National maritime sector transport indaba underway in Durban

DSC_4242Durban: 29 February 2019

A national maritime sector transport indaba convened by the Department of Transport over two days and involving government, various of its entities including the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), private sector companies and academia is currently underway in Durban.

According to Minister of Transport Dr Blade Nzimande, the event on Thursday and Friday is a dialogue to promote strong relationship between government and private sector regarding developments, challenges, opportunities and transformation in the country’s maritime sector.

“The two-day discussions will also take into consideration the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) which outlines strategic guidance to transformation and gender parity in the maritime sector, job creation and stimulating the marine for economic development,” the department said a statement.

It said key topics for discussion over the next two days include; government’s maritime transport strategic objectives, key challenges and opportunities relating to safety of navigation along South Africa coast, unlocking maritime sector development through the delivery of strategic infrastructure in ports, industry development and transformation, maritime women empowerment in Africa, opportunities and challenges for coastal shipping as well as the country’s Mining Charter and its link with the maritime sector.

Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande (Right) during a live national television interview at the port of Durban on Thursday morning ahead of the start of the Department of Transport convened Maritime Sector Transport Dialogue over two days, ending on Friday.

In explaining further the thinking behind the gathering described as the first dialogue of its kind for the maritime sector, Dr Nzimande said: “I have decided as part of the commitment I made when I accepted the appointment as Minister of Transport for the Republic of South Africa to promote a much deeper dialogue between government and the transport industry inclusive of all other stakeholders with direct or indirect interest in the transport industry.

Transport Minister Dr Blade Nzimande during opening of the Department of Transport convened Maritime Sector Transport Dialogue in Durban on Thursday

“A great deal of what has interested me in this sector is not only its complexity, but most importantly its power to transform every sector of the economy. Transport has also a social transformation dimension for, through improved access and affordability, it has an ability to deepen social interaction almost at all levels.

“If then transport has such power to cause or bring about change, it means when managed well, it is no insignificant contributor to total transformation of society. It could therefore be suggested that an untransformed transport sector limits the ability of society to fully transform.

“But what I have observed is a much deeper question or challenge of our industry and, that is, its inability to talk within itself. This question has therefore kept me wondering in how we could create a transport dialogue platform of not only the transport stakeholders but also its customers and the society at large.

“There is lot that can be achieved when working cooperatively and collaboratively across all transport sectors. I have therefore decided to launch the Transport Industry Dialogue series and I aim to achieve a much closer working relationship between government, labour and business.

“It is through these dialogues that the mission of transport that of transforming society will be better shared and possibly understood better for decisive and integrated actions.

Some of the delegates to the Department of Transport convened two days maritime sector transport dialogue over two days beginning on Thursday in Durban.

“The inaugural Maritime Transport dialogue event is the first one in the series not only because of the globalizing nature of maritime transport, but because we also aim in 2019 to accelerate the implementation of the Comprehensive Maritime Policy (CMTP) as approved by Cabinet in 2017.

“South Africa is a coastal state surrounded by three oceans and yet we are yet to fully enjoy the benefits of being a coastal state through our ocean based economy. The CMTP calls us to develop South Africa to become an international maritime centre.

“This inaugural maritime dialogue will, from now on, become an annual feature in the maritime calendar and I have no doubt of its ability to help us achieve this desire of being an international maritime Centre,” said Dr Nzimande.

This blog will carry further updates on Thursday through to the weekend in multimedia format.


Ten crew members rescued from sunken fishing vessel in West Coast. SAMSA launches an investigation into the incident.

SAMSA File photo.

Pretoria: 16 February 2019

The South African Maritime Safety Authority has confirmed the sinking of a fishing vessel off the west coast of the Western Cape near Saldahna Bay and the successful rescue of its 10 member crew early on Saturday morning.

According to the SAMSA Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town, the incident of the sinking of the fishing trawler, registered as Ankoveld/ZR4388, occurred early on Saturday morning at a position some 28.5 nautical miles west north west of Cape St Martin and same distance from the closest land point.

The MRCC said the vessel’s skipper who was among the 10 rescued crew confirmed that the Ankoveld experienced difficulties after it had begun to take water in the engine room, following to which it capsized and sank.

After being alerted to the incident, the MRCC through the rescue sub-rescue centre in Saldanha mobilized a vessel nearest the incident, the Atlantic Leader, which successfully rescued the sunken fishing vessel’s 10 member crew that had already abandoned ship to life rafts.

The centre said a navigational warning had been promulgated warning other vessels sailing in the vicinity of the sunken vessel. SAMSA officials in Saldanha Bay were on the case to conduct an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, the 10 member crew of the sunken fishing vessel were also confirmed to have since landed safely with the Atlantic Leader rescue vessel at Laaiplek harbour.


SAMSA launches a probe into deadly vessel fire at port of Durban


PRETORIA: 15 February 2019

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has confirmed launch of an investigation into the incident of a vessel that caught on fire in Durban on Thursday and in which there were several casualties.

SAMSA confirmed that six (6) people had died during the fire incident on board the vessel.

SAMSA said the fishing vessel known as the TROPICAL 1 was Mozambique registered and that the agency was in the process of formally making contact with the Mozambican authorities to inform them about the incident.

According to SAMSA, the fishing vessel was docked at the Durban harbour for repair work when it caught on fire. The cause of the fire had not been established yet.

SAMSA said on Friday that bodies of the deceased crew had been retrieved and placed at a mortuary in Durban. Five of the deceased were Mozambican nationals while a sixth crew member was of Portuguese origin.

SAMSA said 12 other crew members were being attended to and that a SAMSA team was scheduled to meet them for a statement at about lunchtime on Friday.

SAMSA further said actual inspection of the vessel with the view to determining the cause of the fire would be undertaken as soon conditions allowed.

Mozambican authorities had already been verbally briefed via telephone, with a full report due to follow soon.

Meanwhile, photographs taken of the rescue effort on Thursday reflect on the ferocity of the fire and which led to the vessel listing on the port side.

Firefighters are seen doing to their best to save the vessel from complete destruction.

*This story has been updated with more detail



SAMSA sharing careers development information with youth one class at a time.

DSC_9279.JPGPretoria: 11 February 2018

With South Africa’s economic development plans now fully inclusive of the maritime sector wherein billions of rand are to be invested and  thousands of jobs expected to be created progressively in the next decade, preparing properly prospective labour with accurate information on careers has come into sharp focus.

It is with that in mind that the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has stepped up its ongoing maritime sector public awareness campaign by developing a Careers Awareness Programme for high school learners across the country as part of its corporate social investment programme.

DSC_9381A week ago, Ngwenyathi High School on the rural outskirts of East London in the Eastern Cape province was the demonstration venue of the new online careers programme for high schools.

Ngwenyathi High School is one of only four maritime high schools currently in the province and is the first of two established with the assistance of SAMSA about a decade ago.

Targeted for the Careers Awareness Programme were Grade 11 pupils who were taken through the online programme by Ms Anne-Marie Stanisavljevic of The Education Agency together with SAMSA southern region manager, Ms Bongiwe Stofile and SAMSA CSI Manager, Ms Mapitso Dlepu

DSC_9327According to SAMSA, the programme is designed to allow high school pupils an opportunity to get a broad sense of what careers are available both in the maritime and other sectors in order to assist the young people in their choice of school subjects at matric level towards their selected careers.

The live demonstration of the careers programme at the East London school on Wednesday and Thursday last week coincided with South Africa’s president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa’s delivery of the country’s State of the Nation address.

During his speech in Parliament on Thursday evening, Mr Ramaphosa described the country’s maritime economic sector in terms of especially oceans’ economy as holding great promise for the country.

He said: “Since  Operation Phakisa on the Oceans Economy in 2014, we have secured investments of nearly R30 billion and created over 7,000 direct jobs. The investments have been mainly in infrastructure development, marine manufacturing, aquaculture, and the oil and gas sector.

“Expected investment in the Oceans Economy over the next five years is estimated at R3,8 billion by government and R65 billion by the private sector. These investments are expected to create over 100,000 direct jobs and more than 250,000 indirect jobs,” said Mr Ramaphosa.

Ms Anne-Marie Stanisavljeivc of the Education Agency (right) going through the SAMSA Careers Development Programme with Grade 11 pupils of the Ngwenyathi High School near East London on Thursday, 7 February 2019

Earlier in the day in East London, according to Ms Stanisavljevic and Ms Stofile, the high schools targeted SAMSA Careers Development Programme is intended to provide high school learners with career guidance that will help them align their careers choices with their skills, personalities and capabilities.

The programme does not limit itself to maritime high schools or maritime related careers, but extends to just about every career youth may have an interest in, inclusive of related careers.

In the two videos below, the officials explain exactly how the programme works for high school learners both in the short and long term.

The first video reflects on the actual presentation of the programme to learners (+-3.30 minutes), a brief chat with Ms Stanisavljevic (+-3.00 minutes) and a response by Ngwenyathi High School’s deputy Principal, Mr Vuyisile Mtsewu (+-4.30 minutes).

In the second video (+-4.30 minutes), Ms Stofile of SAMSA expands on this and related projects the agency is engaged with on the field of youth empowerment particularly in the Eastern Cape inclusive of the presentation of tertiary level education bursaries to two of the Ngwenyathi High School pupils earlier this year.

The rural villages among which Ngwenyathi High School is situated, some 33 kilometers north of East London, Eastern Cape.