Durban port clean-up underway after massive floods debris – TNPA

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A photo showing the debris that swamped the Durban port after major rains caused flooding in the area over the last few days. Clean-up is now currently underway according to the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA). (Photos supplied by TNPA)

Pretoria: 25 April 2019

A major clean-up of the Durban port is now fully underway following to a  deluge of tons of debris – mostly plastic – that swamped the port due to heavy rains and flooding that affected the area over the last few days.

This is according to the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in a statement issued in Durban on Thursday. The statement reads as follows:

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Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the Port of Durban has commenced a major clean-up to remove the large volume of waste and vegetation from the port after the recent heavy rains and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.

The adverse weather caused the usual deluge of plastic and other debris to flow into the port, leaving behind an unsightly scene just days after World Earth Day was observed globally on 22 April.

Acting Durban Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane, said all Transnet Operating Divisions were carrying out assessments to establish the full extent of damage caused by the storm.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent heavy rains and flooding. We would also like to appeal to the public to please help curb plastic pollution as this causes huge problems when the debris flows into the harbour,” she said.

She said the port’s pollution control teams were on site tackling the debris within port waters, aided by clean-up teams from SpillTech, Drizit and ZMK Enterprises. Progress is slow due to the sheer volume of material that still continues to wash in.

dbn port clean up.jpgThe debris included large logs that posed a threat to the safe navigation of the harbour craft which are used to guide vessels safely in and around the port. The port has been fully operational however, the ingress of waste impacted on vessel movements and as of midday on Wednesday three vessels were unable to berth or sail in the Maydon Wharf precinct, Nkowane confirmed.

“The combined catchment area of the rivers, canals and storm-water drainage systems that drain into the port is over 200km2 in size. The unfortunate reality is the port waters are on the receiving end of the large volume of litter, effluent and sewage that is discharged into the storm-water reticulation system within the catchment,” said Nkowane.

dbn port clean up 2“We must all take responsibility for the well-being of the ocean and coastal environment, and as TNPA we want to help create awareness and promote sustainable practices for the benefit of present and future generations,” she said.

TNPA has been in regular engagements with the eThekwini Municipality regarding the interventions required to address the ingress of waste and effluent into the port from the municipal stormwater network which drains a significant portion of the Durban metropolitan area.

The port’s pollution control department shared the following tips for the public to help in tackling the massive plastic problem:

  • Avoid single-use plastic, which is any plastic item used only once, such as plastic straws and plastic packaging. Plastic is a material that lasts for hundreds of years, yet is often used for only a short time before it is discarded.
  • Get into the habit of recycling and avoid throwing away recyclable items as part of your normal weekly refuse disposal. Items that can and should be recycled include glass, cardboard and paper, tin and aluminium cans (for example from canned food and cool drink), certain plastics such as bottles for drinks and cleaning products. Items should be rinsed before being put into a recycling bin.
  • Get involved in clean-ups, such as those arranged by #CleanBlueLagoon, KZN Beach Clean Up and Durban Bay Cleanup.
  • Observe environmental days such as World Earth Day on 22 April (held under the theme ‘End Plastic Pollution’ in 2018), National Marine Week in the second week of October (under the theme ‘Plastic is Drastic’ in 2018) and World Environment Day on 5 June (under the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution” in 2018)
  • Support organisations such as Durban Green Corridors, Durban Partnership against Plastic Pollution (D-PAPP) and Greenpeace Africa which help to fight plastic and other pollution.

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Interim Maritime Transport Sector Development and BBBEE Councils set up now underway: Department of Transport

PUBLIC INVITATION ISSUED TO NOMINATE MEMBERS TO SERVE IN THE INTERIM MARITIME TRANSPORT SECTOR DEVELOPMENT AND MARITIME BROAD BASED BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT COUNCILS

DSC_4407Pretoria: 11 April 2019

The Department of Transport (DoT) is moving fast to live up to its recent commitment to facilitate with speed the setting up of the country’s first maritime focused councils – a transport sector development council and a maritime  sector BBBEE council – as promised stakeholders during a consultative sector conference held in Durban two months ago.

In Pretoria on Thursday, the DoT issued two public notices inviting various interested and involved stakeholders across the economy to participate in the nomination of people to serve as members of the interim Maritime Transport Sector Development Council (MTSDC) and a  Maritime Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter Council  (MBBBEECC) to be established in June 2019.

The invitees to the envisaged MTSPC interim body set up include Government departments, state owned enterprises, maritime and related industry sectors, academic and research institutions, labour bargaining councils, organized business bodies, chambers of business and industry, industry in general and others.

The second invitation for the formation of the maritime BBBEE Charter Council is extended to all South Africans in general.

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Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande

According to the DoT on Thursday, the establishment of the interim MTSDC in June is in terms of both the requirements of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy  (CMTP) adopted in 2016, as well as the declaration taken during February’s maritime transport sector dialogue held in Durban.

The interim maritime transport council set up public invitation reads:

“The establishment of the interim MTSDC was adopted as part of the Declaration of the Inaugural Maritime Transport Sector Dialogue convened by the Minister on 28 February to 1 March 2019.

The 2019 DECLARATION – MARITIME TRANSPORT INDUSTRY DIALOGUE stated: “Putting in place institutional mechanisms including the Maritime Transport Development Council (MTSDC) we commit to drive transformation, starting with the establishment of the interim MTSDC by end of June 2019, which will lay the basis for the establishment of a permanent structure”.

According to the DoT, the function of the planned MTSDC operating under the direction of the DoT in a promotion and advisory role, will be to –

  • Ensure the provision of highest levels of maritime infrastructure and services by developing and ensuring the approval of the Maritime Transport Sector Development Plan.
  • Promote the South African Maritime industry brand under the banner of Maritime South Africa (MariSA).
  • Support the implementation of the Maritime Transport Strategy by establishing organs to facilitate the implementation of approved plans.
  • Coordinate the implementation of the deliverables of all pillars of the Maritime Transport Strategy.
  • Ensure the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the implementation of the approved plans.
  • Ensure better regulation, governance and sustainable use of the oceans environment by promoting responsible exploration and exploitation of marine resources.
  • Set targets to increase the direct contribution of the maritime transport sector to the economy by adopting and implementing measures to achieve the set targets.
  • Ensure the promotion of maritime transport policy and strategy management by supporting collaboration in maritime related data collection and benchmarking from national and international bodies.
  • Ensure viable, effective, efficient and sustainable maritime public entities.
  • Ensure innovation and research by supporting cross-sectoral collaboration in maritime research and development.
  • Ensure the establishment of the Maritime Fund for the development of the maritime sector by promoting the adoption of innovative funding mechanisms.
  • Ensure the development and implementation of maritime skills development programme by raising maritime awareness and fostering collaboration between local and international institutions.
  • Ensure the development and promotion of a maritime youth development programme by fostering collaboration between public and private entities.
  • Ensure the revitalisation of the South African shipping industry by promoting the development of indigenous coastal and regional shipping services and promoting the establishment of the national shipping carrier(s).
  • Ensure the transformation of the maritime industry by introducing and implementing measures to promote broad based benefits for historically disadvantaged segments of the South African society.
  • Ensure the organisation and functioning of Chambers to support the implementation of the maritime strategy under the themes
    • Merchant shipping revitalisation;
    • Industry support programmes;
    • Broad based benefits;
    • Environmental safeguards; and
    • Enabling funding mechanisms.
  • Appoint members of the Executive Committee of the MTSDC
  • Appoint the president and vice president of the plenary of the MTSDC

The DoT said on receipt of the nominations, Transport Minister shall appoint members to constitute the MTSDC including the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Executive Committee of the MTSDC.

With regards the maritime sector BBBEE Charter Council  due for establishment in May, the notice reads that South Africans acting in terms of policy statement (3) (n) of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) are invited to nominate suitable persons to be appointed as members of the council.

The new council’s role will be to “consider and adopt Maritime Sector Codes of Good Practice on Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment in terms of Section 9(1) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003 as amended by Act 46 of 2013.

“Members of the Maritime BBBEE Charter Council must demonstrate years of active involvement in industry and people development and experience in running successful maritime businesses in such positions as entrepreneurs; professional services and labour in the areas of infrastructure and or in maritime operations and broader maritime value chain. A clear understanding of BBBEE policy and legislation and a working knowledge of the CMTP will be strong recommendations.”

The closing date for the nominations for both councils is 10 May 2019.

For enquiries, interested parties should contact Mr Dumisani Theophelus Ntuli, Acting DDG: Maritime Transport, Department of Transport on ntulid@dot.gov.za OR Ms Tsepiso Mashiloane or on mashilot@dot.gov.za

This is article has been updated the highlight the planned month (May 2019)  for the establishment of the Maritime Sector Broad Based Black Economic Charter Council.

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South Africa all out to draw global cruise liners to its port cities: SAMSA

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Pretoria: 10 April 2019

South Africa moved to take its rightful place in the global cruise tourism industry and increase its share of the cruise market by beefing up its presence at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference currently underway in Miami, Florida, USA this week.

The conference held at Miami Beach Convention Center over three days, and viewed as the world’s foremost cruise industry event, began on Monday and ends on Wednesday this week.

SeatradeCruiseGlobalSignificantly for South Africa,  the South African Safety Maritime Authority (SAMSA) is leading a delegation of 10 organisations exhibiting at the conference,  in a bid to attract more cruise ships and liners to South Africa.

The South Africa delegation is accommodated in a 140m2 ‘South African Pavilion’ at Seatrade, where it showcases the offerings of the KZN Cruise Terminal, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Cruise Terminal and Durban Tourism. The Eastern Cape Provincial Government and the Department of Trade and Industry are also participating.

According to SAMSA, Seatrade is the largest global gathering of the cruise industry and and the agency believes that an improved showing at the event – South Africa has one of the biggest stands – will lead to more cruise tourism.

According to SAMSA, South Africa’s share of the global cruise market is estimated at less than 1 per cent. Notably, South Africa has exhibited at the global gathering before, but not as aggressively and not as a combined package.

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. SAMSA Acting CEO.

SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi says this year’s increased investment in Seatrade is intended to showcase the full range of South Africa’s offering as a cruise destination.

“The cruise tourism industry is the only growth area in the broader maritime shipping sector. It is envisaged to double in size over the next eight to 10 years with all the order books of the shipping yards full until 2027. But while the global cruise industry is growing exponentially, South Africa is not reaping its full share of the benefits.

“Our share of the market is miniscule and this is mainly due to lack of infrastructure and lack of action. South Africa has rectified the infrastructure issue through the development of two world class terminals in Cape Town and Durban. Now SAMSA is tackling the issue  by proactively marketing South Africa as a cruise destination.”

According to Mr Tilayi, SAMSA had opted to take the lead and manage South Africa’s presence at Seatrade because it was determined to fulfill its mandate to promote South Africa’s maritime interests.

In addition to lending a hand in attracting more global cruise liners onto South African shores, SAMSA since 2016 launched a jobs focused initiative called the Maritime Youth Development Programme and through which South African youth is recruited and placed on cruise vessels across the world.

Working in partnerships with interested parties as the Gauteng and Eastern Cape Premiers’ Offices, Harambee and others, SAMSA is continuing with the programme which is hoped will create no less than 1000 job opportunities on global cruise liners annually.

Mr Tilayi says: “There is a lot of opportunity to create jobs and to grow the maritime economy. Unfortunately, South Africa has not fully exploited these opportunities. SAMSA is determined to accelerate the process by, among other things, ensuring South Africa is prominent at all the necessary global gatherings, such as Seatrade, and by building on our Ships Register, which we have also been actively doing,” he says.

He describes SAMSA as confident that SA’s presence at Seatrade will entrench the message that South Africa is open for business as a cruising destination.

“South Africa has a world-class cruise offering, but we have not communicated that effectively in the past. We are rectifying that oversight with our presence at Seatrade. We are saying to the world, Come to South Africa; it really is a world in one country. And it is your loss if you never visit.” he says.

Below are two video interviews of South African youth, one with Miss Asisipho Nombityana who is now on her second year working, and another with Miss Aviwe Makhaba who was due to start work earlier in 2019.

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Durban port adverse weather conditions alert!

Pretoria: 04 April 2019

The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in Durban has issued an extra-ordinary adverse weather alert as follows:

“Dear Customer

Please be advised that the Port Of Durban is expected to experience severe adverse weather, with winds gusting up to 50 knots South  Westerly and swells over 4 meters. Please advise all vessels in Port and at Durban anchorage to put out extra oorings , have engines on short notice and standby on Channel 9 and 16. Periodic updates will follow on the night shift.”

According to SAMSA, the notice was issued by Jessie Govender, Berth Planning Manager, TNPA on Thursday afternoon.

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Maritime industry keen for speedy action to resolution of maritime risk challenges.

Agrees to support the intention to introduce new levies to boost the Maritime Fund.

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Pretoria: 04 April 2019

Positioning two emergency towing vessels (ETVs) – one more than at present – at strategic locations along South Africa’s coastline, and centralizing technologies for monitoring of South Africa’s oceans at the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), are among consensus views shared at the SA Maritime Risk Workshop held in Durban last week.

However crucial also was a unanimous decision by industry for new levies to boost and consolidate the country’s maritime fund administered by SAMSA as the main financial resource for addressing and improving maritime risk related issues.

These were among about a dozen issues enumerated for discussion and decision during a SAMSA organized two-day South Africa Maritime Risk Workshop held in Durban on Wednesday and Thursday last week, involving about 70 delegates from the public and private sector with direct interest in the country’s maritime sector.

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The purpose of the workshop, according to SAMSA, was to provide opportunity for the country’s maritime sector to focus on the state of the country’s maritime risks and come up with workable solutions to ensure safety and security in the sector.

Issues for discussion ranged from an overview of the country’s maritime risk profile involving case studies, the country’s legislative framework and institutional responsibilities, third parties dependencies, to maritime domain awareness, pollution monitoring and combating, the country’s response capability as well as funding.

Several presenters, all experts in their respective fields both in the private and public sectors of the maritime sector, led the discussions. The outcomes would be compiled into a consensus view report for submission to the SAMSA Board of Directors for further action.

In the final analysis, about a half dozen or so issues were enumerated for consensus decisions to enable the fast-tracking of implementation. The list included:

  • South Africa’s tooling capacity to vessels emergency response,
  • Aerial capability for oceans monitoring,
  • Advanced technologies for day to day monitoring and management of vessel traffic and related matters such as oceans pollution, as well as their central location,
  • Oil combating capability as regards its institutional location,
  • A precise definition of the country’s state of readiness spelling out exactly what oceans emergency situations the country should be ready for, and indicators thereof
  • Institutional arrangements: relating to enhancement of cooperation and collaboration among various key role-players in the sector,
  • Legislation: but particularly with regards to ensuring that all relevant legislation to management of the country’s maritime sector is up to date along with related regulations.
  • Funding, with regards to precisely the positioning of the Maritime Fund as envisaged in the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP)
  • Maritime security imperatives as falling within the Maritime Security Advisory Committee.

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On Thursday, the second and final day of the workshop, delegates expressed agreement with a suggestion that two Emergency Towing Vessels would be sufficient for the country’s oceans area – this based on a feasibility study conducted on behalf of the Department of Transport and presented by Mr Brian Blackbeard of the Atlantis Consulting group.

According to Mr Blackbeard, operational requirements of an ETV primarily involve preventing marine pollution at sea and secondary to which are; protecting life and property at sea, detecting, reporting, investigating and combating marine pollution at sea, as well as salvaging wrecked, stranded or abandoned ships at sea.

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The area of operation of the ETV is described as including all of South Africa’s maritime zones as made up of both the territorial waters and contiguous zone, the country’s exclusive economic zone incorporating both the Prince Edward and Marion Islands, the continental shelf, the Antarctic claim as well as the SAMSA Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre’s area of responsibility.

According to Mr Blackbeard, the area of operation is vast, hostile with dense marine traffic inclusive of large vessels as well as an increase in leisure cruise vessels.

With regards to South Africa’s aerial capabilities, the workshop noted that South Africa possessed pockets of expertise and resources notable working in isolation and that it was necessary for the maritime sector to determine the correct necessary mix of aerial surveillance tools including the alternative technologies such as drones and synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

On the location of dedicated technologies to maritime risk, the consensus view was that SAMSA, as the country’s dedicated maritime safety authority already in charge of Sea Watch and Rescue (SWR) should be the custodian of both existing and future technologies – including that currently under development by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on behalf of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

DSC_9789.jpgWith regards oil combating capability, the view was that ongoing engagement on modalities of the function should continue between DEA, the Department of Transport (DoT) and SAMSA. Otherwise the issue was considered settled with no need for further broad stakeholders engagement.

In terms of institutional arrangements involving cross institutional functions and responsibilities, the Incident Management Organisation (IMOrg) would be a peace time forum ensuring preparedness for offshore oil and gas spills . In case of emergency response, plans are underway to introduce the Incident Management System(IMS) as a preferred incident response model.

The IMOrg was established in October 2017 under Operation Phakisa and is chaired by the Department of Transport, charged with managing oil and gas spillages at sea.

The Maritime rescue coordination centre (MRCC)will continue  undertaking sea rescue missions for distraught vessels and seafarers within the 2 798 kilometre South African coastline.

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It is constituted by SAMSA, the National Disaster Management Centre, the Petroleum Agency of South Africa, DEA and the Department of Mineral & Resources to name but a few.

The Durban workshop was assured that the channel was taking shape, but with still a lot of work to be done including clearly defining and finalizing responsibilities for each of its constituent entities.

The Maritime Security Advisory Committee was deemed the ideal forum to handle matters relating to piracy and armed robbery against ships,as well as, port facilities securityOn legislation, the Durban maritime risk workshop delegates accepted that SAMSA along with the DoT would be left to handle management of the revision of the country’s maritime sector laws.

This being the case, the DoT indicated that three base legislations, the Merchant Shipping Act, Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Bill and the Maritime Sector Development Bill were awaiting Cabinet approval which would occur only after the constitution of the country’s 6th Government administration following the 08 May 2019 general elections.

The ratification of the three pieces of principal legislation would, according to DoT Acting Deputy Director General for the Maritime Transport, Mr Dumisani Ntuli, provide the basis for the updating and development of new regulations.

To hear his full remarks on specifically this matter, click on the video below.

A final and perhaps highly significant consensus agreement reached by the delegates was that relating to funding, with those present nodding support for the intention of imposition of special levies to boost the Maritime Fund as a primary resource for maritime risk related matters.

For the brief moment during which this viewpoint was agreed on, click on the video below.

For closing remarks of the two day workshop by Mr Ntuli, click on the video below.

Meanwhile, the DoT further expressed its pleasure with the holding as well as outcomes of the SA Maritime Risk workshop by SAMSA, expressing belief that it is among important steps due for undertaking to ensure ongoing development of the country’s maritime sector but particularly in terms aims envisaged through the CMPT. For more on this click on the video below. Mr Terrence Mabuela talk to the blog for a few minutes. Click on he video below.

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