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.

DSC_9521.JPG
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.

End

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.

End.

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

End

 

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.

End

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.

 

End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The maritime sector isn’t quite about ‘marrying time’: SAMSA explains it’s role in SA’s economy

DSC_4242Pretoria: 20 December 2018

It is not unusual for people working for the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – spread across the length and breadth of the country’s waterways – to be mistaken for workers of the popular Asian smartphone maker, Samsung; an apparent ‘mistake’ followed almost immediately by curious, yet polite requests for phone repairs or news of models planned for the future.

In fact, this is barely out of place considering that even the mention of the marine or maritime sector, for some people – a large number – conjures up thoughts and feelings related to marriage! ‘It’s marrying time?’

In a country that’s practically and literally maritime in its geographic makeup at the southern tip of Africa, surrounded by no less than three oceans (the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Southern Ocean to the south and the Indian Ocean to the east) with a coastline of some 3200 kilometers, covering at least four of the country’s nine provinces (Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal), and central if not crucial to it a 1.5-million square kilometers of an exclusive economic zone, it should come as a surprise the apparent low level of public knowledge about and engagement with the marine and maritime economic sector.

Reasons for this clear anomaly are varied yet not hard to fathom. Summarily, past political and economic activities generally exclusive for many, are to blame.

For this reason, in addition to statutory and necessary activities it conducts consistent with its mandate, inclusive of furthering South Africa’s maritime economic interests, SAMSA regularly and consistently shares as much information as is necessary and possible about its role as well as the general maritime economic sector to as many constituencies as can be reached.

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FLESHING SAMSA:  Seated to the right, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer of SAMSA during a March 2018 interview with journalists from the Oil&Gas Journal, Offshore Magazine (digital) and EnergyBoardroom

It was for partly this reason also that earlier in 2018, SAMSA’s Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi took time to sit down with a couple of international journalists from the Oil & Gas Journal to explain what SAMSA’s role is in the country’s maritime economic sector and how this sector is shaped to contribute to the South African economy within context of the “New Dawn” concept now espoused by new leadership of the ruling party, the ANC.

In the hour long interview, which this blog was allowed to record, Mr Tilayi covers a whole range of issues involving the role of SAMSA – ranging from protecting the oceans’ environment, lives of seafarers as well as ships at sea, to initiatives on taxation and other legislative reforms, education, training and skills development, job creation and engagement with similar and relevant regional and international institutions including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – all in the interest of promoting the maritime economic sector.

The video interview presented here is split into four sections of a 15 minutes duration per section.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Video 4:

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Fun, games and maritime awareness and education at Transnet’s port festival

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FUN PE PORT FESTIVAL: The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) owned dedicated national cadet training programme vessel, the SA Agulhas (in the background) alongside the fisheries monitoring vessel, the Ruth First during the Transnet National Ports Auhority (TNPA) port festival in Port Elizabeth at the weekend. The vessels formed part of a fleet of six for the festival, four others coming from the South African Navy.

Port Elizabeth: 03 December 2018

The weather did not quite play fairly over the two days of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) festival at the port of Port Elizabeth at the weekend, leading to curtailment of some of the activities.

But it was still great turnout by thousands of people that filled the port for fun and games whose theme centred on greater public awareness and education on maritime issues.

The TNPA port of Port Elizabeth’s 2018 port festival was, as usual, the first in a series reportedly planned for some of the country’s major ports over the next few weeks, including Richards Bay, with the aim being to facilitate greater engagement between the ports and the general public for enhanced understanding and knowledge of aspects that make up the country’s maritime economic sector activities.

DSC_8780.JPGThis year’s festival in Port Elizabth enjoyed support from a range of stakeholders including the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which again featured its vessel, the SA Agulhas – a former research vessel that has been retuned for purposes of servicing the country’s national cadet training programme now under the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI).

Another notable supporter at this weekend’s festival was the South African Navy which provided four of its vessels including two frigades, as well as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries whose fisheries monitoring vessel, the Ruth First, participated – adding to the great fun many festival revelers, many among them young children, enjoyed.

 

Also  present was the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the Nelson Mandela University and several others.

However, strong winds particularly on Saturday, the first of the two days of the event, proved a major challenge as it forced some of the water sports lined up for the weekend to be suspended – well until Sunday, after the strong winds subsided in the early part of the day.

 

 

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Sheer laziness by South Africans could cost them control of their own economy and country: Eastern Cape Premier

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JETTING OUT:  Eastern Cape youths from Lusikisiki that are part of this year’s intake of employees headed for tourism cruise ships across the world. 

Pretoria: 29 November 2018

Sheer laziness among South Africans coupled with an entrenching penchant for particularly Government hand-outs could lead to a hefty price to pay – the loss of control of the country to foreigners, Mr Phumulo Masualle, Premier of the Eastern Cape has warned.

Mr Masualle issued the stern warning while addressing dozens of youths, their parents and community members at a send off event of a group of youths due to travel abroad for employment in tourism cruise ships around the world.

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Mr Phumulo Masualle. Premier: Eastern Cape

The youths at the Lusikisiki event last week, are part of a group of about 170 young people from several municipal regions in the Eastern Cape that recently received training under the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) driven Maritime Youth Development Programme (MYDP) initiated in partnership with Harambe, a non governmental outfit based in Johannesburg, two years ago.

 

The Eastern Cape leg of the initiative is sponsored by the Office of the Premier of the province. The group that was bid farewell on Wednesday last week at Mbotyi, in the Ingquza District Municipality along the Wild Coast on South Africa’s eastern seaboard, is the second such group of youths from the Eastern Cape and the third so far after Gauteng, to be trained and found employment by SAMSA in mainly MSC Cruise ships around the world since launch of the MYDP by SAMSA jointly with Harambe in 2016.

In his address of guests at the event, Mr Masualle, in a non scripted speech, pulled no punches and virtually tore into the audience about some of the serious challenges facing South Africa particularly with regards productivity and unemployment.

DSC_8737.JPGMr Masualle said while unemployment of particularly youth – estimated at over 40% in the Eastern Cape province alone – was a serious problem, one of the greatest challenges the country should no longer shy way away from however, he said, was an apparent deep seated laziness among people generally, and which increasingly rested on a self-destructive entrenching penchant for Government handouts.

Just about everyone wanted everything for free, which was unworkable, never mind that it kept people away from effective engagement and control of their own economy, he said.

He said Government’s social security grants and related were already heavily strained as the number of people dependent on them was increasing, yet on the other hand, the economy was struggling, leading to reducing tax for collection.

He pointed out that Government was ‘not a producer of anything’, but served the role of redistributing resources from the productive to the non-productive, alternatively those requiring assistance, such as health, education and similar social services.

But those in productive activity, therefore generating taxable income, were far less than those engaged in an economic activity currently – an untenable situation, he said.

Even so, Mr Masualle said, Government continued to support people even with free housing.

Yet rather curiously, he said, was that when windows of the houses cracked, the average South African, living in a house handed to him or her for free by Government, turned around to complain that Government was building free houses with braking windows.

“Our people cannot even fix cracks that show in the houses they receive for free from Government. When glass panes break, they turn to Government and blame it for building them houses with breaking windows.

“In this venue, where are holding this event, we are closest to the sea, and occasionally watch cargo vessels passing by. But we are only visitors to the sea. We have not the faintest idea what is going on in the oceans economic sector.

“Truth be told, we are a lazy people,” he added, contrasting South Africans with foreigners from neighboring countries, who he said, had a strong healthy attitude for work and productivity.

He said as an illustration, while South Africans by and large, milled around doing very little in productive terms, an increasing number of foreigners from African countries had taken over and were running just about every trading store, and even spaza (informal) shops both in urban and rural areas all over the country  where black people resided.

“We need to wake up from the slumber, as otherwise, foreigners with the right attitude for work and productivity, will take over everything including control of our economy,” warned Mr Masualle, starkly.

To the youths departing for work in tourism cruise ships across the world, he urged them to not only remain assistants, but to learn and absorb as much knowledge about that particularly industry as they could, with the goal of then transplanting such knowledge into products and services that will position their own country, South Africa, central to ocean tourism, and particularly cruise tourism.

He said South Africans, specifically black people who are in the majority in terms of the population, could not continue to be onlookers in the development of their own country’s economy, and yet they could not be meaningfully involved unless they got up and actively engaged in productive activity that generates self employment.

For Mr Masualle’s full remarks (wholly delivered in isiXhosa) but reproduced here with English subtitles, click on the video below.

Below are more videos of some of the youths celebrating their achievements to date  and in song, expressing their gratitude to the organizations and institutions involved in their finding employment.

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Probe into capsized catamaran in Cape Town underway: SAMSA

Catamaran CT 2018 (2).jpgPretoria: 27 November 2018

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) says it has begun an investigation into the incident of a capsized small leisure vessel in the port of Cape Town late on Monday afternoon and from which occupants escaped with minor injuries.

In a statement on Tuesday, SAMSA said the incident involving the sunset cruise Catamaran  Escape Cat, occurred at the breakwater entrance to Table Bay port in Cape Town at 06.45pm on Monday.

Eight people including the skipper, two crew members and five passengers – two males and three females all from the United Kingdom – were on board the vessel at the time of the incident and all escaped with minor injuries for which they had since been medically treated.

“All crew and passengers are accounted for. They were treated for non-threatening injuries /mild hypothermia. As a precaution they were transported to Cape Town Medi-Clinic,” said Captain Antoinette Keller, a Principal Officer at SAMSA in Cape Town.

Captain Keller added: “There is currently no risk to the environment. The vessel was secured by the NSRI on a three-anchor spread outside the outer breakwater. The location remains unchanged with DM Diving to assist with the recovery during the day.

“The vessel is to be towed into port following the removal of the mainsail, jib and mast and to be righted once alongside Jetty No 2. SAMSA commenced an investigation into the incident,” she said.

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