and impacting the maritime domain remains vital for achievement of common goals, a meeting between representatives of the two parties in Pretoria concluded.

The meeting on Friday (22 July 2016) at the SAMSA’s Head Office in Pretoria, involving members of senior management of the organization, headed by acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi; and a US government delegation led by US Department of State’s Science Envoy of the Ocean, Dr Jane Lubchenco, was the second between the two groups in about 12 months.

Accompanying Dr Lubchenco – also a distinguished professor and advisor in marine studies at the Orange State University in Corvallis (Oregon. USA) – were US South Africa embassy officials;   Transportation and Telecommunication  Officer, Ms Rebecca R. White; Environment, Science and Technology Specialist, Mr Martin Matlebyane; and Foreign Affairs Officer, Ms Ameliah L. Croft.

Also present were representatives of the Department of Transport.

Captain Azwimmbavhi Mulaudzi, SAMSA Chief Examiner and Ms Esayvani Padayachee, SAMSA Statistics Administrator (Centre for Boating), working on finer details of the meeting's agenda shortly before the SAMSA management and US Government delegation on Friday (22 July 2016).
Captain Azwimmbavhi Mulaudzi, SAMSA
Chief Examiner and Ms Esayvani Padayachee, SAMSA  Administration Officer (Office of the COO) working on finer details of the meeting’s agenda shortly before the SAMSA management and US Government delegation in Pretoria on Friday (22 July 2016).

On the agenda were, among others; the progress being achieved with South Africa’s Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) from a SAMSA perspective, the State organization’s role and standpoint on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s Port State Measures Agreement and to which South Africa gained accession in February 2016.

The Agreement on Port State Measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, entered into by a number of countries around the world since about 2009, is described by the FAO (UN) as an instrument designed to mobilize countries towards co-operation in the fight against illegal fishing globally.

FAO (UN) states thus: “Port State Measures (PSM) are requirements established or interventions undertaken by port states which a foreign fishing vessel must comply with or is subjected to as a condition for use of ports within the port state.

“National PSM would typically include requirements related to prior notification of port entry, use of designated ports, restrictions on port entry and landing/transhipment of fish, restrictions on supplies and services, documentation requirements and port inspections, as well as related measures, such as IUU vessel listing, trade-related measures and sanctions. Many of these measures have in recent years seen their inclusion and development in international instruments.”

Dr Jane Lubchenko (Left with a scarf) meeting members of the SAMSA management representatives at the start of the groups' meeting on Friday
Dr Jane Lubchenko (Left with a scarf) meeting members of the SAMSA management representatives at the start of the groups’ meeting on Friday

At the meeting at SAMSA HQ on Friday, the discussions touched on how SAMSA played a role in this regard and about which information was exchanged on the effects of a “Safe Ocean Network” initiative linked to the illegal fishing prevention crusade, that serves as a clearing house for information sharing among partners, whether state or individual and independent companies.

The US delegation also expressed interest in SAMSA’s role in the promotion of public awareness about the maritime sector, with expressed keen interest for collaboration and possible partnerships.

The US would also share more information on the increased utilization of certain technologies such as unmanned aircraft (drones) in the promotion of marine environmental safety, while the parties also agreed to cooperation with South Africa’s quest to enhance cruise shipping subsector of the maritime economy sector.

Previously, SAMSA and the US Department of State’s delegation led by Dr Lubchenco last met in Cape Town in July 2015 and during which parties held discussion on a range of maritime domain related programmes and projects towards which they could work jointly.

These included ocean government and community development, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, general safety and security at sea, skills development and technology transfer, research and development, climate change and renewable energy as well as ocean environmental management with regards especially ocean acidification

 Further discussion on these and related matters would continue, the groups indicated.

End

The hunt is on for a SAMSA new leader

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Pretoria: 25 July 2016

The hunt for a new leader for the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has begun in earnest, with a call for applications to fill the post of Chief Executive Officer, placed on national newspapers at the weekend.

The endeavor is to plug a hole left by the sudden departure recently of former CEO and long serving SAMSA top executive, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele. He resigned ‘with immediate effect’ on May 24, but had his departure delayed to end of June while a ‘forensic investigation’ was being conducted.

Former SAMSA Chief Executive Officer, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, for whom a replacement is sought
Former SAMSA Chief Executive Officer, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, for whom a replacement is sought
South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi
South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi

Mr Mokhele had been with SAMSA as CEO since 2008. On his resignation in May, SAMSA Chief Operating Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi was appointed as acting CEO. The Financial Mail recently quoted Mr Mokhele as saying he would be pursuing his personal business interest still within the maritime economic sector.

“I am staying in the maritime industry to mobilize our industry to make sure it takes advantage of the opportunities under Operation Phakisa,” the FM quoted Mr Mokhele as saying.

Meanwhile, on Friday SAMSA moved swiftly in an effort to plug the gap, issuing out an invitation to suitable candidates to apply for the position. The advert was distributed both internally within the organization as well as through weekend national newspapers.

SAMSA, with its head office located in the country’s administrative capital, Pretoria but with operations across the country; is  a public  entity  established  in  terms  of Act 5 of 1998 to administer certain laws and to ensure safety of life at sea, pollution control and promotion of the country’s maritime interest.

In the ad, the organization says it is in the hunt for someone to: “lead  and  manage SAMSA for effective  execution of its vision,  mission and  strategic objectives (and), as part  of the  national  transport strategy, position SAMSA as  a key  strategic organization for  the   attainment  of  national,  economic  and   transformational goals   including   Africa  and   the  international sphere.

20150909_101517_1The successful person would in addition, be required to: “provide   leadership within  SAMSA  to achieve transformation, empowerment, capacity building  and  service delivery; manage inter- governmental developments  and   relationships  to  achieve  collective execution  of  maritime goals  whilst  complying with International Conventions (and) work effectively  with SAMSA Board, management, shareholder, staff and  stakeholders to achieve SAMSA’s mandate.”

SAMSA requires the likely suitable candidate to, among others; not only possess a recognized university degree – with a Master’s in Business Management (MBA) deemed advantageous – but to also be a South African citizen with “leadership and management experience with  at least 5 years at executive management level – with experience in and or exposure to the maritime industry considered a significant advantage.

(For full detail, click here Vacancy advertisement )

The deadline for applications for the SAMSA CEO is Friday this week, 29 July 2016.

End

South Africa bags one more cargo vessel under its national flag!

Four cargo vessels now in the country’s register, with about a dozen more due for registration in the next few months!

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Port Elizabeth: 14 July 2016

South Africa’s drive to expand growth and economic opportunity in the country’s maritime economic sector is steadily gaining pace with one campaign of the broad Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) strategy – the local registration of trade cargo shipping vessels under the country’s flag, gaining ground.

This became evident in Port Elizabeth this week when on Wednesday afternoon, the fourth so far of an estimated dozen international cargo vessels due for registration, had raised and held aloft at its stern for the first time, South Africa’s flag for its identity.

The MT Lefkas, a bunker (ship fuelling) vessel, is owned by Greek shipping fleet group, Aegean; and will be officially stationed at the port of Port Elizabeth, to supply fuel at sea to vessels sailing along Africa’s southern oceans.

IMG_2466For Aegean, the registration in South Africa of the R200-million worth bunkering vessel measuring some 102.5 meters, with a gross tonnage of 4580; is a kick-off to a medium to long term investment in the country involving a capital layout of about R1.6-billion, and which will involve two more vessels; according to regional manager Mr Kosta Argyros.

He said the MT Lefkas, with a capacity of some 6.8-million litres of oil, will effectively be the runner between the Aegean’s other bigger tanker station offshore along the Eastern Cape coast and passing fleets requiring fuel supplies.

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Mr Kosta Argyros, Eastern Cape regional manager of Greek shipping group, Aegean.

According to Mr Argyros, the positioning of the Greek’s bunkering services vessels in the Eastern Cape coastal area is based also on projections of significant growth in oceans based cargo which, he said, would see an increase of as many as 300 trade vessels in the region in the near future.

However, for South Africa’s broader economy, the addition of the vessel to the country’s steadily yet progressively growing stock of locally registered cargo vessels – now numbering four since September 2015 – will expand opportunities for a whole range of ocean economy businesses, but also critically, provide berths for the training of seafarers.

Mr Argyros confirmed: “The registration of the “MT Lefkas” and other vessels that will follow is significant towards the employment of the South African seafarers. Every vessel has extra accommodation that allows for the training and development of cadets.

“The registration of the vessel is not restricted to the bunkering operation only but also introduces many economic benefits for the people of Port Elizabeth such as surveying, offshore services and crew changes” he said.

WELCOME ON BOARD THE MT LEFKAS: Displaying plaques denoting the formal registration of Aegean's bunkering services vessel, the MT Lefkus under the South African flag in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday are (From Left) Aegean fishing group Eastern Cape regional manager Mr Kosta Argyros, SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, port of Port Elizabeth manager Mr Rajesh Dana and port of Port Elizabeth harbour master, Captain Brynn Adamson
WELCOME ON BOARD THE MT LEFKAS: Displaying plaques denoting the formal registration of Aegean’s bunkering services vessel, the MT Lefkus under the South African flag in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday are (From Left) Aegean shipping group Eastern Cape regional manager Mr Kosta Argyros; SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi; port of Port Elizabeth manager, Mr Rajesh Dana; and port of Port Elizabeth Harbour Master, Captain Brynn Adamson.

According to Mr Argyros, these and a whole range of additional business opportunities could generate as much as R5-million for Port Elizabeth’s local economy in a given time period and in the process, create more additional employment opportunities for the local communities, thereby spreading the income benefit.

Transnet logo

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Mr Rajesh Dana, Port Manager; port of Port Elizabeth

Port of Port Elizabeth Manager, Mr. Rajesh Dana added: “The Port of Port Elizabeth is proud and honoured to be the registered home port for the Aegean vessel, MT LEFKAS. We congratulate Aegean for the registration of the vessel on the South African flag and look forward to the opportunities that this will present to Nelson Mandela Bay and South Africa.

“This historic event is significant to the Port of Port Elizabeth and South Africa at large as it marks the catalytic growth in the South African Ship Registry and once again highlights Nelson Mandela Bay’s attractiveness as a Maritime City and its potential to exploit the Blue Oceans Economy,” he said.

(For Mr Dana’s remarks, Click Below)…..

20150909_101517_1With the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) charged by Government with responsibility for developing and expanding the country’s stock of locally registered vessels carrying the country’s flag, the organization’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi was on hand on Wednesday to witness and welcome the hoisting of the South Africa flag on the Greek owned vessel at the port of Port Elizabeth

Mr Sobantu Tilayi, acting Chief Executive Officer, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) speaking at an event marking the hoisting of South Africa's flag onto the Greek shipping group, Aegean's bunkering services vessel in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Mr Sobantu Tilayi, acting Chief Executive Officer, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) speaking at an event marking the hoisting of South Africa’s flag onto the Greek shipping group, Aegean’s bunkering services vessel in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

Mr Sobantu said the positioning of the Aegean vessel in Port Elizabeth was with meeting a number of socio economic objectives among which was to strategically expand the location of fuel resources placement in the country, and which up to now, had been largely (66%) confined to the port of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Mr Tilayi, flanked by the Mayor of Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay metro), Dr Danny Jordaan and port of Port Elizabeth manager Mr Rajesh Dana, said the development and operationalization of the Ngqurha deep water port also in Port Elizabeth had opened up opportunity for expansion of transshipment of not only South African goods, but that of the whole of southern Africa.

“This helps reposition this whole (Eastern Cape) region to become an important transshipment hub for the entire southern African region.

He added: “Port Elizabeth has a very big potential as a services port for a whole range of maritime economic activities, including cruise (leisure) vessels because of its strategic positioning geographically but also because of the geolocation of the two ports which among other things, enjoy significant protection from weather and ocean currents related conditions,” he said.

(For Mr Tilayi:s full remarks, Click Below)

Port Elizabeth Mayor Dr Danny Jordaan
Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Dr Danny Jordaan

Also welcoming the Aegean business operation’s location in Port Elizabeth, Dr Jordaan said the development was an indication of the progressive achievement of the objectives of the country’s Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) initiative launched in 2014, and which he said, placed the Eastern Cape coastal city central to efforts to rejuvenate the country’s maritime economic sector.

Dr Jordaan echoed words of encouragement to especially local business to take advantage of emerging opportunities linked to investment such as that of the Greek shipping company now based in the city.

(For Dr Jordaan’s video clip, please Click Here)

And for the formal flagging of the Aegean owned bunkering services vessel, the MT Lefkas, Click Here)

End

SAMSA to speed up issuing of seafarer’s certificates as it irons out IT glitches

Centre for Seafarers commits to meeting December 2016 deadline with new version certificates

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Pretoria: 04 July 2016

Hiccups experienced over the past few weeks with the issuance of newly revised seafarer certificates should soon be history following to anticipated successful upgrade of software systems, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) said in Pretoria on Monday.

SAMSA’s Chief Examiner at the Centre for Seafarers, Captain Azwimmbavhi Mulaudzi said delays were experienced due to information technology infrastructure problems and quality assurance issues, leading to backlogs in the issuance of seafarer certificates.

The revised certificates covering a whole range of seafarer skills levels are being issued in terms of the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention (Manila Amendments) effective from May 2016.

 In terms of these, all certificates issued by SAMSA prior to the Manila Amendments, in terms of The Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations (1999 as amended) would expire at the end of 2016.

20150909_101517_1A Marine Notice (No.24 of 2016) to the effect was published by SAMSA on 24 May 2016, advising all affected parties of the need for affected band of seafarers to renew or revalidate their certificates prior to their expiry date on 31 December 2016.

According to the notice (available on SAMSA’s website) applicants could use any number of ways to lodge their applications including delivering them in person or via a proxy to any of SAMSA’s offices countrywide, or filing their application online especially if they are out at sea or abroad.

At the time of the issuance of the Marine Notice, SAMSA anticipated issuing out as a matter of top priority, as many as 2300 Certificates of Competency and about 4000 Certificates of Proficiency compliant with the new Manila Amendments by December 2016.

This would be followed in sequence by as many as 5000 local certificates for fishing and port operations

On Monday, Captain Mulaudzi said a few hundred applications had been received from seafarers since publication of the Marine Notice, but then SAMSA’s IT infrastructure ‘hit a snag’ that had led to “frustrating” delays in the roll out of new certificates.

Captain Mulaudzi said SAMSA had noted reports that some employers had begun to place on unpaid leave seafarers who were affected by the delays.

“SAMSA’s Centre for Seafarers would like to update the South African seafarers, including foreign seafarers holding South African certificates, on the progress being made in issuing their certificates.

IMG_4707 (2)“SAMSA is mindful of the fact that it is six months to go to the deadline set in the STCW Convention in the issuing of the new Manila Compliant Certificates. We are also aware of the seafarers who have applied for their certificates more than two months ago and have yet to receive them. We are also concerned about reports that employers are starting to place seafarers on unpaid leave if they are not holding these certificates.

“We would like to assure fellow seafarers that every effort is being made to ensure that no seafarer is further disadvantaged by the delays we are experiencing. Being mindful that this has become an urgent matter to all seafarers, SAMSA will, in the interim be prioritizing certificates for those seafarers who are being placed on unpaid leave.

“Seafarers who are facing loss of income during the month of July 2016 should inform the SAMSA office where they made their applications. The relevant office will advise the Chief Examiner and the Registrar of Seafarers, to prioritize the certificates of those seafarers. SAMSA will then be able to increase the priority of that application,” said Captain Mulaudzi.

He further issued and assurance that the backlog will be cleared by the end of July 2016. However, for those seeking any further clarity or wishing simply to make an inquiry, they may direct these to the following:

  1. SAMSA Media and Communications officer Tebogo Ramatjie, or
  2. Chief Examiner at amulaudzi@samsa.org.za or 012 366 4783, or
  3. The Registrar of Seafarers at pmooketsi@samsa.org.za or 012 366 2633
  4. Seafarers are also encouraged to communicate all their queries to exams@samsa.org.za

End

Chinese fishing vessels released from South Africa

Pretoria: 01 July 2016

A media statement on the release of three Chinese fishing trawlers detained in South Africa a month ago. 

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UPDATE ON THE THREE CHINESE VESSELS THAT WERE DETAINED AT THE EAST LONDON PORT

Issued by DAFF, SANDF and SAMSA

30 JUNE 2016

In May 2016 the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) joined forces with the South African Navy to conduct sea patrol within the South African coastline; where a Fishery Control Officer was deployed on board the South African Navy vessel.

That joint operation resulted in capturing of three foreign vessels which were instructed to call to East London Port. The vessels arrived at the Port at the night of 22 May 2016 accompanied by the DAFF vessel Sarah Baartman and the SA Navy vessel SAS Drakensberg. A thorough inspection was done on all three vessels by all law enforcement agencies in East London; South African Police Services, SARS Customs, Department of Home Affairs (Immigration), South African Maritime Safety Authority.

The foreign fishing vessels were found to have the following tons of fish on board:

  • Fu Yuan Yu 7880 about 340 tons of squid with 36 crew
  • Fu Yang Yu 7881 1about 60 tons of squid with 34 crew
  • Run Da 617 about 200 tons of squid and other species of fish with 26 crew

Further investigations were conducted to establish, amongst other things, whether the fish on board was fished in South African waters and the outcomes of the scientific tests showed that it was not fished in our waters. We therefore had no legal grounds to confiscate the fish as it was not fished in our waters.

CHARGES AND COURT OUTCOMES

CAS dockets were opened and registered with the South African police Service and the Vessel Masters were respectively charged for contravention of Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998 and the charges included:-

  • Possession of Gear on board without a Gear Permit.
  • Not complying with the Lawful Instruction from the Fishery Control Officer.

On 15 June 2016 all the three Vessel Masters appeared in East London Magistrate Court and they were found guilty for possessing Gear on board without gear permit and were consequently fined R600 000 in total for that offense.

The vessel master of Fu Yuan Yu 7880 and the Vessel Master of  Fu Yang Yu 7881 1 were also found guilty of non-compliance with the Lawful Instruction of the Fishery Control Officer and were fined R50 000 each.

Additional to contravening Marine Living Resources Act, the three vessels’ masters were also found to have contravened SAMSA legislation and were consequently fined R1.3 million in total. The SAMSA legislation related charges involved determined threats of environmental pollution and degradation.

The capturing of these vessels indicates our seriousness as a country to protect our Marine Living Resources in our territorial and exclusive economic zone.

Plundering of those resources will not be tolerated. In addition, South Africa takes seriously with determination its responsibility to ensure compliance with international and domestic environmental and safety laws designed and implemented to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all users of our oceans.

The vessels’ Masters paid all the fines and they were authorised to proceed with their voyage to China and they departed from East London Port on 23 June 2016.

For More information contact:-

Ms Bomikazi Molapo

Ministers Spokesperson (DAFF)

079 698 2114

Bomikazim@daff.gov.za

Mr Siphiwe Dlamini

South African Defence Force

Head of Communication

083 645 4294

Siphiwe.dlamini@dod.mil.za

Mr Sicelo Fayo

SAMSA

Content Manager

082 384 0945

Sfayo@samsa.org.za