World Maritime University (WMU) leader and academic, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry visited South Africa for a week last week and apparently left very impressed with the progress being achieved in relations between her Malmo, Sweden-based educational institution and South Africa.
Dr Doumbia-Henry whose meetings in the country – from Sunday to Wednesday last week – began with senior government officials, among them Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, Transport Minister Ms Dipuo Peters and her deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga and later leaders of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the Transport Education and Training Authority (Teta); said she was particularly impressed by the contribution now being made by dozens of local officials and maritime sector experts who achieved their post graduate education in maritime at the WMU over the last few years.
On Tuesday, she’d spent the better part of the day with at least about a dozen of the WMU alumni at SAMSA’s head office in Pretoria, and during which meeting the group – all of whom work for SAMSA – shared their work experiences and insights back in the country since their graduation in Malmo over the last few years. The meeting was also attended by a group of SAMSA senior management representatives as well as the DoT director, Ts’episo Taoana-Mashiloane
In an interview with this blog, The 10th Province shortly thereafter, Dr Doumbia-Henry was full of praise about the nature and level of the graduates involvement in programmes intended to enhance the rapid yet sustainable development of the country’s maritime economic sector inclusive of environmental protection of the ocean space, safety of personnel in the sector, the upholding of laws relevant to the ocean spaces as well as research and innovation.
She confirmed that she was in the country to strengthen relations with both Government – which has been the main supporter and contributor to the annual dispatch of South Africans to WMU since 2012 – as well as tidy up mutual bilateral relations with education and training institutions such as the NMMU, SAIMI and related; and leaders of the first two, Professor Derrick Swartz and Professor Malek Pourzanjani whom she spend some considerable time with between Sunday and Wednesday.
In the following video, Dr Doumbio-Henry fully outlines the purpose of her visit as well as her impressions of the country.
South Africa’s maritime economic sector development programme, Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) will need to speedily live up to its name and ‘hurry up’ sooner than later if it is to draw any significant investment into the sector, in the process laying conducive conditions for business development and job creation, Mr Christopher Sparg, Managing Director of Dormac has warned.
Mr Sparg was among 60 odd maritime sector industry principals gathered for the event in Kalk Bay on the eve Mr Zuma’s SONA speech and in which he was expected to share Government’s perspective and goals about the specific programme.
The idea, according to SAMSA was to allow for the sharing of views and engagement with Government policy owners many of who were in the city for the opening of Parliament.
In his speech, Mr Zuma made reference to Operation Phakisa as among key priorities areas of government’s focus in overall economic development activity. Highlights of planned action included the inclusion of marine tourism as part of the package, and also the dedication of Simonstown as the “government garage for all state-owned vessels, including the maintenance and repair of government-owned vessels, through the newly established South African Navy/ARMSCOR/Denel partnership.”
From a maritime economic sector industry perspective however, the launch of Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) in 2014, essentially to speed up processes towards unlocking bottlenecks and creating a conducive environment to increased investment, business development and job creation, was simply not living up to expectations, charged Mr Sparg.
“We’ve yet to experience the speed about which Operation Phakisa was launched” said Mr Sparg, adding that this was leading to uncertainty and frustration among especially those already invested in the local economy.
Mr Sparg leads Dormac Marine and Engineering, a division of Southey Holdings that is a major player in the country’s ship repair, industrial fabrication and oil and gas maritime fields.
Continued collaboration through regular engagement and exchange of ideas, views and opinions among key role players and interested parties remains the key to any positive achievements in the redevelopment and growth of the country’s maritime economic sector, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).
This, according to SAMSA Board Chairman Mr Mavuso Msimang, was the underlying message behind a networking session hosted by the organization in Cape Town this past week, involving more than 60 officials from across subsectors of the country’s maritime sector as well as State departments and organizations.
Several of the industry principals and government officials were in the Mother City for Thursday’s 2017 State of the Nation Address(SONA) in Parliament by President Jacob Zuma.
The networking session, a feature of SAMSA’s stakeholder engagement program, served also this year as a precursor to more robust formal engagements in the next few months among which will be the 2nd South Africa Maritime Investment Conference (SAMIC 2017) currently earmarked for Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in the first half of this year.
This will occur just over two years after the launch of Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) in 2014 which event firmly placed the country’s maritime economic sector central to the country’s broad economic development goals.
On Wednesday evening, Mr Msimang, flanked by some members of the SAMSA board as well as executive managers including acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi; hosted the exclusive networking dinner for the maritime sector leaders at the Harbour House restaurant located in the heart of a quaint small fishing habour in Kalk Bay – some 30km south east of central Cape Town.
Global economic uncertainty remains
In his brief remarks to the group, Mr Msimang noted that global economic activity was not at its best and that recent political developments around the world, but specifically the exit of Great Britain from the European Union (a.k.a Brexit) and the recent outcome of the United States presidential elections had added economic risk factors with unpredictable consequences for global trade currently.
He said the same could be said of South Africa’s own socio-political and economic situation.
Mr Msimang said it was against the scenario that it remained absolutely important that various partners to the country’s maritime economic development sector continue to work closely together in managing and solving emerging challenges as well as in exploring for profit all opportunities.
He said SAMSA appreciated its role as facilitator and committed it that: “We will endeavor to promote events like this with the hope that the platform provided will enable people to talk and engage much more easily. We will support the industry in its deliberations with various government policy owners as well as playing our part in the governance of the maritime economic sector.”
Meanwhile, in his welcoming remarks, Mr Tilayi noted that while the country’s maritime economic sector continued to experience a set of problems and challenges requiring sustained engagement with particularly government, there were reasons to be optimistic.
He said current joint efforts between government and industry could see more positive outcomes achieved, particularly in relation to policy development, ships registration under the country’s flag, a rejuvenation of the country’s fishing sub-sector vessels fleet through recapitalization, as well as renewed impetus in efforts towards the sustained development of the country’s cadre of seafarers and related.
Mr Tilayi emphasized however, the critical importance of continued engagement among key role players in the sector, also stressing SAMSA’s continued facilitation role between industry and government.
Mr Andrew Millard, a director of shipping group, Vuka Marine – Cape Town based owners of the first three shipping vessels to carry South Africa’s flag in 2015 – expressed appreciation of the role played by SAMSA and indicated that while there were numerous challenges facing the sector still, there were also numerous reasons for optimism, particularly with regards expansion of a vessel fleet carrying the country’s flag – a particular development deemed vital to especially the training of a cadre of South African seafarers.
With about 11000 seafarers now in its name, the country is steadily making progress towards maritime economic sector skills development and thereby creating opportunities for all.
Pretoria: 29 June 2016
South Africa’s passionate yet purposeful campaign to enhance greater public awareness towards realization of the relevance and importance of the country’s status as fundamentally a maritime region, and whose global trade is almost completely dependent on the seas around it, continued in Durban at the weekend, with a national event to celebrate the International Day of the Seafarer.
Situated appropriately within the annual Durban International Boat Show and Exhibition held at the Royal Natal Yacht Club, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) driven annual event, hosted in South Africa by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA); drew attention to the country’s 11 000-strong cadre of seafarers and which is steadily growing to take advantage of the numerous opportunities presented by the country’s vast ocean economy.
Over the past decade, SAMSA working closely with a variety of partners both within the private and public sectors, has played an instrumental, if pivotal role as a State organ to drive hard, deliberately and purposefully, a human skills development campaign for the South African maritime economic with much emphasis initially on cadet training, leading to its acquisition and management of the country’s first dedicated cadet training vessel, the SA Agulhas, in 2011.
As of Saturday, 25 June 2016; there were on record about 11 000 seafarers in South Africa, plying their trade both locally and abroad and with their US dollar denominated income earnings making a contribution to the country’s gross domestic product.
The International Day of the Seafarer, is a global event which according to SAMSA’s Centre for Corporate Affairs was first celebrated in 2011, following its establishment by a resolution adopted by the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, held in Manila, Philippines, in June 2010, which adopted major revisions to the STCW Convention and Code.
The Day of the Seafarer had since been included in the annual list of United Nations Observances.
This year’s theme for the Day of the Seafarer was #AtSeaForAll a notion, according to the centre, that had a clear link with the 2016 World Maritime Day theme, “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, emphasizing that seafarers serve at sea not just for the shipping industry or for their own career purposes but for all of society, hence they are “indispensable to the world”.
In a statement in Sweden on Friday, IMO Secretary-General, Mr Kitack Lim described the global seafarer celebration on Saturday as an opportunity for communities across sectors to “reflect on how much we all rely on seafarers for most of the things we take for granted in our everyday lives.
He said: “Over one million seafarers operate the global fleet yet billions of people depend on them for the essentials and the luxuries of life. Shipping is essential to the world – and so are seafarers.
“So, this year, on 25 June, the Day of the Seafarer, we are once again asking people everywhere to show their appreciation for the seafarers that quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion.”
In Durban on Saturday, SAMSA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the crucial role of South Africa within the world’s maritime economic sector, and the importance of skills development within it, but also the need for recognition and appreciation of contributors to the growth of the domestic maritime sector.
Of seafarers, Mr Tilayi – who had alongside him Captain Thembela Tobashe – one of the first of three black females ever to qualify as Master Mariners – echoed the IMO view, stating: “At the coal face of driving economies around the world and at the forefront supporting international trade the seafarers, whether deck hands, captains of ships, engineers and cadets, galley staff play a very significant role in ensuring the world’s economic growth and sustainability.
“Seafarers are those brave hearts who risk their lives, give up months of family time and being on land, to go out to sea, to not only support and protect our beloved country and their nations, but also to create an impact on each and every citizen by ensuring international trade, which affects us all. They make sure that the environment is protected, trade is flowing and our communities are able to thrive and develop themselves. It is therefore essential to raise our hands in salutation to these fearless men and women,” said Tilayi.
Mr Tilayi encouraged particularly youth to explore at depth the skills and economic benefits their involvement in the sector might provide them.
For Mr Tilayi’s video presentation in Durban, Click Here.
For Mr Lim’s message, presented at the Durban event by Captain Tobashe, please Click Here
For a select group of photos of the Durban International Boat Show and Exhibition, please Click Here
A week ago Tuesday, more than 200 people from South Africa and Norway’s maritime economic sector gathered in a conference room of the Dolphin’s Leap leisure and entertainment centre on Port Elizabeth’s beachfront to share ideas towards a possibly suitable strategy for establishment of a national maritime economic sector cluster for South Africa.
Among them were senior government officials inclusive of the Department of Environmental Affairs – the lead State department on Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy), the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Science and Technology; thought leaders from academic institutions including the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, researchers from independent institutions and industry leaders in the country’s maritime economic sector.
Also present were provincial Eastern Cape government authorities, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Council as well as local business leaders inclusive of members of both the Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) and Durban maritime clusters.
Discussions at the forum took two forms; themed speeches and panel discussions interspersed by questions and answers from attendees,
A week ago this blog highlighted some of the key issues raised and discussed, and in this report (because you do not have two days of time to listen to it all!) we present you a virtual experience of discussions of some of the issues in audio and video formats.
To take you back to some of interesting topics covered, Click Here
Port Elizabeth was South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma’s choice for the 2016 Presidential National Progress Report on Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) in April. This week the city hosted yet another national maritime sector event with international flavour.
Port Elizabeth: 07 June 2016
While national traditional media might be paying little if any attention to it, the Mandela Bay Chamber of Commerce (Port Elizabeth) can barely hide its appreciation for the national and international attention the region is increasingly drawing in domestic and international maritime sector initiatives.
The chamber’s chief executive Kevin Hustler was remarking on the staging early this week of yet another maritime sector development oriented event in Port Elizabeth with much international flavour, a two-day seminar on national maritime sector cluster development involving thought leaders mostly from South Africa and Norway.
The event, at a venue situated along the city’s pristine Blue-flagged Humewood beach and about a kilometre east of the port of Port Elizabeth, held under the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) theme, also provided the venue for the signing of a historical bilateral agreement between the Norwegian government and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University that involves the setting up of an academic institute to focus on illegal fishing studies and management strategy development.
Mr Hustler was among about 200 delegates that attended on Monday, alongside which was the city’s Mayor, Dr Danny Jordaan but who could only address the delegates on Tuesday.
The Mandela Bay Chamber represents the largest membership number of businesses in the city inclusive of three major vehicle and components manufacturers in the city, Volkswagen South Africa, General Motors South Africa and Ford Motor Company South Africa.
The Chamber is also a stakeholder and key role player in the region’s Maritime Cluster set up some four years ago.
To hear Mr Hustler’s remarks during a brief interview during the two day seminar, Click Below
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) dedicates its Resource Centre to former executive in recognition of her sterling contribution to development of country’s maritime economic sector.
Pretoria: 22 April 2016
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) wound down a period of mourning with a moving tribute to its former executive and highly recognized figure in the country’s maritime and tourism sectors, the late Ms Sindiswa Carol Nhlumayo, at its head office in Pretoria on Wednesday.
The official 40 days of mourning having ended a few weeks ago, on Wednesday, the organization bestowed an honour of remembrance on Ms Nhlumayo by naming a section of its office building, a resources space and library located centre of the ground floor of the multi-story building, parallel the main entrance, in her name.
A section of the dedicated library and resources centre, fairly modest in size, features among other things, memorabilia items inclusive of a series of Ms Nhlumayo’s photos of meetings, media engagements, tours and conference addresses in South Africa, the rest of the African continent and the rest of the world; tribute messages packaged in book form and frames, as well a .collection of her own books and writings
Ms Nhlumayo (40), an Executive Head of SAMSA’s Centre for Maritime Excellence, a division largely responsible for SAMSA’s discharge of responsibilities attaching to its third legislative mandate – the promotion of South Africa’s maritime interests – passed away on 11 February 2016 after a gutsy battle with cancer.
Her death has been mourned across both the public and private sectors inclusive of educational institutions associated with the maritime economic sector in South Africa and abroad.
At the time, the Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal born Ms Nhlumayo; widely recognized for what’s described as a massive contribution towards particularly the country’s tourism and maritime economic sectors, with passionate focus on skills development, had just been conferred the esteemed “Business Leader of the Year Award 2015” by the Institute of People Management in addition to several other awards she’d earned for her dedication and focus to her work.
She was in the process of completing her doctoral studies in maritime economy with the World Maritime University based in Sweden – an institution in which she’s almost single-handedly also helped place more than 100 South African students also pursuing Masters and Doctoral level studies in the maritime field.
At this week’s brief and almost casual ceremony, and to which both her family members and her friends, as well as former associates of varied occupations were invited along with SAMSA executives and staff members, SAMSA CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele noted that it was the first time ever that the organization had bestowed such an honour to a past employee.
It has arisen after much deliberation, and during which it had been deemed appropriate as relevant to and in recognition and acknowledgment of the massive contribution Ms Nhlumayo had made both to the country as well as the organization and for which SAMSA was recognized with a ‘Legends of Empowerment and Transformation’ award at the 2016 Oliver Awards a week ago.
Mr Mokhele said the decision to honour Ms Nhlumayo, deliberated upon and agreed with staff; was undertaken on the one hand as a gesture of goodwill primarily to indicate and illustrate the importance for institutions and society at large to openly, honestly give recognition to contribution made by others, especially such contribution as having clearly impacted positively the lives of others.
On the other hand, Mr Mokhele said the gesture of a 40 day mourning period would now be standard for all other SAMSA employees as both an incentive and empowerment tool encompassing the inculcation of a culture of high work ethic in their respective areas of specialization.
He said organizations across various sectors of society were not independent of the people that worked in and for them, and whose work should never require little more than tolerance indicative of detachment.
“Among ourselves as management and staff, we said the new standard for SAMSA going forward would be that, in the event of the passing on of any one of our colleagues, the 40 days of mourning will stand, and it’s now up to all people who are here (at SAMSA) to make sure we don’t spend 40 days of mourning without remembering anything about a person. We want to spend the 40 days just reflecting about their own contribution for its high worth value, and that is the challenge we are all now sitting with, arising out of the contribution of one individual.
“I do not know how practically it’s going to be, but I do know that we’ve challenged ourselves strongly so that we can build a much more humane organization, and it arises out of the memory of one individual. That to me is a living legacy that makes people passionate and view things from many dimensions over a much longer period of time.”
Mr Mokhele revealed that the steering committee of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) based at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University was also considering giving recognition to Ms Nhlumayo’s contribution and was currently weighing up ideas. At its next meeting in about two weeks’ time, the committee might take the matter forward possibly with some concrete plans.
For Mr Mokhele’ edited remarks as well as visuals of the ceremony on Wednesday afternoon click here:
Meanwhile, several guests applauded SAMSA for the initiative, with a consensus view that it was deserving of Ms Nhlumayo’s memory.
South Africans might hurriedly get used to and settle permanently with the knowledge that their’s is a maritime country whose vast oceans remain central to its economic development into the future, according to Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga.
Ms Chikunga told mourners at a funeral of a senior manager of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Ms Sindiswa Carol Nhlumayo; in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend that the development of the country’s maritime economy – long suffering neglect yet with abundant economic resources – was now firmly in government’s national agenda and that no effort was being sparred by the State to ensure that requisite infrastructure, along with appropriate human skills were invested upon.
According to government estimations, South Africa’s oceans inclusive of an Exclusive Economic Zone equivalent some 1.5-million square kilometers along a coastline equivalent some 3900km, have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and create more than one million jobs by 2033.
Ms Chikunga is the designated cabinet minister for co-ordination of South Africa’s maritime economic sector development and which effort is being pursued through the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) programme – a joint initiative between the State, the private sector as well as educational and research institutions.
Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) was launched in October 2014 targeting for rapid development over the next five years, five subsectors of the country’s maritime economy; Off-shore Oil and Gas, Marine Transport and Manufacturing, Marine protection services and Ocean governance, Aquaculture and Marine Tourism.
Ms Chikunga bemoaned the premature death of Ms Nhlumayo, an executive head of SAMSA’s Centre for Maritime Excellence; whom she described as having been a major contributor to both the country’s tourism strategy development as well as a key national figure in the promotion of development of the maritime economic sector.
Ms Nhlumayo (45), also a PhD candidate in maritime economy studies at the Sweden-based World Maritime University, as well as a multi-award winner inclusive of the Institute of People Management (IPM) “Business Leader of the Year 2015”, died of cancer on 11 February 2016.
Ms Nhlumayo had been central to development and implementation of national human resources skills development initiatives for particularly the maritime sector and had been instrumental in forging relationships between national and international education institutions inclusive of the World Maritime University that now has direct links with the Port Elizabeth based Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Since 2012 as many as 22 South Africans have read for Masters and Doctoral degree in maritime studies at the World Maritime University. In addition, several other South African youths, supported by SAMSA; are enrolled for maritime economy studies in Vietnam. Similar opportunities are currently being explored with institutions in the Phillipines.
Ms Chikunga said Ms Nhlumayo’s death was unfortunate as it came at a time when SAMSA was gathering speed with several of its promotional programmes of the country’s maritime economic sector and which has now seen commercial cargo vessels carrying the country’s flag for the first time in more than 30 years.
Two of these were registered late in 2015, while according to SAMSA Chief Executive Officer, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele; 12 others are currently awaiting approval.
For Ms Chikunga’s full remarks, view the video clip: (Warning: the deputy Minister’s entire speech is in isiZulu)
South Africans join the world in paying warm tributes to Ms Sindiswa Carol Nhlumayo, executive head of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Centre for Maritime Excellence.
Pretoria: 21 February, 2016
Ms Sindiswa Carol Nhlumayo was laid to rest during a funeral service held at her rural village home at Emvutshini, Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday.
Ms Nhlumayo, 45, an Executive Head of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Centre for Maritime Excellence since formation in 2011, died on Thursday, February 11, 2016; after a courageous battle with cancer.
Since her passing away a week ago, tributes have poured in from South Africa and abroad, with several institutions, friend and acquaintances, family and colleagues expressing anguish at her death, virtually all describing her passing on as a sad loss for the country, particularly in the tourism, human resources development and maritime economic sectors.
Incidentaly, Ms Nhlumayo, a PhD student candidate with the Sweden-based World Maritime University; passed away on the same day as her aunt, Nonsikelelo Nhlumayo; who also tragically suffered from cancer – for what proved a double tragedy for their family on the rolling hills of Emvutshini overlooking vast fields of sugarcane and banana forests a few kilometres south of Port Shepstone.
At their joint funeral on Saturday, among several dignitaries and high ranking officials attending were national Transport Department deputy Mininster, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, the National Heritage Council chief executive officer, Sonwabile Mangcotywa, Tourism Business Council chief executive officer Ms Matsatsi Ramawela, representatives of national government departments inclusive of the Department of Tourism, the Department of Higher Education, and the Department of Environmental Affairs, the local mayor as well as representatives of the local traditional leadership.
They joined the institutional leadership of SAMSA led by chief executive officer by Commander Tsietsi Mokhele and chief operating officer, Sobantu Tilayi as well as hundreds of mourners from across the country.
Ms Nhlumayo’s funeral service on Saturday was preceded by a memorial service held in Pretoria on Thursday and during which many people, from across the world, including the World Maritime University, paid tribute to her memory.
For both these services, audio-visuals have been captured and are being shared along with photographs on the special page on this blog dedicated to Ms Nhlumayo’s memory, beginning with the shortened version below, providing highlights of the funeral in Port Shepstone on Saturday.
An R8-billion worth oil rig and ship repair business up for grabs – Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, CEO South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).
Pretoria: 15 February 2016
The current down turn in the world’s economy and whose impact is more pronounced on depressed commodity prices but especially mining and oil, presents South Africa’s maritime economic sector with a golden opportunity to stack up investment in subsectors best positioned to benefit from it, according to South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Chief Executive Officer, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele.
He was speaking during a gathering of some of the country’s maritime sector business and investment leaders organized by SAMSA in Cape Town last week.
According to Mr Mokhele, sub sectors of the country’s maritime economic sector best positioned to benefit from the current global economic downturn, and which has seen South Africa’s currency exchange rate plummeting to over R15 to the US dollar in a period of less a year, were marine tourism and leisure, marine manufacturing but specifically ships and oil rigs repair and related.
Mr Mokhele said South Africa’s maritime sector economic development was now fully on the country’s agenda as illustrated by the launch of the Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) initiative in 2014, and therefore had garnered sufficient political will as well as support from infrastructure developers such as Transnet.
“What is still holding us back is the ambition of the industry, the trust levels of the (private sector) industry, those they need to more successful will respond positively to their needs,” said Mr Mokhele.
According to Mr Mokhele, with investors in the maritime sector taking advantage of current of the current global economic conditions, the oil rigs repair and boat manufacturing alone could develop an into an R8-billion worth business in the next five years.