Maritime rural support programme extends footprint in SA coastal belt: SAMSA

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Lusikisiki; 02 August 2018

Public and private sector partnerships remain crucial to advancement of redevelopment and transformation of particularly formerly marginalized communities in South Africa inclusive of those directly affected and impacted by the country’s maritime economic sector, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. Chief Operations Officer: South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)

The view was expressed by SAMSA’s Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi during launch of the State agency’s maritime rural support programme for the Ingquza Municipal Area in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on Wednesday, 01 August 2018 – an event deliberately tied to also mark the celebration of the Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu Centennial currently underway countrywide.

The Ingquza Municipal Area in Lusikisiki – some 45 kilometres north-east of Port St Johns – comprises two land settlement nodes, Mbotyi and Msikaba – that are part of South Africa’s globally renowned Wild Coast stretching for more than half of the Eastern Cape Province’s 900km coastline on the Indian Ocean.

Picture1Owing to both historical and current socio-political dynamics, the rural communities here, although settled in an area that by some accounts is endowed with some of  the world’s best natural resources, with massive maritime economic development potential; remain poor, marked by high unemployment rates.

In launching the SAMSA Corporate Social Investment (CSI) driven rural support programme in  the area on Wednesday,  jointly with the Ingquza Hill Municipality, Mr Tilayi said this was intended to provide certain interventions that would hopefully both assist the local community with maritime sector skills development as well as draw business investment in sustainable entrepreneurial ventures to uplift and improve lives of the people here.

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Members of the local Ingquza Hill municipal area attending Wednesday’s event at Mbotyi, Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape.

Pivotal to the endeavor would be public and private sector partnerships informed by and involving direct participation of the inhabitants of Ingquza.

To this end, Mr Tilayi said the package of interventions aimed for the area would follow the recommended format, and their primary goal being to facilitate the training of especially local youth with a set of maritime sector related skills that would enable them to either set up their small enterprises or acquire meaningful employment within the country’s broad maritime sector.

According to Mr Tilayi, the intervention at Ngquza Municipal was a countrywide corporate social investment programme by SAMSA that began a few years ago and now with foot-marks in provinces including KwaZulu-Natal.

In the Eastern Cape Province, the Ngquza area initiative follows to a similar intervention conducted at nearby Port St Johns in 2017.

At Ngquza Municipal area, SAMSA working jointly with the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board and the local municipal government, will focus on a skills development programme over a three months period beginning September 2018, involving diving (open water and advanced to master level), life guarding, fishing, coastal and marine tourism, maritime heritage boats repairs and general skills such as youth leadership and entrepreneurship.

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Some of the youths attending Wednesday’s event at Mbotyi, Ingquza Hill in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape.

Targeted will be youths between the ages of 16-35 years old who, strictly, are resident in the area.

In addition, proposed activity may include the erection of a cold storage facility for local subsistence fishermen that will also incorporate a boat repair centre.

No less than R3.5-million is expected to be expended in the first phase of the skills development initiative alone.

Explaining why the initiative was pegged on the Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu Centennial celebrations, Mr Tilayi said it was befitting that the elderly in South Africa remain fully part of all efforts to develop their communities as, he said, they constitute a bedrock of social cohesion and provide support to most youth, especially the unemployed.

To this end, SAMSA used the event to provide warm winter blankets to some 400 elderly people above the age of 60 years old as well as hosted them to a luncheon.’

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