Vessel held at port of Port Elizabeth pending fire incident investigation: SAMSA

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SAMSA FILE PHOTO

Pretoria: 18 March 2019

A vessel upon which fire broke out at the port of Port Elizabeth on Sunday will remain berthed until an investigation into the cause of the fire has been completed, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed on Monday.

According to SAMSA, the investigation which is already underway follows the breakout of a fire on board the Motor Fishing Vessel Lubbetje, some time on Sunday morning while it was docked at the port of Port Elizabeth.

The fire was successfully put out within hours and, according to SAMSA, only one person sustained minor injuries.

SAMSA Principal Officer (for the Port Elizabeth office), Capt. Neville Noble said on Monday: “I can confirm that SAMSA started an investigation into the fire onboard the Lubbetje yesterday. The fire was extinguished and the vessel is currently not in danger of sinking, but was prohibited from sailing pending further investigation. Received reports indicate that there was only minor injuries.”

According to Capt. Noble, the investigation is being prioritised and it is expected that it will completed soon.

The vessel is a 377 GT (34.87m) local fishing vessel owned by Premier Fishing.

The incident is reported to have not caused any disruption in shipping traffic through port of Port Elizabeth harbour.

There may be updates to this report.

End

No matric pass without swimming: Transport Minister

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School children on board the SA Agulhas while docked in Port Elizabeth recently. (SAMSA File Photo)

Pretoria: 11 March 2019

Rapid transformation and development of South Africa’s maritime economic sector will require several interventions among which must be a comprehensive education, training and skills programme to equip particularly youth with the requisite knowledge that will ensure meaningful inclusion and participation.

According  to Transport Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande this may include school going children in particularly coastal areas of the country being required to learn how to swim as part of their basic education.

South Africa’s coastline covers a length of some 3 200km along which four provinces; KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape are settled, from the Indian Ocean in the east, Southern Ocean in the south through to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

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Minister of Transport: Dr Blade Nzimande

Swimming as a possible compulsory subject for South African schools was among a raft of projects proposals mentioned and discussed at the recent maritime transport sector inaugural dialogue held in Durban.

In his closing remarks of the gathering, Dr Nzimande said the seriousness of the proposal for swimming  to be a compulsory school activity was such that it might become a necessary competency that  is a condition to exiting high school.

“I cannot commit to the idea until it has been canvassed with the relevant departments including the Minister of Basic Education. But I think it’s a good idea that we should not allow any child to complete matric without also learning to swim.,” he said.

Jokingly he said that of all sports codes in the country, swimming was the only sports the majority of South Africans – precisely black people – did not really care about its transformation because, he said: “They are afraid of water.” This had to change, he said, in order to broaden and deepen transformation of the maritime transport sector.

Among other issues the maritime transport sector could look forward to in 2019 would be the launch of an Inland Waterways Strategy following to its approval by government recently.

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

Meanwhile, a Maritime Transport Sector Declaration developed and adopted by delegates to the Department of Transport convened two-days meeting in Durban has been released and shared with delegates this past week.

To access and download the document, click on the link below:

2019 DECLARATION – MARITIME TRANSPORT INDUSTRY DIALOGUE

End

 

 

Maritime transport sector in for a shake-up and shape-up phase: Transport Ministry

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Durban: 02 March 2019

South Africa’s maritime transport sector is poised for a significant shake-up and shape-up phase over the next few years including the possible corporatization of the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), establishment of innovation hubs, reconfiguration of maritime education and training as well as a push towards domestication of local shipping trade transport occurring along the country’s and southern region coastal areas.

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Minister of Transport; Dr Blade Nzimande

That is according to South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande in an address to delegates to the country’s inaugural maritime transport sector dialogue held in Durban on Thursday and Friday this week.

The gathering at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel on the Durban beachfront and with its focus on the maritime transport sector, was the first in a series planned for the country’s transport industry over the next few months and years.

Guiding focus of the maritime transport sector dialogue was the recently promulgated Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP), a product of the National Transport Masterplan (NATMAP) 2050, aimed at facilitating collective pursuit and achievement of maritime sector economic development targets some set under the country’s Operation Phakisa: Ocean’s Economy programme for the next decade.

Among other things, the CMTP requires the Department of Transport to ‘initiate programmes to holistically and coherently grow and develop the South African maritime transport sector.’

On Thursday in Durban, Dr Nzimande who celebrated his first full year as Minister of Transport in February, said several proposals towards fulfillment of the goal were on the table for consideration. Among these was the setting up soon of a Maritime Transport Sector Development Council (MTSD), a development delegates to the dialogue have since endorsed.

Dr Nzimande said the council may be up and running by June 2019, even if on an interim basis pending finalization of its member composition and related matters.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) corporatisation

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However, also on the cards was a contemplated corporatisation of the country’s ports management entity, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), with a view to unlocking vast economic opportunities identified within the country’s ports area of contribution and influence.

Dr Nzimande said “The present policy and legislation of government requires that we corporatize the Transnet National Ports Authority. I will be tasking the National Ports Consultative Committee to advise me on the steps to be undertaken to implement this crucial piece of legislation.

“I know that there is a debate (about this) because there are some people who are not wild about this idea. But a debate is good.”

He said this would take place against the backdrop of recognition that the country’s ports regulator was already doing a sterling job in creating a conducive and investor friendly environment at the ports, and also helping to reduce costs of doing business in the economic zones.

For Dr Nzimande’s remarks on the topic, Click on the 3 minutes video below

Transport innovation hubs

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Dr Nzimande said another crucial intervention would be the establishment of transport innovation hubs to facilitate the harnessing of talent and skills in the development of solutions to the country’s transport sector, inclusive of the maritime sector.

Describing this as something ‘very close to my heart’, Dr Nzimande said: “I am really committed into investing in having transport innovation hubs. We are not going to transform the transport sector generally, or any mode of transport, without investment into science, technology and innovation.”

Illustrating the particular importance of this aspect of development, Dr Nzimande drew an example about the country’s rail transport and said it was inconceivable that in modern times, trains in South Africa were still colliding randomly on railways when transport mobility technology had so advanced such that such collisions should be history.

He said the innovations hubs would facilitate the promotion and harnessing of science, technology and innovation ideas for deployment in areas of transport to help improve both functionality as well as efficient services. He said he would set up a task team to explore and pursue the idea towards implementation.

For Dr Nzimande’s remarks on the topic, Click on the 3 minutes video below

Focused education, training and skills transfer

On education and training, Dr Nzimande said empowerment and transformation in the sector was proving futile in the absence of proper and relevant education, training and skills transfer.

He said black economic empowerment was meaningless if it was limited only to shareholding while those sought to be empowered knew next to nothing about managing and understanding businesses in the maritime economic sector.

Towards addressing the situation, Dr Nzimande said his department would engage with various role-players inclusive of the Department of Higher Education and Training, with a view to establishing a dedicated education, training and skills development focus for the sector.

For his remarks on this aspect, Click on the video below:

Domestication of shipping and localization of content

Dr Nzimande also reflected on a number of issues inclusive of the need for a South Africa owned fleet of shipping vessels, as well as an increase in local content in the boat and ships repair and manufacturing subsectors.

On development of locally owned or registered ships, Dr Nzimande said coastal shipping could be supported in various ways inclusive of local mining output, but also the shifting some of the road transported goods onto ships that would service the southern African region.

With regards utilization of local content in ship repair and manufacturing, he said empowerment through shareholding by South Africans in operations that were importing goods that could be manufactured locally actually amounted to dis-empowerment as such schemes derived no meaningful and sustainable benefits for the local economy.

For his full remarks on this topic, Click Here:

For Dr Nzimande’s full unedited full speech, click here

End

Interim maritime sector development council to launch in June.

DSC_9580.JPGDurban: 01 March 2019

Delegates to a two day maritime sector transport dialogue held in Durban on Thursday and Friday wholly endorsed the setting up of a proposed development council for the sector, possibly as early June 2019.

This emerged at the closure of the event by Transport Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande at about lunchtime on Friday, following to two days of deliberation by hundreds of delegates representing government, the private sector as well as academia.

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Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande

According to Dr Nzimande, establishment of the development council for the maritime economic sector is a proposal emanating from the adoption and implementation of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) in 2017.

In his opening address on Thursday, Dr Nzimande said the maritime transport sector was a “key component in government’s objective in growing and developing the oceans economy.”

He said according to current estimates of the Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy strategy, the country’s oceans in which South Africa has as much as 1.5-million square kilometers of an exclusive economic zone, have the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create just over one million jobs by 2033 and between 800 000 and 1-million direct jobs.

“Through Operation Phakisa, 47 detailed initiatives have been identified, whose progressive implementation is expected to increase the oceans economy’s GDP contribution by R20 million per annum and lead to the creation of 22 000 direct new jobs this year, 2019,” he said.

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Some of the delegates to the Department of Transport convened two day maritime sector dialogue held in Durban on Thursday and Friday.

However, very little progress was being achieved both in terms of actual economic and business development as well as transformation due to a whole range of reasons, hence the need for those immersed in or with interest in the sector to get around a table and devise workable plans about how best to overcome identified challenges.

He said: “As the Department of Transport, we are leading the Marine Transport and Manufacturing work stream, which is amongst the six work streams established by Operation Phakisa ocean economy.

“Amongst others, our work stream has highlighted a concern that South Africa currently has no registered ships (since corrected to “two or three”). This is in spite of the fact that each year, 300-million tons of cargo moves through our ports in imports and exports.

“In addition, 1.2-million tonnes of liquid fuels move along our coast, while the rapidly expanding offshore oil and gas activities require a supporting fleet of vessels,” he said

DSC_9581.JPGConfronted by these and various other challenges, Dr Nzimande said the proposed development council, in terms of the CMTP, was intended as a critical intervention to assist with realization of the goals of growth, development and transformation of maritime transport.”

He said: “The CMTP envisages the establishment of the Maritime Transport Sector Development Council as a platform and vehicle to develop concrete strategies and co-operation to develop and transform the sector. This Council is also expected to develop appropriate plans to grow the sector within the context of the oceans economy.

“The development of a multiyear Maritime Transport Sector Plan (MTSDP) as well as the review and monitoring of the overall performance of the sector are key tasks assigned to the MTSDC by the CMTP.”

On Friday, Dr Nzimande announced that delegates to the two day Transport Department dialogue were with one voice that the proposal should be implemented as soon as possible.

He said establishment of the council could occur as early June 2019, even if on an interim basis.

End

 

 

 

 

Development council proposed for maritime sector: Dr Blade Nzimande

DSC_9520.JPGDurban: 01 March 2019

The establishment of a Maritime Transport Sector Development Council may be one critical intervention necessary as a platform and vehicle to develop concrete strategies and co-operation to develop and transform the sector, Transport Minister Dr Blade Nzimande has announced.

He was addressing hundreds of delegates attending the Department of Transport’s two-day dialogue on maritime sector transport in Durban on Thursday. These include government, private sector and academia representatives from across the country.

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Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande

According to Dr Nzimande the Council would also be expected to develop appropriate plans to grow the sector within the context of the oceans economy.

The proposal was coming against the backdrop of the introduction of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) in 2017 aimed at expanding opportunity as well as foster transformation in the sector.

On Thursday, he said: “For us to succeed in the growth, development and transformation of the maritime sector, the Department of Transport introduced the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) to realize the goals of growth, development and transformation of maritime transport.

“The CMTP calls on all of us to help develop and position South Africa as an international maritime centre. Part of what we have been working on as the Department of Transport, has been the identification of both obstacles and gaps in current legislation, especially legislative or legal impediments to the smooth implementation of the CMTP.

“The CMTP vision of a maritime transport industry is that of ‘an effective and growing industry that is safe, secure, reliable, economical and well regulated.’ It goes further to say that ‘it should be environmentally sustainable within the global logistics chain, and contribute to South Africa’s socio economic development and growth.’

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Some of the delegates to the inaugural Department of Transport’s maritime sector transport dialogues in Durban.

“The CMTP envisages the establishment of the Maritime Transport Sector Development Council as a platform and vehicle to develop concrete strategies and co-operation to develop and transform the sector. This Council is also expected to develop appropriate plans to grow the sector within the context of the oceans economy,” said Dr Nzimande.

Existence of the new Council would, he said, enable the development of a multiyear Maritime Transport Sector Plan (MTSDP) as well as the review and monitoring of the overall performance of the sector as key tasks assigned to the MTSDC by the CMTP.

“I would like to move with speed to establish the necessary framework for the institutionalization of these bodies because I believe they will help achieve our development objectives.

“Making such decisions will not only revitalize shipping but will also save our country the estimated R46 billion per annum of freight transportation costs.

“Parallel to the adoption of favorable trade terms, it has become urgent that mining and energy sectors hold consultations towards the development and adoption of an incentivized scorecard in the procurement of shipping transportation especially for the movement of coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome and other materials in the context of agreed percentages for such transportation as reserved for South African ships. “

Dr Nzimande also confirmed the launch next month of the Maritime International Relations and Technical Cooperation Committee (MIRTC) to enhance planning and execution of maritime economic diplomacy.

He said: “My Department has advised me that the Maritime International Relations and Technical Cooperation Committee (MIRTC) as envisaged in the CMTP is being established next month. The MIRTC will enhance the planning and execution of our maritime economic diplomacy.

“I also understand that, consultations are at advanced stage toward the establishment of the BRICS Maritime Forum. Further consultations will be undertaken in the margins of the forthcoming BRICS Summit taking place in Brazil in August 2019.

“I would wish to encourage the setting up of these structures as they will go a long way in ensuring that we engage internationally with a very clear articulation of what our international maritime strategic approach is,” he said.

For Dr Nzimande’s full remarks, either read the full text below, or click on the video below.

DSC_9530Remarks by Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande at the inaugural transport dialogue for the maritime economic sector in Durban on Thursday – the first of two days of the event.

Video:

Speech Text

Ladies and gentlemen,

Sanibonani, good morning to you all.

I am pleased to welcome you to the first Ministerial Dialogue series on Transport. In this dialogue convened for the coming two days, we will be  discussing and engaging on the South African Maritime Transport Industry and its contribution towards creating jobs – moving south Africa forward.

The inaugural Maritime Transport dialogue event is the first in a series of transport dialogues. Cabinet adopted the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) as a framework for the growth, development, and the transformation of maritime transport in our country.

It is time that all the stakeholders gather and have such a dialogue in order to hopefully agree on a common approach to the accelerated transformation of the sector.

So that we properly understand the true nature of the sector, my department, working together with the sector as a whole, to produce a proper picture of the state of the maritime transport sector.

I strongly support more extensive and intensive research into this sector so that we are better informed about what is to be done. The maritime transport sector is a also a key component in government’s objective in growing and developing the oceans economy.

If I were to compress my speech into a few sentences about what this dialogue should achieve, I would say that what is paramount in my mind as we gather over the next two days is: what are the obstacles to the transformation of the maritime sector generally, and the maritime transport component of this sector in particular? And what is to be done?

What economic opportunities are there to to grow and develop a transforming maritime transport sector? How do we ensure inclusive growth and development of the sector, including the previously disadvantaged, as well as women and youth? How do we accelerate employment equity and decent working environment in this sector?

I expect frank and robust discussions in exploring these questions over the next two days, but minimizing lamenting and focus on concrete actions and strategies to transform the sector.

I wish to state upfront that there is no contradiction between growth and development of the sector on the one hand, and the transformation of the sector. Instead the two are closely intertwined.

There can be no growth and development of the sector unless it is inclusive and transforming!

Ladies and gentlemen

Government’s starting point is that South Africa is surrounded by just under 4000 kilometers of sea line and we have correctly identified our oceans as a strategic resource and that which we have not fully taken advantage of given its hugely untapped potential.

According to Operation Phakisa – Oceans Economy strategy, the oceans have the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create just over one million jobs by 2033 and between 800 000 and 1 million direct jobs.

Through Operation Phakisa, forty-seven (47) detailed initiatives have been identified, whose progressive implementation is expected to increase the oceans economy’s GDP contribution by R20 million per annum and lead to the creation of 22 000 direct new jobs this year, 2019.

To further explore this potential, government brought together teams from government, labour, business, academia and other sectors to work together in experimental laboratories, to explore all possibilities and further unlock the potential of our country’s vast coastline.

This is all consolidated under Operation Phakisa. In addition to these laboratories, we therefore can achieve more of these objectives if we put in place two enablers of Skills and Capacity Building and that of Research, Technology and Innovation also to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

As the Department of Transport, we are leading the Marine Transport and Manufacturing work stream, which is amongst the six work streams established by Operation Phakisa ocean economy.

Amongst others, our work stream has highlighted a concern that South Africa currently has no registered ships. This is in spite of the fact that each year, three hundred million (300 million) tons of cargo moves through our ports in imports and exports.

In addition, 1.2 million tonnes of liquid fuels move along our coast, while the rapidly expanding offshore oil and gas activities require a supporting fleet of vessels.

As a country, we are ideally positioned to serve the East-West cargo traffic and the booming African offshore oil and gas industry, through marine manufacturing, which includes ship and rig repair, refurbishment and boat-building.

Despite this competitive advantage in geography, we currently capture only one percent of the global market of ship repair and replenishment. Of the eighty (80) oil rigs estimated to be in the range of the Western Cape, only four rigs are serviced per year, showing significant potential for growth.

We therefore need to swiftly meet some of the initial targets drawn up by this work stream which include:

  • An increase in the local manufacturing capacity through a ten percent  increase in the usage of local components for boat and ship building;
  • An increase in the ship repair capacity in Richards Bay, thus creating two hundred (200) direct jobs;
  • To create a dedicated education, training and skills development focus for the sector, working with the Department of Higher Education and Training in particular.
  • Increasing the amount of minerals exported on South African ships, as well as the attracting investment into the development of coastal shipping, through transportation of goods and products (eg. motor vehicles) through sea whilst simultaneously growing tourism in this regard.

Ladies and gentlemen

I decided as part my commitment as Minister of Transport to promote a much deeper dialogue between government, labour, business and academia with direct or indirect interest in the transport industry generally, starting with the maritime transport dialogue.

Today, as we reflect on the maritime sector, we can attest to meaningful progress already achieved. However more still need to be done particularly as we are gathered here as social partners to restore the bonds of trust, dialogue and cooperation.

Through this dialogue, we intend to reach out to those parts of our society that have become disaffected, disinterested or marginalized from meaningful participation in the sector.

We held a successful Presidential Jobs Summit that agreed on far-reaching measures that – when fully implemented – will nearly double the number of jobs being created in our economy each year.

The maritime sector must also ensure that the Job Summit agreements are realized. For us to succeed in the growth, development and transformation of the maritime sector, the Department of Transport introduced the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) to realize the goals of growth, development and transformation of maritime transport.

The CMTP calls on all of us to help develop and position South Africa as an international maritime centre. Part of what we have been working on as the Department of Transport, has been the identification of both obstacles and gaps in current legislation, especially legislative or legal impediments to the smooth implementation of the CMTP.

The CMTP vision of a maritime transport industry is that of “an effective and growing industry that is safe, secure, reliable, economical and well regulated. It goes further to say that “it should be environmentally sustainable within the global logistics chain, and contribute to South Africa’s socio economic development and growth.

The CMTP envisages the establishment of the Maritime Transport Sector Development Council as a platform and vehicle to develop concrete strategies and co-operation to develop and transform the sector. This Council is also expected to develop appropriate plans to grow the sector within the context of the oceans economy.

The development of a multiyear Maritime Transport Sector Plan (MTSDP) as well as the review and monitoring of the overall performance of the sector are key tasks assigned to the MTSDC by the CMTP. I would like to move with speed to establish the necessary framework for the institutionalization of these bodies because I believe they will help achieve our development objectives.

Making such decisions will not only revitalize shipping but will also save our country the estimated R46 billion per annum of freight transportation costs. Parallel to the adoption of favorable trade terms, it has become urgent that mining and energy sectors hold consultations towards the development and adoption of an incentivized scorecard in the procurement of shipping transportation especially for the movement of coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome and other materials in the context of agreed percentages for such transportation as reserved for South African ships.

The national shipping carrier(s) is regarded as strategic pillar in the revival of the maritime transport industry especially shipping. When Cabinet approved the CMTP, it approved the policy with an embedded target of ensuring that measures that will ensure that within the next 5 years of the adoption of the CMTP, a significant targeted percentage of exports and imports are moved by the national shipping carrier.

We are already in the 2nd year of the adoption of the CMTP adoption and it has therefore become extremely urgent that these measures with clear timeframes are implemented.

Although I welcome the emerging offshore bunkering services provision along South Africa’s coast especially off Port Elizabeth, such developments must not happen outside the context of the CMTP envisaged development of a bunkering infrastructure and service strategic framework. Offshore bunkering services must not negatively impact on in-port bunkering services provided by South African businesses.

The CMTP’s provision of this framework will create a balanced and viable industry as opposed to the mushrooming of activities that are mainly driven by foreign or narrow interests whose desire is  money, and possibly spearheaded by individuals or entities who are engaged in potential fronting.

The regulation of maritime zones remain my responsibility and I will be announcing measures that will ensure that these zones, particularly in which we have exclusive jurisdiction over, are increasingly serviced  by licensed South African entities. I need to commend the Ports Regulator of South Africa for their role in creating a conducive and investor friendly environment in ports by helping reduce the cost of doing business in ports.

The use of the tariff determination methodology as a tool for not only promoting local manufacturing but also facilitating new entrants of young entrepreneurs and port innovation must be encouraged and be rewarded where it is due. I understand that the Ports Regulator will share some of those approaches when they address us later this morning.

Master of ceremonies;

The present policy and legislation of government requires that we corporatize the National Ports Authority with a separate Accounting Officer and a Divisional board.

This consensus I understand was negotiated and agreed upon   We must move with speed to ensure a transition to a corporatized port entity. I will be tasking the National Ports Consultative Committee to advise me  on the steps that must be undertaken to implement this crucial piece of legislation with greatest of efficiency, working with Minister of DPE.

Later on, the Transnet Ports Authority will be sharing with us their challenges and future plans. I would like to acknowledge the huge contribution by the entire TNPA from the Chief Executive, Harbour Masters, and Port Managers and to men and women enabling South African trade.

Their successes in driving ability to invest and deliver massive infrastructure projects to the value of R20.37 billion requires a special recognition. Investment in skills development, innovation, research and development are the reason why businesses grow and governments experience efficiencies.

Businesses and or governments who do not invest in these areas become victims of their own circumstances. Since I was assigned to this portfolio, I have committed to establishing Transport Innovation Hubs (TIH).

Part of what has motivated me to push for this is that without science, technology and innovation (STI), we cannot transform and position the sector to be part of, and benefit from, the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We all to come together to mobilize significant investments into STI.

There are also many bright young people with lots of ideas for innovation in the transport sector, and we need to find a way to create an environment for such creativity to thrive. So please work with me in realising what would become our future transport innovation paradigm.

Our country is ranked number 10 of countries manufacturing luxury boats. The boat building sector is indeed one of the strongest and well-established of maritime subsector.

Participating in the Department of Trade and Industry’s programme of export promotion of South African manufactured goods and products, the sector has grown exponentially.

The CMTP has however identified the need for the Department working in collaboration with Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry and other relevant organs of state, to promote appropriate technologies  for manufacturing, infrastructure and boat & ship repair.

Ladies and gentlemen

We now see Africa’s Maritime Sector increasingly being recognised as a key strategic driver of increased African trade and economic development, both directly and indirectly. There is growing momentum and attention focused on the sector and its potential role as an engine for growth, industry transformation, and job and business creation.

The African Union has the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy, or “AIMS” in recognition of the role that the ports of the AU Member States have to play in economic and social development, and the fight against poverty and unemployment.

We are indeed pleased to have the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as the Chair of the African Union in 2020. This is important as it will assist in helping South Africa in accelerating the maritime agenda within the context of the African Continental Free Trade agreement execution. How do we as a sector make use of such opportunities?

The Africa Maritime Indaba 2020 will be convened here in South Africa with the Pan African Maritime stakeholders including the Women In Maritime Africa (WIMAAfrica), a body that is recognized by the AU.

That is another key platform for our sector and for increased participation by all potential beneficiaries. I understand that the Vice President, of WIMAAfrica, Mrs Ipeleng Selele is present here with us today. Madam we are delighted to have you here.

The 2020 Maritime Indaba will give an update of the progress of AIMS 2050, which provides the foundation for public and private maritime policy and practice across Africa. It will begin to raise awareness of its core precepts, to catalyse dialogue on its contents and intent, and to begin to identify its potential to act as a blueprint for national maritime strategies for Africa’s maritime nations.

The signing by our President of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, the (AfCTFA) agreement in Nouakchott,  the capital of Mauritania, means that we have joined more than 50 African states who have already signed the AfCTFA as commitment to facilitating a single market for goods and services on the continent.

I also understand that the African Development Bank (AFDB) will be holding its meeting here in November 2019 and that there is an appetite for investment into maritime infrastructure to be part of their agenda. This calls upon our entrepreneurs to come up with innovative projects and opportunities in the sector.

We just do not need passive shareholders in the sector, but active, skilled and knowledgeable and entrepreneurial participants in the development of the sector. In welcoming this development we must therefore put a plan for interacting with the African Bank.

We have now gone beyond conceptual frameworks, we can no longer be in a state of unending planning, and we need to accelerate the implementation. As has been communicated widely, South Africa will also be hosting the IMO 2020 World Maritime Day Parallel event.

The 2020 event is set to demonstrate how far we have progressed in maritime affairs. This will also present South Africa with an opportunity to attract attention and potential investments into the development of our oceans economy.   Since becoming Minister of Transport, I have participated in a number of trade missions including Russia, China, and most recently Cuba.

My Department has advised me that the Maritime International Relations and Technical Cooperation Committee (MIRTC) as envisaged in the CMTP is being established next month. The MIRTC will enhance the planning and execution of our maritime economic diplomacy.

I also understand that, consultations are at advanced stage toward the establishment of the BRICS Maritime Forum. Further consultations will be undertaken in the margins of the forthcoming BRICS Summit taking place in Brazil in August 2019.

I would wish to encourage the setting up of these structures as they will go a long way in ensuring that we engage internationally with a very clear articulation of what our international maritime strategic approach is.

Ladies and gentlemen

I thank you all for responding to the invitation to the inaugural maritime Transport dialogue event and I have no doubt that you shall find it useful in advancing the transformation of the sector and accelerate the achievement of our key CMTP Strategic Objectives.

Dialogue such as this provide a valuable opportunity for research scientists, industry specialists and decision-makers to share experiences. I am grateful to the many experts who have come to share their knowledge in this dialogue.

I especially want to welcome members of the Panel of Experts to the Minister of Transport that I am bringing together to act a sounding board on key transport policies and programmes as well as catalyst research and innovation in the sector.

I also welcome the many representatives of governments, industry associations and NGOs who have joined us. I am sure you will have fruitful and rewarding exchanges today and tomorrow.

I wish you every success with this important dialogue and I look forward to learning about the outcome. I am sure you will have fruitful and rewarding exchanges today and tomorrow.

I wish you every success with this important dialogue and I look forward to learning about the outcome.

I thank you

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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SAMSA clocks 20 in a trot and still younger for it!

Updated to include two videos of employees messages. (For these, please scroll down.)

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SAMSA celebrates 20 years in 2018

Pretoria: 26 December 2018

It is often stated as a truism that time flies past quite quickly when fun is had, and that the opposite is just as true when the going is tough. Whether or not there be any truth in the claims, what is an indisputable fact is that with each passing year of existence, gains are achieved and milestones reached.

The same is true of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which clocked its 20th year of existence in 2018 and whose founding in 1998 has led to a series of achievements and milestones reached in especially the country’s maritime economic sector.

It’s an ongoing story repeatedly told as events unfold and whose chunks and snippets are to be found on this blog – a communication platform established in 2015 for the express purpose of information sharing with the public about SAMSA and its activities in pursuing and furthering South Africa’s maritime interests consistent with its mandate.

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

Indeed, in a hour long interview with an international publication in March 2018 and which was subsequently repackaged in video format for this blog’s audience, SAMSA’s Chief Operations Officer and acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi tells the story of SAMSA and some of its remarkable achievements and challenges in its 20 years of existence.

However, it is a history of performance commonly known and told also by stakeholders among them the main shareholder, Government, through the holding ministry, the Transport Department.

DSC_5781In the series of videos below, developed especially to mark SAMSA’s 20th anniversary during the course of the past year, Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, in congratulating the agency, tells of her experiences with SAMSA, as do several others, among them chief executives and other senior managers of private sector companies, foundation education pupils as well as SAMSA’s own employees.

The seven (7) videos range in length from about two (2) minutes 30 seconds to about 10 minutes, all with congratulatory messages to the organization. In addition, Mr Tilayi shares a message to stakeholders that mark the milestone of a 20 years toll by SAMSA in promoting South Africa’s maritime interests, among other issues.

Video 1: Mr Sobantu Tilayi [2:37)

Video 2: Deputy Minister of Transport – Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga [2:30)

Video 3: SAMSA Stakeholders Group 1 [10:00]

Video 4: SAMSA Stakeholders Group 2 [5:20)

Video 5: SAMSA Bursary Holders (Simon’s Town Lawhill Maritime Centre) [6.30]

SAMSA Employees Messages.

 

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