Pretoria: 16 February 2020
The staging later this year of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) World Maritime Day Parallel event in South Africa presents both the country and the African continent a major opportunity to not only showcase own advances in maritime sector developments, but also a business case to enhance economic ties.
This is according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) during a presentation to stakeholders of a report on the state of South Africa’s maritime sector in Cape Town this past week.
The SAMSA Stakeholders Dinner, held this year at the Cape Town Waterfront is an event staged annually on the eve of the country’s State of the Nation address by the country’s President in Parliament. In addition to the Department of Transport, attendees include some of the country’s leading figures across several subsectors of the maritime economic sector.
On Wednesday evening in Cape Town, SAMSA acting CEO Mr Sobantu Tilayi said the historic inaugural staging of the IMO’s World Maritime Day Parallel event from 27-29 October 2020, in Durban – involving no less than 170 IMO Member States – would appropriately draw the world’s attention to the country, thereby presenting it an excellent opportunity to showcase its own advances in the maritime economic sector.
However, with the Association of African Maritime Administrators (AAMA) also staging its annual conference in the country also during the same period, the events presents an opportunity for the continent to strengthen and enhance cooperation on joint programmes to build and widen economic opportunities in the maritime sector.
Mr Tilayi said one such aspect of emerging closer cooperation and collaboration among African countries was an agreement being worked in AAMA to align general regulatory processes, as well as harmonise standards for maritime sector education and training programmes.
Mr Tilayi also highlighted progress being achieved domestically to unlock bottlenecks that inhibit the expansion of the South African maritime economic sector as well as efficient and effective regulation.
These challeges included the thorny issue of taxation affecting shipping, delays in passage of crucial legislation to enable implementation of IMO’s regulatory instruments, creeping high costs in cargo shipments due to the introduction in January 2020 of the low sluphur fuel regime and others.
Mr Tilayi thanked the country’s maritime sector roleplayers and interested parties for their continued support of SAMSA and the Department of Transport, describing the established close relationship as vital to success with programmes to advance the country’s maritime economic sector.
The country’s Ports Regulator, Mr Mahesh Fakir also weighed in, sharing highlights of progress being achievined to enhance the performance of South Africa’s commercial ports.
For their full remarks, click on the videos below.
Also as captured in the video below, Captain Nick Sloane, a director of Resolve Marine Group expressed appreciation of the regular feedback by SAMSA to maritime economic sector roleplayers.