‘South Africa is open for business’: Vuka Marine – owner of now three SA registered cargo ships

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Pretoria: 22 June 2019

South Africa’s ship registry has been given a boost with the registration of yet another vessel operated by Vuka Marine, bringing to close on half a dozen the number of operational ships now carrying the South African flag in world oceans.

The Vuka Marine cargo vessel known as the Windsor Adventure: Port Elizabeth, was formally welcomed into the country’s ship registry at a ceremony held in the city of its registry and home, the port of Port Elizabeth this past week.

DSC_0837.JPGGuests attending included representatives of the Department of Transport (DoT), the Ports Regular of South Africa, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), the Eastern Cape provincial government, the Nelson Mandela University (NUM), the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and other business and institutions representatives.

DSC_0764.JPGVuka Marine is a joint venture between Via Maritime of South Africa and K-Line of Japan.  The company is currently moving about 2.5-metric tons of ore per annum, mainly on the first two capesize bulk carriers that it flagged in South Africa in 2015.

The latest addition is the third cargo ship operated by Vuka Marine to be registered under the South African flag and the fifth so far in the registry since launch of the SAMSA driven campaign to revitalise the commercial ship stock registered in South Africa about a decade or so ago – an apparently painstaking venture it has proved to be to date.

At the port of Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, both senior national and provincial government officials attending, including the Eastern Cape’s MEC for Transport, Ms Weziwe Tikana, expressed delight at the growth of ships now coming carrying the South Africa flag, however slow, and also acknowledged the need for speed in adding more into fold of the registry in far higher numbers if the country was to realise its ambitions of developing the country’s maritime economy transport sub-sector, develop skills and create employment.

DSC_0804.JPGIn the videos below, all six speakers – Captain Brynn Adamson (Harbor Master: Port of Port Elizabeth; Mr  Mahesh Fakir (CEO: Ports Regulator SA), Mr Metse Ralephenya (Marine Transport: DoT), Mr Andrew Millard (CEO: Vuka Marine), Mr Sobantu Tilayi (acting CEO: SAMSA) and Ms Weziwe Tikana (MEC for Transport: Eastern Cape) were unanimous in praise of the joint effort and close collaboration being achieved in delivering on the ship registry campaign. They also expressed determination in ensuring that hiccups currently being experienced, especially with taxation and related business costs of ship registration under the South African flag must be resolved.

In their order of appearance, Capt: Adamson said the port of Elizabeth was proud to be the home of no less than four operating vessels registered calling the port their home.

The four include the three operated by Vuka Marine and one other operated by bunking services company, Aegian. For his full remarks, click on the video below.

Ports Regulator, Mr Mahesh Fakir elaborated on financial incentives now approved in preference of vessels coming under the South African flag, as well as necessary operational conditions expected of ships registered in South Africa which he said were consistent with the country’s maritime sector developmental goals.

This was coming against the backdrop that South Africa relies on about 12 000 foreign vessels to carry 96 per cent of its exports to the rest of the world each year, leaving it strategically vulnerable.

On incentives, Mr Fakir said South Africa currently offers up to 30 per cent discount on port dues by ships locally registered. On operational conditions, among other things, he said it was important that vessels carrying trade goods outbound and inbound, as well as personnel manning the vessels, should increasingly be South African.

For more on his remarks, Click on the video below:

“South Africa is open for business….” were the closing remarks of Vuka Marine CEO, Mr Andrew Millard in summation of both his company’s experience and achievements in its quest for registration of its cargo vessels dating as far back as 2009 and one of which only got registered in 2014.

Among notable achievements being increasingly realised was the placement to date of some 50 young South African cadets on its vessels, the absorption of about dozen of these into full-time employment, and a current recruitment campaign for more young trainees known in the sub-sector as ‘ratings’.

He said Vuka Marine was also keen to assist the country’s ship registry through sharing experiences with ship operators keen on carrying the South African flag.

Mr Millard’s views were earlier echoed by the company’s chairman, Mr Andrew Mthembu, who remarked: “We are thrilled to welcome the Windsor Adventure into Vuka Marine’s fleet. This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the development of the South Africa’s maritime industry, the national registry, and our seafarer population.”

For Mr Millard full remarks, Click on the video below:

For SAMSA, the campaign to enrol more commercial cargo vessels in the country’s ship registry had proved tedious, unnecessarily at times due to lack of co-operation by some important institutions.

“We are 95% towards setting up everything in place to ensure a smooth operation in  drawing ships into the country’s registry, but that five per cent that’s outstanding is the difference between success and failure'” said SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi.

Issues involving taxation were among the impediments, but so was more closer co-operation and collaboration necessary from particular the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), he said. For his full remarks Click on the video below.

Ms Weziwe Tikana, MEC for Transport in the Eastern Cape described it as befitting that newly registered vessels under the SA flag had their home in the province. She said the province had the privilege of having the second longest coastline in the country after the Western Cape but had little to show for it so far. However, she said, since launch of Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) by government in 2014, the province had resolve to increase its economic contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product based on maritime economic sector growth,

This, she said, was necessary not just for economic growth but also for social transformation and higher participation by all South Africans.

For her full remarks, Click on he video below:

DoT’s Marine Transport directorate official, Mr Metse Ralephenya was full of praise that ‘pressure’ from the department on SOE CEOs involved in maritime transport was truly beginning to pay off handsomely, and vowed on behalf of DoT to ensure that necessary support by government was given.

For his full remarks, Click on the video below.

While being celebrated, the 56 000dwt Windsor Adventure was busy taking on board yet another load of locally mined minerals destined for overseas markets.

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Ports Consultative Council a key cog in South Africa’s ports management: SAMSA

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Pretoria: 10 June 2019

Democratization of South Africa’s ports space is among key goals of the establishment of the country’s Ports Consultative Committee (PCC).

The PCC is a statutory structure set up by Government with a view to ensuring that all economic participants at the country’s major ports have equal access and contribution to management of the ports infrastructure and associated resources.

This is according to the PCC Secretariat, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) during the holding of the first ever meeting of Gauteng based ports stakeholders in Johannesburg recently. Johannesburg is South Africa’s financial capital with several investors in the country’s ports based on or operating from the inland city.

The PCC was established by the Department of Transport in terms of sections 80(1)(a), (c), (d) and (g) of the National Ports Act, 2005 and has been operational in the country’s nine commercial ports for some time since.

The PCC’s presence and role also fulfills part of the mandate of the Ports Regular of South Africa which requires that the regulator “must conduct a public participation process as part of the economic review in each of the ports, including conduct one or more public hearings in the manner set out in the Directives issued by the Regulator in terms of the Act.”

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Some of Gauteng based SA ports stakeholders attending this year’s first Port Consultative Committee roadshow in Johannesburg on Wednesday 29 May 2019.

In this year’s round of ports stakeholder consultations involving roadshows from Richards Bay in the east coast through to Saldanha Bay in the west coast, the PCC for the first time included Gauteng based ports stakeholders, with a meeting held at a venue near O.R Tambo international airport on Wednesday, 29 May 2019.

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Ms Selma Schwarz-Clausen. SAMSA

Ms Selma Schwarz-Clausen, a senior official of SAMSA charged with handling the secretariat responsibility of SAMSA for the PCC, described the first ever staging of the meeting for Gauteng based ports stakeholders a major step forward in ensuring broad and inclusive participation by all key and relevant stakeholders in the development and management of the country’s parts for economic beneficiation of all.

 

In the following video, Ms Schwarz-Clausen explains the role of the PCC and goals.

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Mr Mahesh Fakir. Chief Executive Officer: Ports Regulator of South Africa

Also attending the meeting was Mr Mahesh Fakir, Chief Executive Officer of the Ports Regulator of South Africa. He also explained his role in National Ports Consultative Committee which he described as on the whole, as that of an observer who contributes in discussions  if requested to do so, but “is not be permitted to participate in any voting or raise any objections to any action, decision, or advice proposed to be taken or given by the Committee.”

In the three (30 minutes video below, Mr Fakir briefly outlines the role of the Ports Regular in general as well as its interest in the work of the National Ports Consultative Committee.

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

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

DSC_4407Pretoria: 11 April 2019

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

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

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

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

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Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande

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

The interim maritime transport council set up public invitation reads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pretoria: 04 April 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Maritime emergencies a real threat for South Africa: SAMSA

DSC_9692.JPGDurban: 27 March 2019

South Africa’s state of readiness for maritime emergencies along its expanse of oceans at the southern tip of Africa remains porous at the very least, and finding viable solutions to the massive challenge lies with consultation and ongoing collaboration among stakeholders, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has said.

Addressing about 80 delegates from the private and public sectors to a two-days maritime risks workshop in Durban that began on Wednesday, SAMSA board member and chairperson of the agency’s Maritime Industry Committee, Ms Sekabiso Molemane described the country’s maritime risks as high and the state of readiness for emergencies  as low.

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Ms Sekabiso Molemane. SAMSA Board Member

She attributed the situation to both increasing global utilization of the oceans and waterways in and around the country, and the collapse of structures previously in place to safeguard the maritime and marine environments.

The risks involved ranged from pollution and environmental degradation, vessel traffic accidents involving both property and people’s lives, to improper use of the country’s waters by rogue elements in world trade. Alongside these, was the country’s poor state of readiness to respond properly and on time, with the requisite personnel, tools and equipment.

She said South Africa’s marine emergency response rested previously on a foundation of cooperative institutional infrastructure built on the mandates and respective capabilities of mainly government entities.

“Over time,” she said: “the mandate or main focus of most of the entities that formed the core of South Africa Maritime Emergency Cooperative Response got reviewed and in most cases, the review led to the erosion of the respective maritime elements.

“The cumulative result of these reviews is a substantially eroded marine emergency response capability.”

Examples of the situation included the diminished role of the South African Air Force in carrying out aerial functions as well as the reduction of Telkom Maritime Communications to Telkom Radio which has lead, she said, to inadequate and obsolete communications infrastructure. In addition, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Pollution Combating Function had inadequate and outdated pollution equipment.

“Thus with the passage of time, the capability that the Department of Transport requires in order to respond to maritime emergencies has been largely diminished, in most cases both in terms of skills capacity, the equipment as well as institutional memory. This demise is largely driven by budgetary constraints within  those institutions,” said Ms Molemane.

The purposes of the SAMSA organized workshop, she said,  was for maritime risk stakeholders to take stock of what remains of the architecture for marine emergency response, reassess what the requirements are to resuscitate and sustain a world standard state of readiness, taking into account the funding and capacity that would be required to achieve the goal.

For Ms Molemane’s full remarks, click on the video

Meanwhile, speaking at the end of the first day of the workshop on Wednesday, SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi expressed satisfaction with progress achieved during the day, and wherein a number of crucial issues were identified for correction, inclusive of legislation that was suffering neglect due to lack of adequate attention.

Crucially, Mr Tilayi said, the important point of the exercise was to ensure that South Africans were aware of the situation and secondly, that necessary steps were being taken to address it.

“It helps little to hide challenges of this nature and which are in the public’s interest when what would be useful is to share the knowledge and with that, trust stakeholders to partner with you in finding solutions. That is what this two day gathering is about,” he said.

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks at end of day one of the workshop, Click on the video below.

The workshop continues on Thursday.

 

South Africa’s maritime risks come under scrutiny in Durban this week: SAMSA

20170419_101108Durban: 26 March 2019

The safety of oceans around South Africa along with the country’s level of preparedness for maritime risks come under the spotlight at a two-day sector workshop in Durban this week.

Organized by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the two-day workshop on Wednesday and Thursday is scheduled to explore a variety of maritime risks issues ranging from an overview of the country’s maritime risk profile involving case studies, the country’s legislative framework and institutional responsibilities, third parties dependencies, to maritime domain awareness, pollution monitoring and combating, the country’s response capability as well as funding.

As many as 20 participants inclusive of experts in specialized fields of the maritime time sector drawn from industry as well as SAMSA, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) are lined up for contribution and discussions over the two days.

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A tug under construction at a sea site in Durban in 2017. (SAMSA File Photo)

The event comes at a time when ship traffic volumes are reportedly on a steady increase around South Africa over the last few years leading to economic opportunities that include the recent establishment of a bunkering services in Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s nine commercial ports and reputably the most secure for the service.

There is also a notable increase in oil and gas exploration and related activities in the country’s oceans opening to unique opportunities and risks that the country must prepare for.

SAMSA, a State owned entity established 20 years ago and operating under the guidance of Department of Transport, is the country’s dedicated authority responsible for ensuring the safety of property and people at sea, the combating of pollution of the oceans’ environment by sea traffic as well as promoting South Africa’s maritime interests domestically and globally.

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(SAMSA File Photo)

Among processes involved in monitoring activity across the three oceans surrounding South Africa, SAMSA operates a Centre for Sea Watch and Response (CSWR) based in Cape Town. SAMSA’s CSWR is responsible for carrying out search and rescue functions over a 27-million km² oceans area abutting the country’s 1 300km coastline, the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the Southern Oceans in the south and the Indian Ocean to the east.

SAMSA’s CSWR is also charged with implementing systems for surveillance of the maritime domain, inclusive of vessels safety, vessel security, oil pollution prevention, detection and combating, maintenance of the maritime domain awareness as well as monitoring coastal and offshore maritime activities.

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An artist’s impression of the new facilities to be developed for the oil & gas subsector at the port of Saldanha

Tools in place include terrestrial and satellite automatic identification systems involving both long range identification, tracking and monitoring of ships and other vessels within South African territorial waters (a 200 nautical miles area within the country’s exclusive economic zone) and beyond, in order to maintain safety and security to navigation threats, marine environmental threats and assistance with search and rescue.

In pursuing these activities, SAMSA’s CSWR collaborates with a range of entities both in the private and public sectors inclusive of the South African National Defense Force, the SA Navy, the State Security Agency, the Department of Transport, Border Management Agency and others.

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The Cargo Bridge – an old vessel whose interior has been converted into a quaint restaurant is one of Durban’s landmarks venues and which recently hosted delegates to IMO Djibouti Code of Conduct Three Day Workshop in the city in November 2018.

In Durban on Wednesday, the two days workshop’s programme on South African maritime risks is scheduled to kickoff at 9am with an outline and analysis of the country’s maritime risk profile by Mr Brian Blackbeard of the Atlantis Consulting group and involving a feasibility study on of the country’s emergency towing vessels.

He will be followed by SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi’s overview of the weather incident that rocked the Durban port a year ago and during which extensive damage to ships as well as pollution ensued.

Next in line with a review of current legislation related to maritime risks by Captain Gustav Louw (SAMSA) and exploration of vulnerabilities of the South African Maritime Risk System) by Messrs Mike Heads and Nick Sloane.

In the discussion on third party dependencies, Mr Andrew Pike and Mr Dave Main are scheduled to share insights gleaned during the incident of the sinking in 1991 of the Oceanos, a French-built and Greek-owned cruise ship due reportedly to uncontrolled flooding while sailing off the Wild Coast (Indian Ocean), as well as a look at costs of maritime risks management involving the exposure of the State to uninsured rogue ships transiting South Africa’s coasts.

The rest of the discussions involving Messrs Lauren Williams, Captain Theo Oakes, Dr Stander, Gavin Fitzmaurice, Terence Mabuela and Captain Ravi Naicker will look at maritime domain awareness issues including oceans and coastal management information management systems capabilities and usage, South Africa’s weather services capabilities, completeness and key challenges relating to provision of services in the maritime sector.

They will also discuss the country’s hydrography in relation to current incidents and the country’s maritime risk profile. They will also share insights into hindrances to successful maritime prosecutions, incident management organization as well as existing capabilities related to sea watch and rescue.

This SAMSA blog will carry updates on the discussions over the next few days.

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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

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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