Real opportunities in South Africa’s maritime sector will draw people’s attention: SAMSA

Durban: 02 April 2017

SHARING INSIGHTS: Mr Sobantu Tilayi, acting CEO of South African Maritime Safety Authority addressing a gathering of about 30 people, a majority of them journalists in Durban at lunchtime on Sunday

Identification and creation of economic opportunities in South Africa’s maritime sector is among key strategies that will attract and enhance the country population’s interest and engagement with the ocean’s economy, according to Mr Sobantu Tilayi, acting CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in Durban on Sunday.

Mr Tilayi said this while addressing a group of journalists and some maritime sector specialists at a lunch event held at the Durban beachfront ahead of the Ethekwini Maritime Summit beginning in the city on Monday at the old Durban airport.

The annual summit in Durban is one of two major national maritime sector gatherings in the country in the coming week, the other being the South African Maritime Industry Conference (SAMIC 2017) over three days in Port Elizabeth. Eastern Cape; beginning on Wednesday.

Mr Tilayi (Right) having a one-on-one meeting with some journalists at a gathering at the Durban beachfront on Sunday

SAMIC 2017 scheduled for the Boardwalk Conference Centre in Nelson Mandela Bay and hosted by the recently established South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), will be the second such conference of its kind since the inaugural one held in Cape Town some five years ago.

In Durban on Sunday, the SAMSA lunchtime event, was intended partly to provide an update on some developments concerning the maritime sector as well as share information on a whole range of developmental issues that the maritime authority is engaged with or contributes to, inclusive of the country’s Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) project launched in 2014.

Mr Tilayi, noting that South Africa is a maritime country endowed with just of over 3200km of a coastline on which sits eight commercial ports, and some 1.6-million square kilometers of an Exclusive Economic Zone spread over three oceans from the Atlantic in the west, the Southern Ocean in the south and the Indian Ocean to the east, yet the average South African still knew little to nothing about the sector; said part of the awareness campaign should involve identification and creation of meaningful economic opportunities in the sector.

This he said, would not only attract the public’s attention but would also ensure meaningful, profitable engagement.

Mr Tilayi’s address covered progress as well as challenges faced on a whole range of issues inclusive of ship registry, seafarer training, maritime sector education and training initiatives, maritime sector related legislation development and related matters.

In addition to his expected contribution at the Ethekwini Maritime Summit beginning on Monday, Mr Sobantu’s next important address will be in Port Elizabeth on Thursday where he is scheduled to deliver a report-back on maritime sector developments related to issues raised by industry since the last industry conference five years ago.

End

2 thoughts on “Real opportunities in South Africa’s maritime sector will draw people’s attention: SAMSA

  1. Regarding this remark “Mr Tilayi’s address covered progress as well as challenges faced on a whole range of issues inclusive of ship registry, seafarer training, maritime sector education and training initiatives, maritime sector related legislation development and related matters” have a few questions or rather concerns regarding the South African Maritime industry.

    1. Currently, there is a global maritime recession. This recession resulted in up to 60 % of seafarers, globally, losing their jobs. These maritime positions affected South African seafarers just as much as the international seafarers. I have heard and read comments made by various South African maritime officials that South Africa has a severe shortage of seafarers. How is this possible if the current global economy cannot support the new graduates.

    2. Similarly, I keep on hearing that South Africa’s shipbuilding industry is doing well. According to my knowledge only tugs boats have been built the last few years. Or are tugs boats now classified under the merchant navy?

    3. Ship repairs have also been discussed as being doing well. However, according to my sources, only emergency ship repairs are being done in Durban, specifically. The foreign ship owners prefer to fly in their own specialists rather than contracting the work out to South African maritime companies. The question I would like to ask is: How many ships are coming in for major repairs and maintenance p.a.

    4. When one look at the marine traffic website, it is possible to see how many ships are in the drydocks. The empty drydocks are to me an indication of a poor maritime industry in SA. However, the media propaganda claims that they are profiting from foreign ships coming in for servicing.

    5. Bobby Jordan (Sunday Times) reported on the ” Cuts take navy down to the bare barnacles”, where he said ” The South African Navy is becoming a scrapyard” and that the ” Simon’s Town dockyard, run by Armscor, has a critical skills shortages”. He further reported that the government has turned to German arms manufacturer ThyssenKrupp to take over the maintenance work when 100s of qualified maritime technicians are without work.

    Regards
    Doctor Lydia Carol-Dekker
    Sociologist

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Dr Carol-Dekker,
      Your input in reaction to the story has been noted and attention drawn to your concerns. I am hoping to be able to publish a possible response soon, hopefully this week still.

      Like

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