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

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

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SAMSA celebrates 20 years in 2018

Pretoria: 26 December 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video 1: Mr Sobantu Tilayi [2:37)

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

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

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

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

SAMSA Employees Messages.

 

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Education and skills remain key to SA unlocking full value in maritime sector: DoT-World Maritime Day 2018 celebration

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OBSERVING WORLD MARITIME DAY 2018:  Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga admiring some of several school children handiwork of miniature ships for the display during the celebration of World Maritime Day 2018 at Badplaas, Mpumalanga on Thursday and Friday last week.

01 October 2018

Maritime education and skills development remain the vital ingredient for South Africa in her drive to unlock fully the huge value residing in its maritime sector, according to the Department of Transport.

This was said by deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga on Friday during the marking and celebration of the World Maritime Day 2018 held over two days at eManzana (Badplaas) in Mpumalanga Province.

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Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga

She was addressing a crowd of mostly young school children in their matric year who were essentially the target of this year’s marking of the international event as driven and guided by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to which South Africa is a member.

Also represented were some State owned entities in the transport sector under the Department of Transport inclusive of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), South African Ports Regulator, the Mpumalanga provincial government and local government authorities under which Badplaas falls.

According to Ms Chikunga, targeting young school children from schools in the area was part of a concerted effort by the DoT and government in general to raise and enhance greater public awareness countrywide about South Africa’s status as a fully fledged maritime region and upon which the rest of the world also count on for oceans trade and safety and security, hence its high profile role both in regional, continental and global institutions concerned with maritime matters.

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Marking World Maritime Day 2018: (Seated, from Left) Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga with  several local, provincial and national government officials that include Gert Sibande District Municipality Councillor Mr Nkosi and (Standing from Right), Mr Sobantu Tilayi of SAMSA), Mr Dumisani Ntuli of DoT; Ms Shulami Qalinge of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA)Mr Mahesh Fakir, the Ports Regulator and Mr Gideon Mashigo, an MEC for Transport, Mpumalanga Province.

Ms Chikunga described it as proper that South Africa should mark the World Maritime Day annually, and in the process reflect on both its needs and challenges relating to the maritime sector.

Currently she said, education and skills development were the key to unlocking the country’s maritime sector value both economically and socially. Towards this end, the DoT in particular, together with partners in the public and private sectors were offering as much financial and related assistance as possible to the country’s youths keen on pursuing tertiary studies in the sector in South Africa and abroad.

The country’s youth in internal provinces such as Mpumalanga, Free State, North West, Limpopo and Gauteng – all of which are far from the oceans – were not excluded from the maritime education, training and skills development initiatives, nor were those either poor or based in rural communities.

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Celebrating World Maritime Day 2018: A part of group of about 400 pupils from schools in the eManzana (Badplaas) area of the Gert Sibande District Municipality in Mpumalanga province being take through a water safety demonstration by the NSIR and SAPS on Friday. For more pics: see below.

This was, she said, partly evidenced and demonstrated by the alternative staging of the World Maritime Day annually in both coastal and inland provinces – with 2018 having been the turn of Mpumalanga Province, after the Eastern Cape a year ago, and the Free State in the year before.

Ms Chikunga outlined at length the types and kind of education, training and skills development initiatives available to South African youths across the board. For more on this, Click on the video below.

Held over two days – the Thursday and Friday last week at both the Vygeboom/Oppi Dam and the Badplaas Forever Resorts – the celebration of the World Maritime Day 2018  saw as many 400 pupils from the Gert Sibande District Municipality or greater eManzana area exposed to both basic waters skills, primarily safety, demonstrated by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) water division, as well as career exhibitions.

The youths also participated in the ship building competition and display that allowed for display of some spectacular talent by some.

For more on this, click on the following story links

SAMSA widens its Maritime Rural Support Programme to Mpumalanga Province

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Poland and South Africa express a collaboration intent on maritime economy development.

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Welcoming Dar Mlodziezy: On board the Polish centennial independence celebration vessel Dar Mlodziezy, are South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (Right) with Poland’s Ambassador to South Africa Mr Andrzej Kanthak (Centre) and Poland’s Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Mr Marek Gróbarczyk (Left) being welcomed by the vessel’s commander, Captain Ireneusz  Lewandowski

Cape Town: 16 August 2018

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between South Africa and Poland in Cape Town on Wednesday marked a turning point in the development and enhancement of relations between the two countries and which will benefit both in the long term particularly with regards maritime sector issues.

This is according to South Africa’s Transport Department deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga and Poland’s Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Mr Marek Gróbarczyk during the ceremony of the welcoming to South Africa of Poland’s centennial independence celebration’s vessel, Dar Młodzieży at the port of Cape Town.

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Polland’s centennial independence celebration vessel, Dar Mlodziezy arriving in Cape Town harbour on Wednesday. where it will remain until Friday.

The vessel with a crew of some 250 members on aboard including about 60 cadets, is on a round-the-world trip that began recently in Poland and shall continue until the end of March 2019, with stop-overs in as many as 22 ports around the world.

South Africa was the second stop over on Wednesday, where the vessel will remain at the port of Cape Town in a jetty adjacent the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront at the foot of Table Mountain until Friday.

On arrival in Cape Town late morning on Wednesday to sounds of the South African Navy’s brass band at Cape Town harbour’s cruise terminal, crew and passengers of Dar Młodzieży were formally welcomed on South African soil by Ms Chikunga on behalf of the South African government, along with Mr Gróbarczyk, Poland’s Ambassador to South Africa, Mr Andrzej Kanthak and other senior government officials including South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi.

Thereafter, the Polish maritime students and cadets who were joined by their South African counterparts from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) for a combined group of about 200, were later treated to a braai on board South Africa’s only dedicated cadet training vessel, the SA Agulhas.

In-between the events, Ms Chikunga and Mr Gróbarczyk signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the basis of which, they said, the two countries would endeavor to enhance co-operation and joint pursuit of socio economic development initiatives but especially in relation to the maritime economic sector.

Areas of likely immediate focus would include ship repairs and maritime education and training, said Ms Chikunga, while Mr Gróbarczyk felt it also an opportune time for the two countries to enhance relations ahead of South Africa’s hosting of an International Maritime Organization (IMO) conference in the country in 2020.

In the video clips below, Ms Chikunga (clip 1 lasting 3 minutes) and Mr Gróbarczyk each explains the genesis of the development and the respective country’s hopes to strengthen relations.

Meanwhile, also in remarks welcoming the group of Polish and South African maritime students and cadets on board the SA Agulhas late Wednesday afternoon, Mr Tilayi described it as important the establishment of sound relations with countries such as Poland which would benefit South Africa’s emergent pursuit of redevelopment of its own maritime economic sector.

For his full remarks, click on the video below.

On Friday, the group will be taken on a tour of Robben Island before the centennial independence celebration vessel set sail yet again, this time for Madagascar.

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South Africa joins Poland in celebrating it’s 100th year of independence

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Cape Town: 15 August 2018

Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront will be the host venue on Wednesday for Poland’s celebration of its 100th year of independence, an event marked by the docking of one of its most celebrated old sailing vessels, Dar Młodzieży which docks at the port of Cape Town at about noon, with a crew of more than 100, comprising mostly cadets and maritime students.

The vessel’s stop-over in Cape Town is part of a 10-months round-the-world trip dubbed Independence Sail and during which it will visit as many as 22 ports. Cape Town is its second stop from Europe and one of two involving the African continent.

Other ports in the list include Tallinn, Copenhagen, Stavanger, Bremenhaven, Bordeaux, Tenerife, Dakar, Mauritius, Jakarta, Singapore, Shanghai, Osaka, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Acapulco, Panama, Miami, Ponta Delgada and London.

It is expected to finish the round-the-world trip sometime in March 2019.

According to organizers of the event in Cape Town over the next three days beginning Wednesday morning, senior representatives of both the Polish and South Africans, during the three day stop-over in South Africa, a number of events focusing on Polish history and culture will be held.

Central to the activity, according to organizers, will be the promotional events to establish and enhance both socio-economic and cultural cooperation between Poland and South Africa.

On arrival in Cape Town today, the vessel is scheduled to be welcomed jointly by the Deputy Minister of Transport Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, along with Polish government counter-parts that include the Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Mr Marek Grobarczyk, the Ambassador of Poland to South Africa, Dr Andrzej Kanthak.

According to the programme of Wednesday’s welcoming event, two ‘Letters of Intent’ are scheduled to be signed between the Ministry of Transport (South Africa) and the Ministry of Economic and Inland Navigation (Poland) as well as between Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the Port of Gdynia.

Later in the day, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) will host the Polish maritime students and cadets to a braai on board its cadet training vessel, the SA Agulhas. The festive event will also involve maritime students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

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South Africa retains its seat in IMO Council

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Representatives of Member States of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) during their biannual meeting on London this past week. The IMO Assembly meeting began on 27 November 2017 and will wrap up on 10 December 2017. On Friday, the Assembly elected 40 Members States including South Africa that will serve as its Council over the next two years. (Photo: IMO)

CAPE TOWN: 02 December 2017

South Africa has managed to hold onto its seat in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council, the organization confirmed in a statement from London on Friday.

This, according to South Africa’s Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga; means that the country will continue to serve on the body, representative of not only her own interests, but also those of the  Southern African Development Community.

The IMO, made up of about 180 Member States (or countries) is the United Nations specialized agency entrusted with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships globally.

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South Africa’s deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga casting a vote during the elections of the International Maritime  Organization (IMO) Council for the 2018/19 period in London on Friday. South Africa successfully lobbied IMO Member States to help it retain its seat in the council (PHOTO: IMO)

The IMO Council in turn, is the executive organ of the IMO responsible under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the organization. According to the IMO, between sessions of the Assembly that take place every two years, the IMO Council “performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.”

South Africa has served in the IMO Council for a number of years in the Category C slot of Members States.

Designated as Category C Member States are countries denoted as having “special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.”

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(PHOTO: IMO)

The IMO Category C Member States slot constitutes the highest number of countries  – a total of 20 – making up the IMO Council’s 40 members, and each of the countries in the category has to be voted in by other Member States in order to obtain and or retain its seat in the council.

The rest of the IMO Council members is made of up 10 Category A Member States denoted as being those with “the largest interest in providing international shipping services.” The final group of 10 is made up of Category B Member States that are classified as those  countries with “the largest interest in international seaborne trade.”

At this week’s IMO Assembly gathering in London, IMO Member States voted into Category A were China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.

Voted into Category B of Member States were Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates.

In Category C, for which South Africa bid successfully for retention of its seat, the country was joined by the Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey.

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South Africa’s Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga addressing an International Maritime Organization (IMO) gathering in London on Monday. South Africa was bidding for retention of its seat in the IMO Council.

In her address of the IMO Assembly earlier in the week, Ms Chikunga whose South Africa delegation at the gathering included senior South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) senior managers, among them; chief operations officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi; urged IMO Member States to vote South Africa back into the IMO Council in order to ensure that the country continued with its contribution to work of the organization.

Ms Chikunga noted that South Africa was the only country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region of Africa standing for re-election in the IMO Council and in South Africa’s viewpoint, it was only correct that IMO Member States in Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceanic states should support the country’s retention as a member of the IMO Council.

“The re-election of South Africa to the Council will ensure that the developing countries in general and the African continent in particular gets a fair voice in the international maritime affairs,” said Ms Chikunga.

Ms Chikunga further highlighted several other factors in which South Africa remains a central player towards the IMO and the world’s pursuit of particularly sustainable development of oceans economies.

In London on Friday, the IMO said elected Member States including South Africa will constitute the IMO Council for the 2018-2019 biennium.

“The newly elected Council will meet, following the conclusion of the 30th Assembly, for its 119th session (on 7 December) and will elect its Chair and Vice-Chair for the next biennium,” said the IMO.

Meanwhile, the organization confirmed that its 30th Assembly meeting in London which began from 27 November will continue through to to 6 December 2017 with all members  entitled to attend.

According to the IMO, “the Assembly normally meets once every two years in regular session. It is responsible for approving the work programme, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the Organization. It also elects the Organization’s 40-Member Council.”

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South Africa’s bid for retention of IMO seat underway in London

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Cape Town: 29 November 2017

South Africa’s bid to retain its seat in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) General Council got underway in earnest in London on Tuesday after the country’s deputy Transport Minister Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga addressed the assembly during its final gathering of 2017 which ends in early December.

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South Africa’s Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga address an International Maritime Organization (IMO) gathering in London on Monday. South Africa is bidding for retention of its seat in the IMO Council.

The IMO Council whose members are drawn from 40 Member States around the world, is the executive organ of the IMO responsible for supervising the work of the international organization. The IMO Council is elected by the IMO Assembly for two-year terms.

The IMO’s General Assembly meets for its last meeting in 2017 on 7 December.

For IMO purposes, the Africa (sub-Saharan) region is composed of 48 countries bordering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and of these, 37 are IMO Member States.

According to the IMO, the Africa region has a combined total coastline of 30,725 km with South Africa, – located epicenter across three oceans, the Atlantic to the west, the Southern in the south and the Indian Ocean to the east – accounting for approximately 10% or 3200 km of that coastline.

In her address of the IMO in London on Tuesday, Ms Chikunga noted that South Africa was the only country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region of Africa standing for re-election in the IMO Council and in South Africa’s viewpoint, it was only correct that IMO Member States in Africa, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceanic states should support the country’s retention as a member of the IMO Council.

“The re-election of South Africa to the Council will ensure that the developing countries in general and the African continent in particular gets a fair voice in the international maritime affairs,” said Ms Chikunga.

Ms Chikunga further highlighted several other factors in which South Africa remains a central player towards the IMO and the world’s pursuit of particularly sustainable development of oceans economies.

According to Ms Chikunga, shipping  which is responsible for more than 80% of global trade, continues to play a very critical and prominent role in connecting people worldwide which phenomenon she said placed the IMO at the epicentre of ensuring that such global activities were accomplished seamlessly, without unnecessary hindrances.

She said: “International trade is very central and critical to many African countries, whether landlocked or coastal states. In that regard, the Africa Union took a conscious decision to adopt the 2050 African Maritime Integrated Strategy (AIMS) which seeks to provide a broad framework for the protection and sustainable exploitation of the African Maritime Domain for wealth creation. South Africa is actively operationalizing the provisions of that Strategy.

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File photo: Port of Ngqurha. South Africa’s only deep water port located in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

For its role in global maritime trade transport, Ms Chikunga  said South Africa has eight (8) commercial ports that handle in excess of 13 100 international ship traffic a year and approximately 300 million tonnes of cargo annually.

Geographically, along with its own infrastructure, the country was strategically located on one of the major vital shipping lanes  known as the ‘Cape Route’ that connects east and west seas thereby placing the country among critical role-players in world maritime affairs.

These factors according to Ms Chikunga were significant given that the IMO plays a crucial role towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially on climate change and gender equality,  and South Africa is well placed to continue to support the initiatives  through collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders.

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Some of the delegates to this week’s UN led conference on regional collaboration on the implementation of the ‘Large Marine Ecosystem Approach’ currently underway in Cape Town from 27 November – 01 December 2017 parallel the South Africa’s leg of the 2017/8 Volvo Ocean Race hosted at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront from 24 November to 10 December 2017

This she reflected on as a United Nations led conference is underway in Cape Town this week, looking at regional collaborations on the implementation of the ‘Large Marine Ecosystem Approach’ as an instrument towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 14. The conference is being held at the V&A Waterfront parallel this year’s South Africa leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18

In London on Tuesday, Ms Chikunga also impressed on the IMO gathering that  alongside development, there also are  issues of safety and security that are  crucial to orderly management of the oceans.

“In support of international efforts to bring security and stability in the broader Indian Ocean under the Djibouti Code of Conduct, South Africa adopted a Strategy intending to curb acts of piracy and armed robbery of ships. In that regard, South Africa deployed her navy vessels along the Mozambique Channel as a deterrent to acts of piracy and armed robbery of ships in the southern Indian Ocean area,” said Ms Chikunga

In addition she said: “As part of our coastal State obligation, we continue to provide reliable Search and Rescue services to international shipping in our region which extends to the Antarctica.

“Furthermore, South Africa, through partnership with the IMO, has converted her highly reliable Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) to the Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre Cape Town to assist ships in distress in the Region,” she said.

The South Africa bid to retain its seat on the IMO Council occurs as the southern African country prepares to host it’s inaugural IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event in 2020.

That event, tentatively scheduled for Durban, is intended to highlight the significant role of global shipping and the role of the IMO.

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KZN Enkovukeni Community upliftment programme moves a step further after 8 boat skippers complete their training

ASPIRANT BOAT PILOTS: Eight youths (Standing) from the Enkovukeni village of Mhlabauyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal with their supervisors during their week long training as boat skippers at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence are (From Left), Ms Vyuswa Mthembu, Mr Khulani Ngubane, Ms Zanele Mgobosi, Ms Ntombikayise Mlambo, Mr Philani Ngubane, Ms Nokuthula Ngubane, Mr Khulani Mike Mthembu and Mr Robert Ngubane. At the front are (From Left) Mr Vincent Zulu (KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board) and Mr Mzwamandla Sosibo (SAMSA)
ASPIRANT BOAT PILOTS: Eight youths (standing) from the Enkovukeni village of Mhlabauyalingana in northern KwaZulu-Natal with their supervisors during their week long training as boat skippers at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence are (From Left), Ms Vuyiswa Mthembu, Mr Khulani Ngubane, Ms Zanele Mgobosi, Ms Ntombikayise Mlambo, Mr Philani Ngubane, Ms Nokuthula Ngubane, Mr Khulani Mike Mthembu and Mr Robert Ngubane. At the front are (From Left) KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Education Projects Specialist, Mr Vincent Zulu  and SAMSA Curriculum Development Specialist, Mr Mzwamandla Sosibo.

Durban: 02 December 2016

A South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) initiative, supported and driven by the Department of Transport, to alleviate the plight of a northern KwaZulu-Natal community forever swamped in water, has moved yet another significant step forward after eight (8) new boat skipper trainees completed their training in Durban recently.

All eight skipper trainees – four males and four females – are from the community of Enkovukeni, at Umhlab’uyalingana and all successfully went through a rigorous training programme at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence in Durban a week ago.

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Rural northern KwaZulu-Natal’s Enkovukeni village’s first ever boat pilot trainees that are part of a SAMSA initiated and Department of Transport driven upliftment initiative are (from Left) Vuyiswa Mthembu, Zanele Mgobosi, Ntombikayise Mlambo and Nokuthula Ngubane. The four who are part of a total eight (8) trainees involved in the programme are due to receive their skipper’s licenses soon.
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If all goes well, these boat skipper trainees from Enkovukeni village at Mhlabauyanlingana in northern KwaZulu Natal, should receive their skippers’ licenses soon. They are (From Left), Khulani Mike Mthembu, Khulani Ngubane, Philani Ngubane and Robert Ngubane

The training, conducted by the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board along with SAMSA, is part of a now much broader community initiative launched about three months ago to initially provide water based transport to the Enkovukeni community, a village situated on a thin 5km waterlogged stretch piece of land forming part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park – South Africa’s first world heritage – in the north of KwaZulu-Natal.

Enkovukeni, at Mhlabauyalingana, is practically an island, stretching from Bhanga Neck to Kosi Bay Mouth with the Indian Ocean on one side and the Kosi Bay lake system on the other. The area is virtually only accessible by foot or make shift canoes which residents currently use.

Transport Department Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in black outfit) and some senior government officials at provincial and local government level in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi on board a boat donated by private sector companies to the water-locked community of Enkovukeni at Umhlabuyalingana on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal on Friday
Transport Department Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in black outfit) and some senior government officials at provincial and local government level in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi on board a boat donated by private sector companies to the water-locked community of Enkovukeni at Umhlabuyalingana on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal on September 09, 2016

The initiative is part of the Umhlabuyalingana Outreach Project which was initially proposed as a Nelson Mandela International Day project by SAMSA, the latter which drew a partnership with other stakeholders to accelerate delivery of services and bring immediate and long term relief to the community.

Private sector partners now supporting SAMSA and the Department of Transport include Dormac, Subtech, Smith Amandla Marine, Unicorn, SA Shipyards, MIASA, KZN Sharks board, FBI Communications, Viking Lifesaving and Surfing Equipment.

In September 2016 Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiswe Chikunga led the formal launch of the initiative at the village and at which event she handed over the first of four boats earmarked for donation to the community.

img_3960The newly trained boat skippers, all previously unemployed youths from the community will once formally licensed, be charged with responsibility for manning and managing the boats to be deployed with the community, said SAMSA Curriculum Development Specialist, Mr Mzwamandla Sosibo.

Mr Sosibo and KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Education Project Specialist, Mr Vincent Zulu who oversaw the training, were on hand in Durban last Friday to see the group return home after its training.

Mr Sosibo said SAMSA was pleased that significant progress was being achieved with the initiative, but precisely with regards water based transport for the community as this remained the main challenge to address all other problems. For his full remarks Click Here:

img_3959Meanwhile, Mr Zulu said the Enkovukeni initiative constituted an example of the nature of beneficiation communities across the country could elicit from the national Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) initiative launched in 2014.

Of the eight skipper trainees, he said they had an equal obligation to ensure that contribution made to their Enkovukeni community fully benefitted everyone and that projects initiated were jealously guarded and fully supported by the community for long term sustainability. For Mr Zulu’s full remarks, Click Here

Meanwhile, the eight boat skipper trainees said they were “absolutely elated” to have been included in the programme and vowed to give it their all to ensure the programme is sustainable.

For their remarks (averaging one minute each), please Click the pictures below

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Maritime sector pools resources with transport sector for careers expo

SHARING CAREER INFO: Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga interacting with learners at this year's Transport Week Career Expo currently taking place at the Sci-Bono Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.
SHARING CAREER INFO: Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga interacting with learners at this year’s Transport Week Career Expo currently taking place at the Sci-Bono Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Johannesburg: 26 October 2016

Early exposure of young people to possible future careers in any field of occupation in life remains key to sustainable, orderly education, training and skills development and the staging of this year’s Transport Week, currently underway at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg; is in keeping with this truism.

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TRANSPORT WEEK: Learners being taken through a stage presentation involving career exposition during this weeks Transport Week Career Expo currently taking place at the Sci-Bono Science Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Transport Week 2016, held in the month of October to dovetail with South Africa’s ‘Transport Month’ is a week-long career expo and exhibition intended to share information with thousands of foundational level students on careers available in the country’s transport subsectors; rail, air, road and sea. (For video highlights Click Here)

MOVING PEOPLE: Gautrain Company, one of the transport sector companies participating at this years Transport Week at the Sci-Bono Science Centre in Johannesburg
MOVING PEOPLE: Gautrain Company, one of the transport sector companies participating at this years Transport Week at the Sci-Bono Science Centre in Johannesburg

Among key participants at the careers expo are the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), rail operator Gautrain Company and about 20 others from both the public and private sectors.

No less than 6000 pupils from Gauteng schools in an around Johannesburg – about three quarters of them being high school pupils – are scheduled to attend the event over the five days during which they will interact with as many as 40 presenters in short classes averaging 30 minutes per session on careers information.

At kick-start on Monday, Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga officiated, walking about the centre interacting with both the exhibitors as well as the first group of about 380 pupils present during the morning session.

SHAPING MINDS: Primary school pupils who are part of scheduled 6000 learners in Gauteng attending this years Transport Week Career Expo in Johannesburg, being explained the maritime sector by a SAMSA representative
SHAPING MINDS: Primary school pupils who are part of scheduled 6000 learners in Gauteng attending this years Transport Week Career Expo in Johannesburg, being explained the maritime sector by a SAMSA representative

According to SAMSA, organizers of the maritime sector expo section, and first time participants in the annual transport sector career expo during October; the event provides opportunity also for maritime sector key role-players to share directly with other role players in the transport sector critical information about skills development in the maritime subsector to help youths make informed decisions about their future careers.

EQUIPPED: Learners showing off bags of goodies inclusive of maritime career information booklets received from SAMSA at this year's Transport Week Career Expo in Newtown Johannesburg.
EQUIPPED: Learners showing off bags of goodies inclusive of maritime career information booklets received from SAMSA at this year’s Transport Week Career Expo in Newtown Johannesburg.

Since 2012, the Maritime Industry Focus Week organised through a partnership between SAMSA and Sci-Bono Discovery Centre was held separately during the early part of the year.

“The main purpose of the Transport Week is to help guide the learners towards realizing the importance of various career prospects within the transport sector inclusive of information on bursaries, learnerships and employment opportunities that are available.

“It is also to raise the awareness also of educators so that they can become ambassadors and carry on instilling an interest in the learners to consider choosing a career in trasportation.”

Sharing of information with learners on the maritime sector includes aspects relating to the country’s Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) programme.

End

Enkovukeni: (not) a bridge too far!

Initiative to alleviate community plight now a Presidential Project – Deputy Minister of Transport

Transport Department Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in black outfit) and some senior government officials at provincial and local government level in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi on board a boat donated by private sector companies to the water-locked community of Enkovukeni at Umhlabuyalingana on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal on Friday
Transport Department Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in black outfit on the far right) and some senior government officials at provincial and local government level in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi on board a boat donated by private sector companies to the water-locked community of Enkovukeni at Umhlabuyalingana on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal on Friday

Pretoria: 11 September 2016

After wading through crocodile, hippopotamus and rhinoceros infested waters for decades – more than five centuries by one account – the community of Enkovukeni, a small village patched on a forested hill surrounded by deep lakes waters on the one side, and the pulsating waves of the Indian Ocean on the other, at Umhlabuyalingana on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, might soon have a bridge at last.

That is if the South African government which has taken focus of the area fully for the first time, can negotiate a few treacherous corners inclusive of international conventions governing the management of the country’s first ever World Heritage Site; the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park in which the village is tightly locked in.

Department of Transport Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga address the cmmunity of Enkovukeni at Umhlabuyalinga on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Friday
Department of Transport Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga address the community of Enkovukeni at Umhlabuyalinga on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Friday

On Friday, Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga accompanied by members of top management of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), a group of private sector representatives and provincial and local government officials in KwaZulu-Natal; met the villagers with their traditional leader, Inkosi Tembe and she gave an undertaking that national government would look into the plight of the community.

They told her in unison, without a second thought; they wanted a bridge, along with a ‘two-lane’ road.

The desperate request is based on the fact that an only entrance by a vehicle into the area – stopping short of a kilometer to the village, on the banks of an oft swollen lake – is a three to five kilometer long single-lane shifting sand pit barely two meters wide, running rugged through a thicket on which only off-road vehicles are able successfully to grind.

Folklore has it that a few locals who’d ever managed to buy a vehicle, any type of vehicle; have never ever been able to take it home. Boating on the heritage site lakes is also apparently highly regulated.

Marooned by lake and ocean waters all around and with barely any road to speak off in a thicket, Enkovukeni vehicle owners never ever take them home, when they have managed to nearby their village - that is when they have survived tyre punctures in the sandpit single lane that makes for a road in the area.
Marooned by lake and ocean waters all around and with barely any road to speak of in a thicket, Enkovukeni vehicle owners never ever take them home, when they have managed to arrive nearby their village – that is when they have survived tyre punctures in the sandpit single-lane that makes for a road in the area.

On Friday, Ms Chikunga however described it as a bizarre situation that should not obtain still in the new South Africa, and committed that government would fully investigate the possibility of constructing a bridge across some part of the lake in order to provide more secure and safe mobility for the community.

But that will partly require working past a basket of international conventions along with domestic laws, rules and regulations governing the management of the Isimangaliso World Heritage Site.

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Information on the park’s website states that the iSimangaliso Wetland Park was listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999 “in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and unique global values.”

It states: “The 332 000 hectare Park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000 year-old vegetated coastal dunes – among the highest in the world. The name iSimangaliso means miracle and wonder, which aptly describes this unique place.”

The deputy Minister’s visit of the area on Friday was the second since August 14, 2016; following to an initiative by the Pretoria headquartered South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) together with private sector partners in the Durban region’s maritime sector to assist the Enkovukeni community with mainly water based transport.

According to SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, the initiative was sparked by a news report earlier this year that depicted the living conditions of the community as dire due to an almost complete lack of not only transport, but anything else to enhance its life to a level others in surrounding areas generally take for granted.

As part of its community outreach programme under the annual Nelson Mandela International Day (2016), the authority mobilized support for help among some private sector companies that could lend a hand, in the form of boats that could be donated,.

To date a handful agreed, among them the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, shipping group Smit-Amandla Marine, Dormac, Subtech, Unicorn, SA Shipyards, MIASA, FBI Communications, Viking Lifesaving and Surfing Equipment FBI Communications and some others.

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Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga helping launch officially the first of possibly three boats donated to Enkovukeni villagers at Umhlabuyalingana on Friday.

The event Friday was to both hand over the first of possibly two or three boats the community would be donated with in order just to be safe enough for day to day travel, including school children who have to cross the lake daily to attend school, the sick who need medical help and the elderly who have to collect their social grants.

It was also for government at all three tiers to consult further with the community on how best it could be further assisted.

Ms Chikunga announced that government had taken serious note of the situation such that it was now being undertaken as a Presidential Project under the direct control of President Jacob Zuma.

Members of the Enkovukeni village community, listened attentively of Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga on Fiday.
Members of the Enkovukeni village community, listened attentively of Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga on Fiday.

Mobilization, she said; had begun by the Department of Transport (under her directive) to involve and engage fully no less than seven other national departments – Public Works; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Basic Education, Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Small Business, Trade and Industry, Energy Affairs, and Arts and Culture; but also the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government in efforts to focus their attention to action to alleviate the plight of the Enkovukeni community.

“When I visited the area for the first time on 14 August 2016, and held talks with Inkosi Tembe and some members of the community, I promised I would be back with a progress report. Today, I am back not only with a report back, but also with tools and equipment intended to alleviate the plight of this community. The boats are not a total solution, but are a start.

“As promised, I have since taken your situation to the Office of the President with a proposal that this situation be undertaken as a Presidential Project, and he has agreed. The next step proposed is the establishment of an inter-Ministerial Task team involving deputy Ministers of the respective departments in order that we package a comprehensive programme that will deliver on the issues requiring address.

“The Director General in the Office of the President is currently arranging for the first of such meetings,” she said.

A community member sharing the villagers' frustration with the Isimingalisa Heritage Site management with government officials at Enkovukeni on Friday
A community member sharing the villagers’ frustration with the Isimingalisa Heritage Site management with government officials at Enkovukeni on Friday

Ms Chikunga said the involvement of as many national government departments as was possible was a necessity to ensure that as many challenges facing the community as possible were noted and where possible addressed holistically as soon as possible.

These included skills development for especially fishermen, small business development in particularly tourism as well as aspects related to arts and culture.

In addition, housing assistance and electrification, school nutrition and related matters, land management and general development needed specific and urgent attention, she said.

Ms Chikunga promised to return to the village within the next few weeks to deliver shoes to school going children (estimated at about 150) as well as certain basic necessities to families.

End

 To listen fully to Ms Chikunga’s address (mainly in isiZulu), as well as the rest of the officials and community members, please click on the audio clips and video links provided below. The clips are in order of the programme as presented on Friday. 

Clip 1: Welcome Address, Inkosi Tembe

Clip 2: Outreach Programme broad outline – Mr Sobantu Tilayi (SAMSA aCEO)

Video

Clip 3: Outreach Programme Specifics – Ms S. Molemane (SAMSA Board Member)

Clip 4: Boat donation – Mr Vincent Zulu (KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board)

Video

Clip 5: Community Response – Mr Ngubane

Clip 6: Local government speaker – Ms B.T Tembe

Clip 7: Key address – Ms Sindisiswe Chikunga (Deputy Minister, Transport Department)

Video

 

 

 

 

Arrested Chinese vessel faces more charges – to remain in custody until fines are paid: SAMSA

Pretoria: 18 May 2016

The Chinese fishing vessel, Lu Huang Yuan Yu 186 captured and arrested by South African authorities last weekend after being found to have conducted itself illegally, is to remain in South African custody until all fines imposed on its owners have been settled, alternatively, a court case is instituted, goes on trial and concluded.

An image of the Chinese vessel, Lu Huang Yuan Yu 186. Courtesy of Independent Online
An image of the Chinese vessel, Lu Huang Yuan Yu 186. Courtesy of Independent Online

This is according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which on Wednesday (18 May 2016) announced to have found that the vessel had contravened environmental laws governing the country’s territorial waters.

In the statement, SAMSA said its investigation had established that documentation of the vessel was  in order. However, it had been found to have violated the country’s environmental laws governing the oceans. SAMSA confirmed that: “the fishing vessel was detained today and two Admission of Contraventions were issued to the master and owner of the vessel.

“The detention and fines were issued because of an unauthorised pump and flexible pipes from the engine room bilges directly over the side and that no Oil Record Book was available on board the vessel.

An image taken by SAMSA investigators aboard the Chinese vessel arrested in Cape Town and which show the condition of some of the water and oil management pipeline on the vessel.
An image taken by SAMSA investigators aboard the Chinese fishing vessel arrested in Cape Town and which show the condition of some of the water and oil management pipeline on the vessel.

“This is a direct violation of our marine pollution legislation. The vessel will only be released once the two non-conformities has been rectified and detention fee paid.

“We still have to wait to see if the master and owner will accept and pay the Admission of Contraventions or prefer to go to court, in which case we will have to lay charges at the police station and allow the law to takes its course,” said SAMSA in a statement.

The organisation further said that the country’s ports authority, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and other relevant authorities had been notified of the detention.

DAFF briefed on findings

Earlier on Wednesday, SAMSA officials also met and briefed the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga of their findings and determination following a visit and on board investigation of the vessel by the organisation’s surveyors on Monday afternoon.

A second image taken by SAMSA investigators aboard the Chinese vessel arrested in Cape Town and which show the condition of some of the water and oil management pipeline on the vessel.
A second image taken by SAMSA investigators aboard the Chinese vessel arrested in Cape Town and which show the condition of some of the water and oil management pipeline on the vessel.

The SAMSA findings and fines will be in addition to a set of others fines imposed on the vessel by other South African authorities including DAFF and SARS.

This followed the capture and arrest of the Chinese fishing vessel with nine crew on board on Friday last week off the coast of the Eastern Cape and berthed at the port of Cape Town.

It and several similar vessels believed to be from the same company, en route to the DR Congo were sought to be rounded up by DAFF officials for inspection following reports of suspicious behaviour, but refused.

According to DAFF, the vessels were initially rounded up and ordered to obey officials, but soon scattered and disappeared, except for the one that was eventually captured and arrested.

A DAFF spokesman, Ms Bomikazi Molapo said: “The crew claimed to have been travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they claim they were going to fish and claim to have the necessary permits to do so. We have also established that this fleet of nine vessels is related and belong to the same company.”

Shortly after its berthing at the Cape Town harbour on Saturday, according to DAFF, rummaging was conducted on the captured vessel involving the South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African Revenue Services (SARS) as well as the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

Ms Molapo said while the early investigators found no fish on board the vessel, it had however violated the country’s Marine Living Resources Act (MLRA) in that the fishing vessel entered the country’s EEZ without the authority of a valid permit.

“The vessel also contravened Section 56 (2) in that (the) Master or crew member of the fishing vessel in question, did not immediately comply with lawful instruction as given by a fishery control officer and also did not facilitate the safe boarding, entry and inspection of the fishing vessel,” she said.

Due to these violations, DAFF issued a seizure notice that will involve the vessel, its gear and equipment, stores as well as cargo.

In terms of this, the vessel will not be allowed to leave the port of Cape Town or relocate to any other berthing space within the port, unless authorized to do so by DAFF.

According to DAFF, SARS had also fined the vessel R8 000 for tobacco and cigarette related charges. SAPS was also following up and investigating a case involving the keeping of dogs in the vessel.

Centre for Sea Watch and Response had kept an eye on the vessels

A screen image of the tracked route of the 10 Chinese fishing vessels that went past the South African coast and one of which was captured following to violation of some of the country's territorial waters' management laws.
A SAMSA Centre for Sea Watch and Response tracking system screen image of the tracked route of the 10 Chinese fishing vessels that went past the South African coast and one of which was captured following to violation of some of the country’s territorial waters’ management laws.

Meanwhile, it has since dawned that the SAMSA Centre for Sea Watch and Response (CSWR) had actually tracked a number of the vessels as soon as they were within South Africa’s territorial waters on 07 May 2016 and according to its report, the Chinese fishing vessels had left China at the end of March 2016 destined for the Congo in West Africa.

The Centre said it had tracking AIS data for only six of vessels, indicating that carriage of AIS transponders for fishing vessels was a “flag State” requirement and that not all fishing vessels carried these devices.

A SAMSA Centre for Sea Watch and Rescue image showing the location of the rest of the Chinese fishing vessels along the Namibian coast earlier this week
A SAMSA Centre for Sea Watch and Response image showing the location of the rest of the Chinese fishing vessels along the Namibian coast earlier this week

This notwithstanding, the Centre said it had noted that the 10 vessels were detected by MRCC Mauritius and their National Coast Guard (NCG) aircraft was launched to interrogate (them). Their identities were established as Lu Huang Yuan Yu 185, 187, 197 and 199 and these were heading towards Congo.

Six others, the Lu Huang Yuan Yu 186, 188,189,195, 198, and Xu Huo 9618 were bound for Port Louis, and arrived on 28 April before departing on 01 May after bunkering at outer anchorage.

The Centre said: “The vessels entered SA waters on 07 May; passing through territorial waters off Richards Bay about 19h00 on 08 May, and Durban on 09 May; then Port Elizabeth on 10 May and rounded Cape Agulhas on 11 May, and off Cape Town about 14h00 on 12 May heading toward Saldanha Bay area. This is a distance of about 880 miles in about 91 hours which equates to an average speed of 9,6 knots.

A SAMSA Centre for Sea Watch and Rescue tracking system image showing the actual route taken by the Chinese vessels since leaving China about two months ago.
A SAMSA Centre for Sea Watch and Response tracking system image showing the actual route taken by the Chinese vessels since leaving China about two months ago.

According to the Centre, the track data of the six vessels indicate that they entered the SA coast near Richards Bay and stayed within the territorial zone all the way and passed Cape Town in keeping with their response to the Mauritian Authority of heading to the Congo.

The Centre said following the attempted roundup of the fishing vessels for inspection by the DAFF’s coast guard vessel, the FPV Victoria Mxenge, about 25 miles SW of Saldanha, the vessels dispersed and eventually continued heading northward towards Namibian waters.

SAMSA said that Namibian authorities had since been informed about the alleged incidents in South African waters.

The latest tracks show eight of the 10 vessels off Angola, outside of their EEZ.

End.