Nelson Mandela Bay welcomes launch of Africa youth initiative against plastic waste in its backyard

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Port Elizabeth: 31 October 2018

The selection of and launch in Port Elizabeth this week of a continent wide initiative roping in youth into the global war against marine plastic waste has been warmly welcomed by the coastal metropolitan area’s government.

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Ms Yolsa Padi. Member of the Mayoral Council for Public Health. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (Port Elizabeth)

“The launch of this green programme and network is very good news for the city, ‘ said Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NMBM) Member of the Mayoral Council for Public Health, Ms Yolisa Padi in welcoming the launch of the African Youth Waste Network at the city’s university, the Nelson Mandela University on Monday.

“As our visitors will know, Nelson Mandela Bay has potential as a major tourist destination and a nature lover’s paradise. We are becoming increasingly aware of  our vast marine resources and the need to manage these responsibly, as well as of the economic and other benefits attached to an oceans economy.

“In all this, the cleanliness and attractiveness of our city and environment is vital, not only for the health and safety of our residents, but also because we are keen to build our reputation as a major tourist city and a preferred holiday destination.

The launch of the African Youth Waste Network in the region was, however, consistent with global marine and maritime related recent developments targeting the city, inclusive of the first continental African Marine Waste Conference held in the city in July 2017, followed earlier this year by the launch of the African Marine Waste Academy (AMWA) under the aegis of the African Marine Waste Network (AMWN) now currently with 42 members across Africa and reportedly growing.

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The initiatives, spearheaded by Port Elizabeth nongovernmental organization, the Sustainable Seas Trust and a founder member of the AMWN are financially sponsored by the Norwegian government which early in 2018 confirmed the awarding of about a R1-million to the programme over a 12 months period.

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Ms Iselin Nybø. Norway’s Minister of Research and Higher Education during a visit to Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 29 October 2018

A Norwegian government delegation led by Minister of Research and Higher Education, Ms Iselin Nybø, was among prominent guests at the function on Monday.

In her brief address, Ms Padi who accompanied the city’s Mayor, Mr Mongameli Bobani, described it as Port Elizabeth’s concern “the alarming news daily of the rate of destruction of the natural environment of our planet and its oceans. Current and future governments have no option but to increasingly focus on environmental protection and find better solutions to the issue of waste management,” she said.

In response however, she said the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for its part, was “engaged in a number of cleaning and waste management initiatives to address this.”

“The going is slow but some of our initiatives are starting to show results and to be of benefit to our communities.

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Mr Mongameli Bobani, Mayor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (Standing, Right) greeting among others, Minister of Tourism and acting Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mr Derek Hanekom (seated, Left) during the launch of the African Youth Waste Network in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

“The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality fully supports the launch of the African Youth Waste Network. We know the time to do something is now and it is very right and fitting that the energy, enthusiasm and innovative idea of the youth will be harnessed in the process,” said Ms Padi.

 

For more on the launch of the AYWN, click on the links below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African youth set for formal direct role in war against marine plastic pollution: African Marine Waste Network

DSC_4166 (2)Pretoria: 27 October 2018

Engaging Africa’s young people as crusaders in the global war against the menace of oceans and inland waterways plastic pollution takes on a whole new stride forward in South Africa with the launch of the continent’s first African Youth Waste Network (AYWN) in Port Elizabeth on Monday

The launch of the initiative at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) north campus from 9am on Monday is a culmination of a partnership involving local non governmental organization, Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) and the Norwegian government, marked earlier in 2018 with the set up in Port Elizabeth of an African Marine Waste Academy.

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IN PARTNERSHIP:  (Left) Dr Anthony Ribbink, Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST: South Africa)  and  Norwegian Ambassador to South Africa Ms Trine Skymoen exchanging documents and shaking hands on an agreement through which Norway  is funding  a first of its kind initiative to combat marine waste in Africa based in Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape Province.

According to the SST, South Africa’s lead partner of the Africa Marine Waste Network with 42 member countries,  the youth network “will enable the youth of Africa to communicate and inspire one another and engage with young people everywhere as well as influence adults, especially leaders.”

 

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Mr Derek Hanekom. Minister of Tourism

As an indication of the high significance of the launch of the AYWN initiative, billed guests include senior South African and Norwegian government officials, among them South Africa’s Minister of Tourism and acting Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Derek Hanekom, his Norwegian counterpart responsible for the Ministry of Research and Higher Education, Ms Iselin Nybø, Royal Norwegian Embassy in South Africa councillor, Dr Karl Klingsheim, academics from the Nelson Mandela University and Norway’s University of Bergen.

Also attending will be Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, Mr Mongameli Bobani.

Minister Hanekom is billed to share the South African government’s viewpoint on both the scourge of plastic pollution as well as its endorsement of the engagement of young people in the global initiative, while Minister Nybø will share experiences and best practices in thwarting plastic pollution particularly from the marine environment from Norway’s perspective.

For more information on the SST/AMWN and Norwegian government initiatives in the South Africa based war against particularly marine plastic waste, click on the set of stories below.

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Another errand for SA Agulhas, another perfect opportunity for cadets practical training: SAMSA

DSC_8030Cape Town: 15 October 2018

At 3.15pm on Monday, the SA Agulhas sailed out of the port of Cape Town headed for the open oceans surrounding South Africa for a commercial errand, and on board her, a total of 48 cadets and ratings – the largest such number of seafarer trainees yet – on their way to two weeks of hands-on training in the country’s dedicated cadet training vessel.

The commercial errand according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), owners of the SA Agulhas, involves measurement of radio signal strengths along South Africa’s coast on behalf of telecommunications and cellular phone services entity, Telkom.

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Deck training officer, George Fatnev (standing back) with some of the trainees on board the SA Agulhas during departure at port of Cape Town for a two week ocean going trip on October 15, 2018

The two-week voyage along the west and east oceans of South Africa (the Atlantic and Indian oceans) is a partnership between SAMSA), Telkom and the Department of Transport.

The SA Agulhas, a South African ice-strengthened training ship and former polar research vessel since acquired by SAMSA for the country’s National Cadet Programme now run by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), will double duty to ensure that the 48 cadets and ratings on board acquire some of the experience at sea they need to complete their studies.

“Without time at sea the cadets cannot graduate and it is very hard for cadets to get berths on ships or boats, so this is an important maritime youth development  and employment initiative for both SAMSA, its partners in the maritime sector and the country,” says Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer of SAMSA.

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Cadet and ratings training officers on board the SA Agulhas (from Left) Cher Klein (senior training officer: deck), George Fatnev (deck training officer), Ncebo Msimang and Thabang Kudumane (engine training officers)

On board, they will be taken care of by four specialist deck and engine training officers comprising Cher Klein (senior training officer in charge), Ncebo Msimang and Thabang Kudumane and George Valerievich Fatnev (deck).

The four officers will seek to ensure that the youths while on board for the next five weeks (two in the open ocean), receive and absorb as much required practical training as is possible.

Ms Klein and Mr Fatnev explains their plans and anticipation in the video below.

According to SAMSA, the SA Agulhas is due to return from its 2 850 nautical mile coastal voyage on 30 October 2018.

 

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SA’s top economist Dr Iraj Abedian warns Cape maritime high school pupils against ‘culture of instant gratification’.

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Dr Iraj Abedian, of South Africa’s top economists who is CEO of Pan-African Capital Holdings as well as Chairman of Amsol board of directors, flanked by three of about a dozen Simon’s Town School Lawhill Maritime Centre matric pupils who who received awards in recognition of their academic performance at the school on Thursday.

Cape Town: 14 October 2018

South Africa’s youth would be well-advised to learn to be patient in their pursuit of success both in their school and tertiary level studies through to their working lives while steadfast in their ethical conduct,  Dr Iraj Abedian, one of South Africa’s top economists told dozens of foundation level maritime studies pupils in Simon’s Town.

DSC_7835 (2).JPGHe was the main guest speaker at an awards event at the Simon’s Town School Lawhill Maritime Centre on Thursday evening during which top pupils were given recognition for their excellent performance in their maritime school studies and related performance during 2018.

Prior to addressing guests and pupils at the event, Dr Abedian assisted in handing out a number of awards to the top performing pupils.

Later in a speech titled: The Road Ahead in the Age of Disruption, and lasting about half an hour, Dr Abedian enumerated four of what he described as some key factors of success through hard work drawn from his own personal professional experience and which he said the pupils would be well advised to note and heed.

These were, he said: “commitment to excellence, patience, (a set of) clear core values and commitment to ethical practice, and a conscious embrace of uncertainty with enthusiasm.”

According to Dr Abedian, disruption was a constant and it needed to be embraced in the pursuit of success, and success, he said, was ‘not a destination but a journey’ requiring patience complimented by a conscious effort towards proper ethical conduct instead of a desire for instant gratification often characterized by bad behavior.

“In every corner of our lives, we see disruption. Disruption is not always bad. Very often it’s good, but the way we interpret it, we make it negative or positive,” he said.

Dr Abedian said the pupils had every reason to be grateful to their parents, the school as well as all those that supported them during and an important phase of their education journey, the foundation phase.

He said: “The acquisition of knowledge is a necessary condition for success. As if often said, success is not a destination but a journey, a journey of incremental accumulation of successes. In this journey, commitment to excellence is an important companion.This has to be a benchmark of your professional life.

“In addition to hard work and commitment to excellence, the next contributing factor to success is patience. I say this with a great concern in how today’s world of rampant pressure for instantaneous gratification, and unbridled pursuit of rapid accumulation of wealth in particular, as well as the ostentatious public display of opulence of wealth remains a great concern,” he said.

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SHARING NOTES: (From Left) Mr Odwa Mtati, Projects Manager at South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), Ms Nthabiseng Tema, senior manager, Corporate Affairs at South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) chatting briefly with Dr Iraj Abedian shortly before his main address of the awards event at Lawhill Maritime Centre on Thursday.

Dr Abedian said South African society currently was suffering from the latter culture of instant gratification and dominant to which was a penchant for corruption and fraud, as evidenced, he said, by a daily litany of corruption and fraud stories emanating from both the country’s private and public sectors as well as civil society.

For Dr Abedian’s full remarks, click on the video below.

Meanwhile, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – a long term supporter of the Lawhill Maritime Centre mainly through bursaries for mostly disadvantaged children keen on maritime studies at foundation level – joined several other entities, individuals and families this year in granting tertiary level bursaries to two pupils of the school in recognition of their excellence school performance.

The recipients were final matric year pupils Thabiso Rantsho and Sinazo Viti.

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REWARDING EXCELLENCE:  Two recipients of SAMSA’s first tertiary level bursary awards at Lawhill Maritime Centre on Thursday evening: Thabiso Rantsho (Left) and Sinazo Viti (Right) flanked by (far Left) Ms Nthabiseng Tema, senior manager, Corporate Affairs and (far Right) Mr John Phiri, senior manager, Human Capital.

Presenting the SAMSA awards, human capital senior manager John Phiri who with Corporate Affairs senior manager Ms Nthabiseng Tema presented the awards, warned the pupils that discipline in their studies was also a key determinant factor to their success as the maritime sector, but particularly seafaring, was not for the fainthearted.

According to Mr Phiri, several former student and cadets that SAMSA sponsored in the past were now sitting at home without jobs due to lack of discipline he described as  characterized by an undue and misplaced sense of entitlement.

For Mr Phiri’s full remarks, click on the video below.

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SAMSA widens Maritime Rural Support Programme to more inland provinces.

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Miss Nompumelelo Khumalo (16) of Zinikeleni Secondary School in Carolina near Badplaas, Mpumalanga making a presentation to senior government officials including Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga during the World Maritime Day 2018 celebrations in the province a week ago.

02 October 2018

South Africa’s five inland provinces, Free State, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga  have as much opportunity as their four coastal provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape) to make a telling positive impact in extracting both economic and social value in the country’s maritime and marine sectors, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

In fact, according to SAMSA Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, the state agency is keen on making sure this occurs through its Maritime Rural Support Programme  (MRSP) launched three years ago in KwaZulu-Natal and which has already touched rural areas of the Eastern Cape and now being extended to the Mpumalanga Province.

Central to it is the engendering and inculcation of an entrenched culture of education, training and skills development in the maritime sector with lasting positive impacts on entrepreneurship development and ultimately fruitful careers and job creation.

The extension of SAMSA’ MRSP –  comprising of elements of corporate social investment and separately funded joint initiatives with various parties in both the private and public sectors – to Mpumalanga Province was revealed by Mr Sobantu during this year’s celebration of the World Maritime Day at Badplaas (eManzana) on Thursday and Friday last week.

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. COO SAMSA

Describing the province bordering both Mozambique to the north east and Swaziland to the south east, as among those endowed with vast waterways comprising no less than 20 big dams, Mr Tilayi said it would be remiss that such vast natural marine endowment was not responsibly full exploited for the benefit of the broad community of the area through maritime and marine skills development, entrepreneurship involving primarily tourism, as well as job creation along the value chain.

From a SAMSA perspective – which is charged with responsibility for safety and security involving essentially the licensing of small vessels as well as skippers utilising the country’s waters ways for any reason – the opportunity is vested in ensuring that there are sufficient trained officials to monitor compliance in all areas.

Mr Tilayi said SAMSA’s planned intervention in Mpumalanga would include

  • focus in this area whereby it would seek to work with both provincial and local government institutions with a view to establishing a program to produce skilled officers to conduct surveys and carry out licensing inspections.
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In green uniform is SAMSA’s provincial Boat Safety Officer Ms Refilwe Legodi sharing with high school pupils of Mpumalanga some of the issues involved in boat surveying for safety and security operations.
  • The second anticipated intervention would involve facilitating the establishment of a youth oriented entrepreneurial venture encompassing marine tourism services offering boating excursions across the province’s dams. This would start small with a pair of matric pupils from a school in the Gert Sibande District Municipality who had approached SAMSA for assistance with a skipper’s license.
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A working model of a “cruise liner” designed and constructed by a group of Zinikeleni Secondary School pupils in Caroline, Mpumalanga Province and demonstrated during the World Maritime Day 2918 celebrations held at Badplaas in the province last week

The pupils from the Zinikeleni Secondary School in Carolina won many hearts with a demonstration of model of a functional ‘cruise’ vessel they designed, constructed and exhibited at the event on Thursday and Friday. For a view of the demonstration click on the video below.

  • A third SAMSA intervention in the Mpumalanga Province would involve the broadening of the agency’s Maritime Youth Development Programme (MYDP) involving the identification, training and deployment of youths on tourists cruise liners across the world. He said the country currently has an allowance of up to 1200 placement opportunities on cruise liners worldwide per annum, with the Eastern Cape leading in taking advantage of the programme since 2017.
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The Eastern Cape’s most recent group of youths trained and deployed on MSC Cruise Liners around the world.
  • The final intervention may, according to Mr Tilayi, involve the identification of matric pupils in the area for training as naval architects – a skills area he described as experiencing a huge gap in South Africa as a whole.

SAMSA’s approach, said Mr Tilayi would seek direct engagement and close collaboration among all affected and interested parties but particularly the Mpumalanga provincial government, local municipalities, schools and related.

For Mr Sobantu’s full remarks on these initiatives earmarked for Mpumalanga Province in 2018/19, click on the video below.

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Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga

Meanwhile, Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, in applauding the SAMSA initiatives, emphasized the critical importance of each of the parties playing fully their respective roles in delivering on the goals.

Also adding its weight to the maritime education and skills development programme earmarked for Mpumalanga province, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Chief Executive Officer, Ms Shulami Qalinge announced a R20 000 worth sponsorship to the Amanzi Primary School for swimming lessons conducted national by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

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Education and skills remain key to SA unlocking full value in maritime sector: DoT-World Maritime Day 2018 celebration

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OBSERVING WORLD MARITIME DAY 2018:  Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga admiring some of several school children handiwork of miniature ships for the display during the celebration of World Maritime Day 2018 at Badplaas, Mpumalanga on Thursday and Friday last week.

01 October 2018

Maritime education and skills development remain the vital ingredient for South Africa in her drive to unlock fully the huge value residing in its maritime sector, according to the Department of Transport.

This was said by deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga on Friday during the marking and celebration of the World Maritime Day 2018 held over two days at eManzana (Badplaas) in Mpumalanga Province.

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Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga

She was addressing a crowd of mostly young school children in their matric year who were essentially the target of this year’s marking of the international event as driven and guided by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to which South Africa is a member.

Also represented were some State owned entities in the transport sector under the Department of Transport inclusive of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), South African Ports Regulator, the Mpumalanga provincial government and local government authorities under which Badplaas falls.

According to Ms Chikunga, targeting young school children from schools in the area was part of a concerted effort by the DoT and government in general to raise and enhance greater public awareness countrywide about South Africa’s status as a fully fledged maritime region and upon which the rest of the world also count on for oceans trade and safety and security, hence its high profile role both in regional, continental and global institutions concerned with maritime matters.

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Marking World Maritime Day 2018: (Seated, from Left) Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga with  several local, provincial and national government officials that include Gert Sibande District Municipality Councillor Mr Nkosi and (Standing from Right), Mr Sobantu Tilayi of SAMSA), Mr Dumisani Ntuli of DoT; Ms Shulami Qalinge of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA)Mr Mahesh Fakir, the Ports Regulator and Mr Gideon Mashigo, an MEC for Transport, Mpumalanga Province.

Ms Chikunga described it as proper that South Africa should mark the World Maritime Day annually, and in the process reflect on both its needs and challenges relating to the maritime sector.

Currently she said, education and skills development were the key to unlocking the country’s maritime sector value both economically and socially. Towards this end, the DoT in particular, together with partners in the public and private sectors were offering as much financial and related assistance as possible to the country’s youths keen on pursuing tertiary studies in the sector in South Africa and abroad.

The country’s youth in internal provinces such as Mpumalanga, Free State, North West, Limpopo and Gauteng – all of which are far from the oceans – were not excluded from the maritime education, training and skills development initiatives, nor were those either poor or based in rural communities.

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Celebrating World Maritime Day 2018: A part of group of about 400 pupils from schools in the eManzana (Badplaas) area of the Gert Sibande District Municipality in Mpumalanga province being take through a water safety demonstration by the NSIR and SAPS on Friday. For more pics: see below.

This was, she said, partly evidenced and demonstrated by the alternative staging of the World Maritime Day annually in both coastal and inland provinces – with 2018 having been the turn of Mpumalanga Province, after the Eastern Cape a year ago, and the Free State in the year before.

Ms Chikunga outlined at length the types and kind of education, training and skills development initiatives available to South African youths across the board. For more on this, Click on the video below.

Held over two days – the Thursday and Friday last week at both the Vygeboom/Oppi Dam and the Badplaas Forever Resorts – the celebration of the World Maritime Day 2018  saw as many 400 pupils from the Gert Sibande District Municipality or greater eManzana area exposed to both basic waters skills, primarily safety, demonstrated by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) water division, as well as career exhibitions.

The youths also participated in the ship building competition and display that allowed for display of some spectacular talent by some.

For more on this, click on the following story links

SAMSA widens its Maritime Rural Support Programme to Mpumalanga Province

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