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

DSC_6593
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.

DSC_6484
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.

End

‘Time for talking about the importance of South Africa’s maritime economy is over. Let’s work on it!’ urges Transport Minister, Joe Masangwanyi

DSC_1157.JPG
Celebrating World Maritime Day 2017. Transport Minister Mr Joe Masangwanyi (Right) chatting with South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) officials, Ms Mapitso Dlepu (Left) and Mr Sobantu Tilayi (second left) and Port St Johns mayor, Ms Lindelwa Rolobile. during a lifesaving demonstration that was part of the day’s activities in the town of Port St Johns. Eastern Cape.

Port St Johns: 28 September 2017

The development of South Africa’s maritime sector is now formally in full swing under the banner of the Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) initiative, with billions of rand of State funds currently being invested in particularly ports and related infrastructure.

DSC_1335.JPGHowever, now absolutely crucial is a need to ensure that all South Africans are on board and involved, and central to strategy is a need to both broaden and entrench fully education and skills development of especially the young, Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Masangwanyi told hundreds of people – among them 400 high school children – attending this year’s World Maritime Day celebrations held in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape.

Port St Johns, a little town settled in a picturesque area of South Africa’s Wild Coast along the Indian Ocean, midway between East London and Durban, was chosen by the Department of Transport for this year’s observation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) driven World Maritime Day on September 28 for a number of reasons.

IMG_6162Among these is that the town symbolizes one of the most under-developed areas of South Africa settled along the country’s 3200 km long coastline. It used to fall under the jurisdiction of the former Transkei homeland or Bantustan whose development was simply ignored by the apartheid government.

The town is now among coastal areas of the country earmarked earlier this year as part of a coastal and marine tourism initiative for a rapid development plan over five years beginning in 2017.

Port St Johns also falls under the O.R Tambo District Municipality which is home to former African National Congress president, Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo whose contribution to the country’s liberation struggle is being celebrated in 2017.

DSC_1198
Transport Minister Mr Joe Masangwanyi (centre in yellow jacket) and his deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in floral dress)  posing for a photograph with State officials and youths recently trained as lifeguards through a SAMSA driven marine skills development programme for youths of Port St Johns and the O.R Tambo District Municipality. The youths were awarded their certificates during the celebration of World Maritime Day 2017 held in the town on Thursday.

The World Maritime Day event held in the town on Thursday (28 September) was the second of its kind with an international maritime theme to be held in the region, the first having been the international Seafarers’ Day held in Mbizana in June.

DSC_1283.JPG
Some of the high school children from the O.R Tambo District Municipality region that attended Thursday’s celebration of the international World Maritime Day in Port St Johns on Thursday

Also preceding the event were a number of marine skills and related project targeting close on 300 youths from the region since June this year.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) driven initiatives included a Maritime Youth Development Programme (MYDP) for youths keen on working on cruise vessels; a Corporate Social Investment Youth Skills project for youths keen on sea diving, life-guarding and related), a Coastal and Marine Tourism initiative aimed at facilitating infrastructure development and enhancement, job creation and entrepreneurship.

DSC_1280.JPGAt Thursday’s event, Mr Masangwanyi said these maritime sector related initiatives were a clear indication of Government’s expressed commitment to driving new investment into areas that are both underdeveloped and with great potential to contribute to the country’s economy through business investment and job creation.

According to Mr Masangwanyi, there is no longer a reason why populations of people living in the country’s coastal provinces (Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) should not be in the lead in the development of the country’s maritime economic sector.

Infrastructure development, education and skills development would be the key drivers for investment; he said.

 “Government has identified the maritime sector as an important sector of the country’s economy

DSC_1481.JPG
Some of the 400 high school youths who received maritime education and training guide brochures during this year’s World Maritime Day celebrations held in Port St Johns on Thursday (28 September 2017).

“Various ports across the country are receiving billions of rand in investment to enhance their capacity – facts of which will be fully revealed when President Jacob Zuma reports to the nation about the progress of Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) in Durban next month.

“We are not going to leave behind Port St Johns. Among highlights of projects in the area is the expansion of the N2 and which will formally link the town of Port St Johns to increased road traffic between the major cities of East London and Durban. As much as R8-billion is being invested in the Wild Coast road construction project.

“The cabinet has approved the comprehensive maritime transport policy, it provides further opportunity for investment in the country’s maritime transport sector.

“This welcome development indicates that as a country, we cannot remain consumers of maritime services of other countries while we have such coastal heritage.

DSC_1449 (2)
Transport Minister Mr Joe Masangwanyi and deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga preparing to handover certificates to newly trained Port St Johns youths equipped with life guarding and deep sea diving skills.

“Gone are the days when our people are consumers. Now is the time that our people should also contribute to productions of services. Gone are the days when our oceans are dominated by big shipping companies from Europe, America and Asia. Now is the time that vessels should be owned and operated by South Africans and in the main, Africans.

“Through the maritime transport and manufacturing projects we will create between 40-56 000 job opportunities, whereby our people will be involved in maritime construction, telecommunication technologies and equipment manufacturing. These will contribute between R21-25-billion to the economy of South Africa. In order achieve these goals within the set timeframes, it cannot be business as usual,” he said.

To listen to his full speech (about 20 minutes) Click on the video below.

National maritime sector skills development gathers speed

Curriculum for eight (8) new national maritime occupational qualifications completed in record time, now for SAQA ratification.

PUTTING PEN TO PAPER: Officials involved in the development of eight (8) maritime sector national occupation qualifications curriculum (From Left) Henry Maringa, Mrs Yolandi Raath-Booyens and Mr Victor Muhlberg during the handover of the qualifications curriculum to the Quality Council of Trades and Occupations (QCTO) in Cape Town this week.
PUTTING PEN TO PAPER: Officials involved in the development of eight (8) maritime sector national occupation qualifications curriculum (From Left) Henry Maringa, Mrs Yolandi Raath-Booyens and Mr Victor Muhlberg during the handover of the qualifications curriculum to the Quality Council of Trades and Occupations (QCTO) in Cape Town this week.

Cape Town: 17 November 2016

The reorganization and further development of South Africa’s maritime sector education and training now formally in its sixth year continues to gain impetus.

This was evidenced by the formal completion of yet another curriculum development initiative for eight (8) national occupational certificate courses in Cape Town this week.

img_3850Highly significant is that the curriculum development initiative, the second project of its kind driven by the maritime industry in collaboration with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) among others, began in May 2016 with an initial set of seven national maritime sector occupational qualifications, and was completed in under six months with eight courses – a record time.

This emerged during the formal signing off and hand-over of the developed qualifications’ curriculum documentation to QTCO officials at an event held Cape Town on Tuesday.

The eight national maritime sector occupation qualifications for which a new curriculum was developed include;

  1. Port Operations Master,
  2. Marine Electro-Technical Officer,
  3. Aids to Navigation Manager,
  4. Aids to Navigation Technician,
  5. Dock Master,
  6. Traffic Controller (Vessel Tracking System),
  7. Maritime Search & Rescue Mission Coordinator
  8. Diver (Commercial).
Mr Edward Pines, Senior Manager, Curriculum Development at South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Centre for Maritime Excellence.
Mr Edward Pines, Senior Manager, Curriculum Development at the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Centre for Maritime Excellence.

According to SAMSA senior manager, curriculum development; Mr Edward Pines, the qualifications conceptualized and proposed by SAMSA consistent with the objectives of the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) project, will once formally endorsed by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), greatly enhance the position of holders both locally and for the African region, while providing international recognition.  (For Mr Pine’s full remaks Click Here)

However, more crucial to development of the set of qualifications, said Mr Pines, was the direct involvement and input of the country’s maritime sector industries, the critical guidance role played by the QCTO, as well as highly useful contributions by the TETA.

The QCTO is one of three national quality councils established in 2010 in terms of the Skills Development Act, with its role being to oversee the design, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF).

Officials attending the handing over newly developed curriculum for eight (8) national occupational qualifications for the the maritime sector education and skills development, being taken through a summary of the process by SAMSA Senior Manager, Curriculum Development, Mr Edward Pines at function in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Officials attending the handing over of newly developed curriculum for eight (8) national occupational qualifications for the maritime sector to the Quality Council of Trade Occupations, being taken through a summary of the process by SAMSA’s Centre for Maritime Excellence Snr Manager, Curriculum Development, Mr Edward Pines at a function in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The TETA on the other hand, established in 2000 in terms of the Skills Development Act (1998) fulfills the role of a quality assurer consistent with the country’s Skills Development Framework in eight subsectors of the transport sector that include Aerospace, Forwarding & Clearing, Freight Handling, Maritime, Rail, Road Freight, Road Passenger and Taxi Sub Sectors.

img_3782Essentially, the qualifications curriculum development team for the set of maritime national occupation qualifications comprised qualification development facilitators, learner qualification development facilitators, a team of Community Expert Practitioners as well as representatives of the respective organizations.

img_3794-2
Quality Council for Trade Occupations (QTCO) senior executive, Mr Mandlenkosi Ndukula

At Tuesday’s handover function, representing the QCTO and TETA – the latter a project funder and development quality facilitator – were several senior officials among them, Mr Mandlenkosi Ndukula and Mr Victor Muhlberg respectively.

Both described the process of development of the eight national qualifications, in record time, as an important milestone in the national effort for reorganization and further development of education and skills in the country’s maritime economic sector.

Mr Ndukula praised SAMSA for spearheading the process and for remaining involved in gallant efforts to ensure that the maritime sector’s education and skills development expanded exponentially also to the Higher Education and Training band in which Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVT) colleges operate.

“The expansion of maritime education and training to this TVET sector will, without doubt, have positive impact in the upskilling of people,” he said.

[For Mr Ndukula’s remarks, Click Here]

Mr Victor Muhlberg, executive manager at TETA
Mr Victor Muhlberg, executive manager at TETA

Mr Muhlberg who said he’d worked closely with SAMSA for a number of years, described the process as indicative of the huge process to be achieved when there was greater collaboration among stakeholders.

He said the latest batch of eight qualifications had brought to 13 the total number of maritime sector full qualifications developed recently in addition to about 16 part-qualifications.

“We were signing off today the second batch of qualifications to the QCTO and from whom they will be taken over to the SAQA for registration in the National Qualifications Framework. It is a very big achievement and we are very proud of what we have done here,’ said Mr Muhlberg

For his full remarks: Click Here

img_3779
Ms Yolandi Raath-Booyens, Project Manager and Qualifications Development Facilitator for the maritime sector national occupational qualifications curriculum

Also full of praise for the high level of cooperation experienced by the qualifications curriculum development team and which greatly contributed to process speed, was Yolandi Raath-Booyens, a project manager and qualifications development facilitator.

She described the experience as ‘inspiring.’

She said the developed set of qualifications would benefit not just the maritime and marine transport subsector but also the country’s fishing subsector. This was in reference to the Commercial Diver qualification in three stages, Class 4 30m SCUBA Commercial Diver, Class 3 30m SSDE Commercial Diver, and Class 2 50m Air-Diver.

For her full remarks; Click Here

End

SOUTH AFRICA TO HOST IMO ASSEMBLY IN 2020

World’s maritime sector turns its eye on South Africa

Saldanha Bay: Tuesday, 08 December 2015

IMG_1075

South Africa’s stature as a significant international maritime economy player is due to gain considerable extensive global focus in the next five years following to confirmation of its agency as the next host of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly in 2020.

The IMO’s Assembly is the highest governing body of the organization consisting of all member States. It meets once every two years and is responsible for approving the institution’s work programme, voting the budget and determining financial arrangements.. The assembly also elects the IMO council.

South Africa falls under ‘category C’ of the IMO Council as one of “20 States which have 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.”

Countries in the category include Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey.

National Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga
National Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga

The inaugural hosting of the IMO assembly in South Africa, involving possibly as many as 230 countries, was announced by national Department of Transport deputy Minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga in Saldanha Bay on Monday.

She was hosting the first of a weeklong Ministerial 2015  ‘imbizos’ intended to facilitate direct interaction and robust engagement between senior Government officials, including Cabinet Ministers, with industry principals across the country’s economic sectors on current and planned projects.

Ms Chikunga is directly charged with supervision of among others, the maritime transport and manufacturing aspects of the nation’s Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) launched 14 months ago.

She said the IMO last Friday not only retained South Africa ‘member state’ status ahead of several African countries but also charged  the country with responsibility for hosting the rest of the global maritime countries’ assembly in 2020.

“We have recently returned – last Friday to be precise – from the International Maritime Organizaton Assembly (2015) where it was resolved and announced that South Africa will host the 2020 IMO International World Maritime Parallel event.

A mammoth task

“The announcement places a mammoth task to the maritime industry of this country to speed up the implementation of Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) to enable us to showcase the same to the countries of the world, come 2020.

“We urgently need to establish a 2020 World Maritime Parallel Event Planning Task Team comprising of both public and private sector, which will ensure that South Africa and Africa’s opportunity is exhaustively utilized.”

Ms Chikunga said South Africa’s retention of its IMO Council membership status was “a victory (is) not only for South Africa but for our African continent.”

“The representation of Africa into these very influential organizations can never be overly emphasized. There is a massive potential for growth backed up by global statistics on Africa as the current epicenter in foreign direct investment given its young active population,” said Ms Chikunga.

IMG_0736She urged stakeholders in the maritime sector to begin preparing for the next IMO gathering due in two years’ time in preparation for the Assembly scheduled for South Africa.

Referring to the country’s new Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) campaign she said it was geared towards ensuring focused investment in maritime economy infrastructure development as a catalyst and incentive for further and expanded private sector involvement. She urged for greater cooperation.

“For us to become global players we noted the importance of investing in maritime transport infrastructure to attract shipping and shipping services to our shores. To achieve the people’s social contract we need to pull together as stakeholders to move South Africa forward.”

Monday’s maritime sector specific Ministerial Imbizo at Saldanha Bay was based on the coastal town’s port having been earmarked as among three of the country’s major ports intended to contribute to the country maritime economic sector development through new infrastructure development.

Attending the event were a host of key public and private sector players in the maritime sector, including Transnet’s National Ports Authority chief executive officer, Richard Vallihu, Ports Regulator CEO, Mahesh Vakir, and others; mainly from the gas and oil subsector, and ship manufacturing and repair subsector.

Ms Chikunga said: “Saldanha is one of our very strategic ports identified for Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) as an Oil and Gas repair hub for South Africa…and the success of the Saldanha Bay port project will translate into the creation of an estimated 15 000 direct and indirect jobs.

IMG_1266“In order to reach the target, come 2019, a minimum employment of 3 000 jobs per annum is required. This means we should at present be sitting on approximately 6 000 jobs created.

“Tantamount to this will also be a massive contribution to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that is estimated at R18-billion once it is fully functional.

“We are cognizant of the fact that delays will cost the nation tremendously, (and) it is thus important that both business, parastatals and government have to find speed on infrastructure delivery as it determines the speed of employment and economic progression.”

Clip: Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga announcing the appointment of South Africa as a host of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly in 2020.

Setting sails for a brighter future!

Pretoria: Wednesday, 25 November 2015

EXPLORING LIGHTHOUSES: Mr Morakabe Seakgwa (red tie), Senior Manager, Projects Co-ordination at the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Centre for Maritime Excellence, along with Ms Cloris Ngwenya (seated left at top of the table) SAMSA's CME Co-ordinator, having a leisurely chat with members of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce at the Pretoria home of the Philippines Ambassador to South Africa on Monday.
EXPLORING LIGHTHOUSES: Mr Morakabe Seakgwa (red tie), Senior Manager, Projects Co-ordination at the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Centre for Maritime Excellence, along with Ms Cloris Ngwenya (seated left at top of the table) SAMSA’s CME Co-ordinator, having a leisurely chat with members of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce at the Pretoria home of the Philippines Ambassador to South Africa on Monday.

Deepening South Africa’s efforts towards rejuvenation of its maritime economic sector precisely through expanded education, training and skills development requires as much planning as it does focused engagement with partners, local and international.

It was with appreciation of that reality when early evening on Monday,  a delegation of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) joined a Philippines business delegation at the Pretoria home of the Philippines’ Ambassador to South Africa for a casual yet exploratory chat about possible links that could benefit both countries in the field of maritime.

Also in attendance were representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and appropriately, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco).

Led by its president, Teresa B. Chan, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce delegation had been in the country since November 18, meeting its business chamber counterparts in Cape Town and Johannesburg, before a brief tour of the region ending in Pretoria.

SAMSA’s interest in meeting the business group hinged on its knowledge and involvement in maritime economy development issues, specifically opportunities for cooperation in education, training and skills development and about which the Philippines is acknowledged globally.

To read more of this story go here:

Use it or lose it: ANC’s MK veterans urge South Africans to closely guard their maritime heritage!

Pretoria: 09 November 2015

AVENTURA VETERANS: (From Left) ANC MK veterans taking part in the first of a possible series of discussions on South Africa's Maritime Heritage are , Fanele Mbali, 78; Rankabele Tloo Cholo, 89; and Zolile Nqose 9.
AVENTURA VETERANS: (From Left) ANC MK veterans taking part in the first of a possible series of discussions on South Africa’s Maritime Heritage are , Fanele Mbali, 78; Rankabele Tloo Cholo, 89; and Zolile Nqose 9.

South Africans could sooner than later readily wake up and smell the oceans around them, or while forever focused solely on the inland, rise up one day with no longer any effective control over  their 3000km ocean line, never mind a heritage they could boast about.

This was the stark warning issued by participants in a Maritime Heritage Round Table discussion held in Cape Town recently.

Involved in the discussions held alongside the inaugural SA Ocean Festival, on board the SA Agulhas at Table Bay harbour, were three former ANC Umkhonto WeSizwe cadres with some unique maritime warfare experience, Fanele Mbali, 78; Rankabele Tloo Cholo, 89; and Zolile Nqose 91.

The three are part of group of only five still alive in the country today who were part of a select unit of MK soldiers involved in attempts to infiltrate South Africa for military purposes in the early 70’s, using ocean bound vessels including a United Soviet Socialist Republics’ (USSR) owned ship known as the Aventura.

Their key input at the Maritime Heritage Round Table discussion focused on the need for South Africa to expand and increase its education effort for the nation about the importance of the maritime sector, from both an economic and social perspective.

To read the full article click here, or to view the edited video click here