Post Covid-19 maritime economic development: low hanging fruit for the Eastern Cape.

Port Elizabeth: 14 September 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic that’s engulfed the world since about the end of 2019, killing as many as nine hundred thousand people so far and forcing periodic national lockdowns, may have had a truly devastating impact on the world’s economy – the world’s maritime economic sector that’s an essential lifeblood to world trade included – but it has also presented opportunities to refocus priority areas for economic development.

At least that was the dominant view of contributors and participants in a webinar organised by the Eastern Cape provincial government last Thursday. For South Africa’s maritime economic sector, and precisely that of the Eastern Cape – one of the country’s four coastal provinces with the second biggest claim to a coastline along the Indian Ocean – five specific areas of business investment opportunity are beckoning.

These include the fledgling ships bunkering services at Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth established only four years ago, coastal and marine tourism along the province’s largely pristine and underdeveloped Wild Coast coastal corridor, fishing and aquaculture, skills development and environmental protection.

Participants in the webinar, among them the acting CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Mr Sobantu Tilayi, and representatives of the Eastern Cape provincial government and associated entities including the Eastern Cape Socio Economic Consultative Council (ECSECC) and Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ERCDA), the Nelson Mandela University (NMU), the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) etc, were agreed that these identified areas of maritime sector investment opportunity were also interlinked and therefore highly acquiescent to close alignment.

The webinar on Thursday, attended by about 50 people, was according to the provincial government, intended to probe its Covid-19 scuppered Oceans Economy Masterplan launched with much fanfare in March this year, for low hanging viable investment opportunities for pursuit almost immediately in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was because, the provincial government said: “COVID-19 has upended major sectors of the economy. The lockdown measures imposed on companies to enforce social distancing resulted in supply-side shocks for the economy. The closure of international borders disrupted the global value chains for critical industries such as maritime industry.

“These supply-side shocks induced the demand-side shocks, with most workers losing jobs and incomes. Unemployment across industries skyrocketed, resulting in a deep slump in the economy. Key sectors of the Oceans Economy were not left unscathed by the COVID-19 lockdown measures. With the evidence that the coronavirus is receding, and the country moving to Level 2 of the Risk-adjusted Strategy for Economic Activity, there’s an urgent need to jumpstart economic recovery of the critical sectors of the Oceans Economy in the Eastern Cape.

“The province has a compelling value proposition for investors in the Oceans Economy, and it is the opportune moment to act to leverage on this proposition. Towards this end, the Eastern Cape Operations Phakisa: Oceans Economy Secretariat is convening a one-day session to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the Oceans Economy, and to map a path towards Oceans Economy recovery. Key stakeholders are convening for a conversation to map a way forward for the Eastern Cape Oceans Economy Agenda during a period characterised as the “New Normal”.”

Areas of primary interest and focus for the Eastern Cape’s allotment of some 800km of a coastline in an ocean space incorporating a 1,5-million km2 of South Africa’s exclusive economic development zone, included marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas, aquaculture, marine tourism, small harbours and coastline development, research, technology, innovation; skills development and ocean governance.

Mr Sobantu Tilayi. Acting Chief Executive Officer: South African Maritime Safety Authority

In his contribution, Mr Tilayi (SAMSA) described the ship bunkering services development in Algoa Bay as one ideal opportunity for business investment, skills development and other socio-economic value exploitation.

Launched in 2016 as a ship refuelling station taking advantage of both the suitability of the Algoa Bay region, and the steadily increasing volumes of especially trade vessels traversing the country’s oceans waters, from Western Europe, the Americas through to Asia, according to Mr Tilayi, the service was already proving to be a potential key contributor to the country’s economy, even if still at a low base.

A critical economic aspect to its potential success were global geo political and economic driven issues affecting the East and Western countries whereby, from a trade costs management point of view, the southern African seas corridor was gaining preference from shipping companies ahead of the oft congested Suez Canal.

Currently operated by three (3) bunkering service providers, he said; “the subsector had already created as many as 260 jobs – more than double the number recorded at launch (117) in 2016, with various business opportunities developing subsidiary to the core services”.

In addition to oil-based fuels, with ship technology advancements gaining pace alongside alternative fuels development, the international vessels refuelling location in Algoa Bay could further expand its services to liquified natural gases thereby expanding diversity of services.

In addition, consistent with the country’s economic development imperatives, alongside jobs creation in general, it provided a critical platform to advance transformation of the country’s maritime economy through skilling of previously disadvantaged communities as well as development of small black businesses.

Linked to this would be development of a range of maritime skills, particularly those relevant to marine and maritime tourism, environmental protection and oceans governance.

To aid this process, Mr Tilayi said SAMSA had among steps taken so far, facilitated the establishment of a Maritime Industry LED Fund whose objectives include the strengthening of sea space environment protection through development of enhanced capacity to manage pollution incidents, support research and related matters, as well as funding maritime industry development, but particularly the entry and development of small black business as well as rural economy development.

This was taking place alongside initiatives to assist the development of rural coastal areas wherein four projects had been launched, involving a maritime youth development programme undertaken jointly with the Eastern Cape government, to equip rural youths with basic maritime skills as well as find them jobs. Mr Tilayi said the MYDP had to date placed in excess of 600 of these youth on international cruise ships around the world.

The other projects involved a coastal and marine tourism initiative undertaken jointly with the Eastern Cape Tourism Board and identified local authorities; a youth skills development initiative focus on boat building and refurbishing undertaken jointly with the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board (now with the Moses Kotane Institute) and various others, as a well as a maritime heritage initiative undertaken jointly with the South African National Heritage Council and others.

According to Mr Tilayi, shipping companies in South Africa, among them Vuka Marine, were in the process of contributing to the initiatives with a training and crewing venture focussing on ratings and hospitality.

Meanwhile, according to the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA), one other major opportunity for immediate pursuit by the province was the development of its fishing and aquaculture industry.

The aim, according to ECRDA Chief Executive, Mr Ntlanganiso Dladla, was to take advantage of the increasing gap in global seafood demand and supply, wherein current projections indicated a supply-demand gap of between 29-40 tonnes per annum in South Africa and as much as 249-322 tonnes per annum in southern Africa which in global terms, he said, represents 2.53 metric tons or nine (9) percent of global demand stripping supply.

He outlined progress with development of a marine tilapia five phases project over 12 years in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal aimed at producing as much as 100 000 tonnes of fish species per annum by 2032.

According to Mr Dladla, the five phases development is projected to yield about 4736 direct jobs at fish farm and processing clusters – a thousand of these in its planned launch area of Mbhashe along the Eastern Cape ‘Wild Coast’ – and as many as 150 000 jobs for small scale farmers in the value chain across the region, with gross annual income of R3,4-billion against operations expenditure estimated at R1,24-billion.

Associated would be development of small-scale crop farmers producing soya, sunflower and maize, operating on half-hector plots totalling about 172000 with a potential crop value of between R134,7-million and R193,4-million per crop type by phase five of the project development.

Significantly, ownership of tilapia fish farms in the projects was being designed to assign up to 70% of ownership to workers, 30% of ownership in hatcheries and feed plants, and 38% share in fishing processing plants, thereby ensuring effective economic empowerment of affected rural coastal communities in both the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and possibly Mozambique.

Vital allies who voiced commitment in terms of various skills development for these and related projects, were the the Port Elizabeth based Nelson Mandela University and SAIMI along with other identified tertiary institutions in the region, the webinar was told.

End.

Amid alarming spread of Covid-19 pandemic, Africa quietly observes ‘African Day of the Seas and Oceans’.

The port of Cape Town, one Africa’s busiest global trade ports (SAMSA File Photo)

Pretoria: 25 July 2020

Saturday, 25 July 2020 marks the 6th year since African countries, both maritime and inland, agreed to declaration of the day as an occasion to focus the continent’s attention at its endowment with and legacy of millions of acres of ocean space and on the basis of which its general global economic activity depends.

It was at the 22nd Summit of the African Union in 2015, that the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, declared the period of 2015 to 2025 as the “Decade of African Seas and Oceans”, and specifically highlighted that each year on 25 July. the continent shall celebrate the day as the African Day of Seas and Oceans.”‘

This, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in Pretoria this week, was done “in order to foster wealth creation from Africa’s seas and oceans by urging African States to develop a sustainable thriving blue economy in a secure and environmentally sustainable manner.

South Africa’s newly dedicated offshore bunkering services established on the Indian Ocean near the port city of Port Elizabeth. Eastern Cape Province. (SAMSA File Photo)

Facts to the logic of the reasoning include a recognition and acknowledgement that, with growth in global trade involving African countries, around 80 percent of international goods are transported on ocean going vessels and over ninety percent of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted by sea.

“In the past four decades the volume of global seaborne trade has increased more than four times over. Ninety percent of the world’s trade and two-thirds of energy supplies are carried by sea- demonstrating the deep sense of how the oceans and seas are interlinked and how action in one sea may have direct or indirect consequences to other seas. Protecting the ocean thus becomes everyone’s business and a joint and concerted effort by the African continent to ensure the protection of her seas and oceans becomes paramount.

SAMSA File Photo

Crucially for Africa however, is the need for ease of access to the oceans by all of the continent’s countries, this to ensure free flow of inter regional and international trade. According to SAMSA, the 2050 AIM-Strategy, all African Union (AU) Member States are “landly connected” to the seas and oceans.

SAMSA states: “The celebration of the African Day of the Seas and Oceans is one of the recommendations found in the African Integrated Maritime Strategy, commonly known as The AIMS 2050 Strategy. The AIMS 2050 strategy broadly provides a framework for the protection and sustainable exploitation of Seas and Oceans in the African continent.

“The implementation of the strategy will also assist with:

  • Establishing a Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone for Africa (CEMZA);
  • Enhancing wealth creation through building our countries’ maritime-centric capacity and capability;
  • Ensuring security and safety in the African Maritime Domain;
  • Minimizing environmental damage;
  •  Preventing hostile and criminal acts at sea, and prosecute offenders if necessary;
  • Protecting the populations, Africa’s Maritime Domain (AMD) heritage and infrastructure in the African Maritime Domain;
  • Promoting and protecting the interests of African shippers;
  • Enhancing Africa’s competitiveness in international trade;
  • Improving and facilitating intra-African trade as well as transit transport in landly connected countries;
A lone rural subsistence fisherman on a part of South Africa’s Indian Ocean waterspace known as the Wild Coast. (SAMSA File Photo)

The building blocks of Africa’s maritime sector development however, come against the backdrop, and are cognizant of a number of challenges currently facing the continent’s oceans spaces in the Mediterranean Sea up north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Southern Seas and the Indian Ocean to the east.

The identified challenges broadly include that; with 46 percent of Africans living below the poverty line, fish makes a vital contribution to the food and nutritional security of over 200 million African and provides income for over 10 million people. 

In addition, marine and coastal ecosystems play a significant role in mitigating the impact of climate change. Yet in Africa, the marine and coastal systems are the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change in the world, – this attributed to a low adaptive capacity of the continent.

An image of an oil spillage at sea -one of the continent’s concerns for the maritime environment. (SAMSA File Photo)

Added to the pressure facing Africa’s oceans are the negative effects of marine pollution due to human wastefulness as reflecting in the massive dumping of large volumes of plastics in the continent’s ocean waters, leading to irreparable and devastating damage to marine life. 

In equal measure, maritime security is cited as posing a multidimensional threat to global security in general, and has major effects on issues of food, energy and economic security.

According to SAMSA, in the past decade, Africa has found itself as the epicentre of international maritime insecurity, with such issues as piracy and armed robbery at sea off the east and west coast of Africa alike, causing major human and financial damage.

In parallel, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, toxic waste dumping and human, weapons and narcotics trafficking are an additional burden to Africa’s maritime security.

“Thus for Africa,” says SAMSA: “the sustainable management of coastal and marine environments and resources is of utmost priority. The promotion of sustainable use of marine and coastal resources in Africa will significantly enhance food security, ensure constant economic growth and improve the quality of lives of the people in the coastal communities.”

On the marking Saturday of the Africa Day of the Seas and Oceans, the agency said: “South Africa will observe the 6th African Day of the Seas and Oceans along with other maritime nations and administrations around Africa on the 25th July 2020.

“On this special day SAMSA as the regulating authority of maritime affairs in South Africa encourages South African’s to support the nation’s Blue Economy Agenda which highlights the impact of oceans on our country and the various ways in which the ocean contributes to the country and its economy.

SAMSA File Photo

“The nation is encouraged to also note the developments in the maritime sector and take advantage of the opportunities unveiled in the maritime sector such research activities, Maritime Education Training (MET), maritime careers, investment opportunities, commercial shipping business, technology and port development to name but a few.

“Through active participation in such a continental activity South Africa will continue to grow its maritime sector through the Blue Economy agenda and continue to boost opportunities for wealth creation and generation in the country,” says SAMSA.

End.

It’s ‘business unusual’ for SA maritime sector as investment grows, but jobs creation flops: Dept of Planning….

DSC_3914Pretoria: 21 October 2019

An envisaged reorganization and alignment of education and training in South Africa’s maritime sector is a welcome development, but role players would be well advised not to waste South Africans’ time with skills sets that won’t lend them jobs, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation was warned.

The warning came from the department’s head of Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy), Mr Mpumzi Bonga while addressing delegates to a two-day conference organised by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) in Durban last week.

The indaba, in Durban on Monday and Tuesday, according to SAIMI, was organised against the backdrop of a realization that while the oceans economy in South Africa and the rest of the African continent was being probed anew as the future frontier of economic development,  South Africa is inadequately prepared as it does not have the manpower with the skills to match present and anticipated future demand in the sector.

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According to SAIMI acting chief executive, Mr Odwa Mtati: “In order to activate the potential, we need the skills to match the demand….”

However, Mr Bonga in an overview address of the overall performance of the Government driven Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) since launch in 2014, said investment performance had so far exceeded expectations, but it was simply not creating the number of jobs anticipated.

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Mr Mpumzi Bonga. Head of Operation Phakisa: Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

He said investment to date in the targeted maritime sector subsectors had risen to above R40-billion – about R9-billion above target –  in the five years since launch of Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) and yet anticipated job creation on the other hand, had only yielded less than 10 000 direct jobs – a far cry from the 77 000 jobs hoped to be created.

Even with indirect jobs accounted for, Mr Bonga said the jobs creation picture in the maritime sector remained dismal. The mismatch in growing direct investment and job creation by the sector in the five year period, he said, could be explained by the fact that the bulk of the investment generated to date had been by the off shore oil and gas subsector, directed largely at seismic surveys and exploration, which required very highly specialized skills and fewer people to perform.

DSC_5664.JPGEven so, he said it was barely an acceptable fact that the maritime sector in general, and specifically the targeted subsectors, were not delivering on the promise the launch of Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) gave at inception.

“Continued implementation of Operation Phakisa reveals that we have attracted so far R41-1-billion and less than 10 000. The anticipation was to grow the GDP contribution by R171-billion and create a million jobs by 2033. Now, this is five years on and not the 16-17 year horizon that we used for planning.

“In today’s terms, we were supposed to have grown the GDP contribution by R32-billion this year, and created 77 000 jobs. If we look at a leniarity constant between investment made and the GDP we can happily say we have exceeded the investment that was expected. But can we say the same of job creation, and the answer is decidedly, no!” he said.

A star performer in investment attraction was the off-shore oil gas and MPG subsectors which were responsible for the large bulk of the R41.1-billion investment made to date. Laggards on the hand included the maritime transport and manufacturing and the tourism subsectors – the subsectors with the greatest potential to create jobs.

Part of the reason this was not happening, Mr Bonga suggested, was an apparent mismatch of skills with jobs requirements, coupled with very slow transformation of the sector in terms human capital population demographics.

“The reason I am bringing this up is so that we should sober up when we plan the skills development that we are planning for, and to remind us that as when we do what we do, we be mindful that we do not have the luxury of time, as the majority of people out there are becoming restless. There is no room for mistakes.

“Whatever skills we plan for, South Africans will not take kindly if you gonna plan to train them in skills that will not be beneficial to them, skills that will not change their material conditions, ” said Mr Bonga.

For his full remarks, Click on the video below.

End

 

 

 

 

 

Steps underway to reorganise SA’s maritime education and training: SAIMI

Pretoria: 20 October 2019

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Some of the delegates to a South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) two day conference held at the Durban International Convention Centre on Monday and Tuesday, 14-15 October 2019

There is no gainsaying that South Africa geographically is, for all intents and purposes, a maritime country. But are South Africans a nation all at sea, without a single drop of water in sight?

This was one of the questions to arise at this past week’s two day conference organised by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) at the Durban International Convention Centre, and to which question a clear answer seemed elusive.

One strong view to emerge though, and stated without equivocation by one delegate from the academic sector, Ms Theresa Williams, was that: “South Africa may be a maritime country, but South Africans are not a maritime nation!” And this, according to her, has serious  long term implications for a whole range of issues, but particularly maritime education and training.

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Some of the presenters on the first day of the two day SAIMI conference in Durban

Conference attendees, among them top academics, researchers, teachers, seafarers, heads of public and private sector companies and institutions, government representatives and associated came from across South Africa to Durban at the invitation of the Port Elizabeth based SAIMI.

For one and half days they’d discuss how best the country could effectively organise and manage its education and training of a future workforce that’s suitably prepared to develop and advance the country’s maritime economic sector in the 21st century and beyond.

South Africa’s maritime features include a country of 59-million inhabitants on a land area at the most southern tip of the African continent surrounded by a 3 200 kilometres long coastline spanning three oceans, the Indian to the east, the Southern to the south and the Atlantic to the west, with as much as a 1.5-million square kilometres of an exclusive economic zone, and possibly soon to be extended.

Through that corridor thousands of world trade vessels pass, while some dock at the country’s major ports. The seascape is also full of flora, fauna and other natural resources and whose responsible exploitation could contribute to expanded economic activity and wealth creation leading to jobs creation.

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Delegates exchanging pleasantries just before the start of the SAIMI conference in Durban

The indaba, in Durban on Monday on Tuesday, according to SAIMI, was staged against the backdrop of a tanking realisation backed by a recent assessment study that while the oceans economy in South Africa and the rest of the African continent was being probed anew as the future frontier of economic development, with a potential to generate domestically more than a million jobs and contribute as much as R177-billion to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the next decade, South Africa simply does not have the manpower with requisite skills to match present and anticipated future demand in the sector.

SAIMI acting chief executive, Mr Odwa Mtati said: “In order to activate the potential, we need the skills to match the demand….Notwithstanding inroads that have been made at post-school education and training institutions in recent years, SAIMI’s 2018 Oceans Economy Skills Development Assessment (report) for South Africa highlighted a potential mismatch between current skills being produced and the actual industry needs.

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EXCHAGING NOTES: (From Left: Ms Sobantu Tilayi (SAMSA), Ms Theresa Williams (MAISA), Mr Pieter Coetzer (SAMTRA), Ms Lyn Bruce (Klaveness) and Mr Victor Momberg (TETA) listening attentively to presentations during the Seafarer Development session of the SAIMI conference in Durban

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Mr Odwa Mtati. Projects Manager: SAIMI

“The study suggests that while the supply of skills is adequate in numbers, there is a disconnect between the type of skills being produced and those required by the industry hence the need for greater industry participation in shaping outcomes of the skills production system.”

Mr Mtati said the two day conference in Durban on Monday and Tuesday, under the moniker: “Forward Thinking for Maritime Education and Training Excellence” would hopefully produce ‘actionable outcomes to strengthen maritime education and training.’

“This conference offers a collaborative platform for stakeholders in industry, academia and government to review current maritime skills supply capacity against future demand, and to consider collaborative and collective ways to address deficits in the current system and close gaps,” said Mr Mtati.

This was repeated by Dr Sibongile Muthwa, the chairperson of SAIMI’s advisory committee and Vice-Chancellor of the Nelson Mandela University that’s home to SAIMI, in her opening remarks of the conference, all contained in the video above.

Meanwhile, as the conference wrapped up on the second last day, Mr Mtati was upbeat and confident that the gathering had achieved some of its objectives.

In a brief interview as delegates dispersed, Mr Mtati said: “Our sense is that out of the many stakeholders that participated, there is an acceptance of the need for engagement in meaningful discussions. Going forward, one of the outcomes that we will pursue is the development of a collaborative model to ensure that all the voices are accommodated.”

Further, he said, there was a strong commitment made by some of the stakeholders to get directly involved in the establishment and implementation of solutions to some of the challenges identified. Click on the video below for his full brief assessment,

Parallel Session: Seafarers Development

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TAKING NOTES: (From Left: Mr Sobantu Tilayi, acting CEO; SAMSA, Mr Andrew Millard. CE; Vuka Marine and Ms Theresa Williams of the Maritime Academic Institutions of South Africa

The conference had been packaged in sessions, first a full plenary soon followed by two parallel sessions – one focused on seafarers development and another directed towards skills needs assessment for the off shore oil and gas sub-sector.

This blog, tagged along with delegates that engaged in the seafarers development session and below, it features all the contributions of the seven main presenters during the discussion.

The insights into seafarer development in South Africa were breathtaking in some instances as they were astonishing in another. Poor coordination in training and education, lack of funding and requisite infrastructure such as a ships for berths, a poor orientation of youths keen on seafaring and a general poor public awareness of the country’s maritime status, were among issues identified.

At the same time, major opportunities lay still for exploration and exploitation, and therefore much work lay ahead for those willing to put in the hours.

The videos of the main presenters are loaded below for a full perspective of the nature of the discussion. A video of floor contributors will follow soon.

 

Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Acting CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) headed the session giving an overview of the country’s seafarer education and training landscape, along with a brief history of the challenges facing the sector.

Mr Andrew Millard, CEO of Vuka Marine gave a shipowners view of the seafarer landscape in South Africa with focus much on employer expectations.

Ms Theresa Williams of the Maritime Academic Institutions of South Africa focused on challenges and opportunities facing academic institutions currently offering maritime education and training, as well as dwelt at length on the nature of the youth in South Africa currently keen on maritime education. Pulling no punches, she says it is truly an uphill battle. Do note that Ms Williams’ contribution is in two parts, in two videos.

Mr Pieter Coetzer, Commercial Manager: South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) shares an independent cadets trainer’s perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing the sub sector.

Ms Lyn Bruce, Project Coordinator at Klaveness Shipping also shared an employer’s viewpoint of the South African seafarer with specific focus on her company’s activity in contributing towards development of the country’s seafarers,

Mr Victor Momberg, Executive Officer of the Maritime Chamber of the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) spoke on the role of the authority and the need for Technical, Vocational and Education and Training (TVET) institutions to be enrolled into the maritime sector education and training network.

Captain Ian Hlongwane, Manager, National Cadet Programme at SAIMI shares SAIMI perspective on the conference.

End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa gearing towards becoming one of the world’s maritime centres of excellence: SAMSA

DSC_2841.JPGPretoria: 06 August 2019

South Africa, geographically located at the southern tip of the African continent bordering on three vast oceans to the east, south and west; is on course to become one of the world’s maritime centres of excellence by 2030, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

Key drivers towards this goal, according to the agency’s acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, include an entrenched and sustained good governance of the oceans, development and growth of the maritime economic sector, the latter which in turn requires extensive education and skills development.

Mr Tilayi said this while addressing about two thousand high school pupils during a one day Maritime Education Expo held at the King Sabata Dalindyebo Technical and Vocational Education and Training (KSD TVET) College in Coffee bay last Thursday.

The event, jointly organised by SAMSA’s Corporate Social Investment unit, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the KSD College was held to mark the launch of the celebration of the TVET Month (August) – an annual event now in its sixth year aimed at raising greater public awareness technical and vocational education and training as a viable, if important, alternative to academic university education.

Maritime education and skills development has yet to fully impact the country’s 50 TVET college network, however, and SAMSA took the opportunity to also raise awareness among high schools pupils about South Africa’s maritime status, the country’s maritime and marine sector generally and the opportunities that lie therein for both business investment, education and training, and economic development in general.

The event – the second of its kind in two weeks in the Eastern Cape – attended by also by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mr Buti Manamela; had also found fit with SAMSAs rural maritime programme.

The programme is focused currently on rural coastal areas which, although with total access to the 3 200 kilometers coastline of the country’s three oceans, and attaching to which is a 2.5-million squares kilometers of an exclusive economic zone at sea, lack the wherewithal to make use of it for economic and social benefit.

The SAMSA rural programme pursued in strategic partnerships with issue relevant stakeholders both in government and the private sector, involves awareness promotion, industry and basic skills development and jobs creation particularly in the marine tourism sub-sectors.

Mr Tilayi said South Africa’s Vision 2030 envisaged the country becoming one of the world’s maritime centres of excellence based both on its strategic geographical location as well as its vast knowledge and expertise on maritime issues. However, he said, good governance was a key tool towards the goal, as would be mass education and skills development.

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. Acting CEO. SAMsA

Towards this goal, and as a means to incentive young school pupils, he offered the eight schools that released its pupils to attend the expo on Thursday, one bursary each, which would be fully funded by SAMSA

For his full remarks, click on the video below.

 

Meanwhile, in the main address of the event, Mr Manamela emphasised the importance the country now attaches to technical and vocational education and training as both a viable and crucial alternative route to the development of young people with skills they use almost immediately to gain meaningful employment.

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Mr Buti Manamela. Deputy Minister: Higher Education & Training

According to DHET, he said, one of the success stories of the department of the training section of the department’s portfolio was the expansion of the number of TVET colleges and the restoration of their reputation as institutions of education and training excellence.

Mr Manamela said for SA young people keen on education and skills development, distinct advantages of TVET colleges included they did require Grade 12 for admission, tuition was offered for free and skills acquired could be immediately applied either through industry employment or entrepreneurship.

For his full remarks, click on the video below:

The day was split into two parts – one third to the formal speeches and two-thirds to the expo, together lasting about five hours.

 

End.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAMSA sharing careers development information with youth one class at a time.

DSC_9279.JPGPretoria: 11 February 2018

With South Africa’s economic development plans now fully inclusive of the maritime sector wherein billions of rand are to be invested and  thousands of jobs expected to be created progressively in the next decade, preparing properly prospective labour with accurate information on careers has come into sharp focus.

It is with that in mind that the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has stepped up its ongoing maritime sector public awareness campaign by developing a Careers Awareness Programme for high school learners across the country as part of its corporate social investment programme.

DSC_9381A week ago, Ngwenyathi High School on the rural outskirts of East London in the Eastern Cape province was the demonstration venue of the new online careers programme for high schools.

Ngwenyathi High School is one of only four maritime high schools currently in the province and is the first of two established with the assistance of SAMSA about a decade ago.

Targeted for the Careers Awareness Programme were Grade 11 pupils who were taken through the online programme by Ms Anne-Marie Stanisavljevic of The Education Agency together with SAMSA southern region manager, Ms Bongiwe Stofile and SAMSA CSI Manager, Ms Mapitso Dlepu

DSC_9327According to SAMSA, the programme is designed to allow high school pupils an opportunity to get a broad sense of what careers are available both in the maritime and other sectors in order to assist the young people in their choice of school subjects at matric level towards their selected careers.

The live demonstration of the careers programme at the East London school on Wednesday and Thursday last week coincided with South Africa’s president, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa’s delivery of the country’s State of the Nation address.

During his speech in Parliament on Thursday evening, Mr Ramaphosa described the country’s maritime economic sector in terms of especially oceans’ economy as holding great promise for the country.

He said: “Since  Operation Phakisa on the Oceans Economy in 2014, we have secured investments of nearly R30 billion and created over 7,000 direct jobs. The investments have been mainly in infrastructure development, marine manufacturing, aquaculture, and the oil and gas sector.

“Expected investment in the Oceans Economy over the next five years is estimated at R3,8 billion by government and R65 billion by the private sector. These investments are expected to create over 100,000 direct jobs and more than 250,000 indirect jobs,” said Mr Ramaphosa.

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Ms Anne-Marie Stanisavljeivc of the Education Agency (right) going through the SAMSA Careers Development Programme with Grade 11 pupils of the Ngwenyathi High School near East London on Thursday, 7 February 2019

Earlier in the day in East London, according to Ms Stanisavljevic and Ms Stofile, the high schools targeted SAMSA Careers Development Programme is intended to provide high school learners with career guidance that will help them align their careers choices with their skills, personalities and capabilities.

The programme does not limit itself to maritime high schools or maritime related careers, but extends to just about every career youth may have an interest in, inclusive of related careers.

In the two videos below, the officials explain exactly how the programme works for high school learners both in the short and long term.

The first video reflects on the actual presentation of the programme to learners (+-3.30 minutes), a brief chat with Ms Stanisavljevic (+-3.00 minutes) and a response by Ngwenyathi High School’s deputy Principal, Mr Vuyisile Mtsewu (+-4.30 minutes).

In the second video (+-4.30 minutes), Ms Stofile of SAMSA expands on this and related projects the agency is engaged with on the field of youth empowerment particularly in the Eastern Cape inclusive of the presentation of tertiary level education bursaries to two of the Ngwenyathi High School pupils earlier this year.

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The rural villages among which Ngwenyathi High School is situated, some 33 kilometers north of East London, Eastern Cape.

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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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World Maritime University president impressed with SA after a week long visit to strengthen relations

Pretoria: 28 February 2017

World Maritime University (WMU) President, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry (Centre in light blue outfit) with senior members of the South African Maritime Safety Authority as well about a dozen officials many of whom are former post graduate students of the Swedish university during a visit in Pretoria last week
World Maritime University (WMU) President, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry (Centre in light blue outfit) with senior members of the Department of Transport (DoT), the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and about a dozen officials many of whom are former post graduate (Masters and PhD level) students of the Swedish university during a visit in Pretoria last week

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.

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World Maritime University president Dr Cleopatra Ndoumbia-Henry (in light blue outfit) arriving for her meeting with the WMU alumni and members of management of SAMSA and the Department of Transport in Pretoria last week Tuesday

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.

(From Left) World Maritime University president Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry with SAMSA Board secretary, Mr Moyahabo Raphadu and Department of Transport director Ms Ts'episo Taoana-Mashiloane
(From Left) World Maritime University president Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry with SAMSA Board secretary, Mr Moyahabo Raphadu and Department of Transport director Ms Ts’episo Taoana-Mashiloane

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.

 To view, Click Here.

 

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Expansion of maritime education and training to South Africa’s TVETs presents innovation opportunities: SAMSA

Pretoria: 27 February 2017

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: School pupils from one of two High Schools in the Eastern Cape now delivering maritime economic sector dedicated education curriculum
Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) Progress Report: School pupils from one of two High Schools in the Eastern Cape now delivering maritime economic sector dedicated education curriculum

South Africa’s expansion of the reach of maritime education and training through extension also to the country’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions beginning 2017, is facing huge challenges, among which is the lack of suitably qualified tutors. But the challenges may thankfully lead to high creativity and innovation.

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: South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) .

One such innovative solution, according to Mr Edward Pines, a senior manager for curriculum development at the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA); is the likely introduction of online tutoring – or e-learning – for certain maritime education modules, beginning with at least three STCW Modules for marine engineering students.

A week ago Mr Pines’ team had a meeting with Higher Education Department’s chief director of Vocational and Continuing Education, Ms Gerda Magnus  for a discussion of the possible solution, and the talks were ‘very encouraging’ according to Mr Pines.

Chatting to this blog shortly thereafter, in this 4 minute video (Click Here) Mr Pines outlined the proposal and further steps planned to take it to fruition inclusive of a further meeting in March at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology:

Meanwhile, Mr Pines – who turns a golden 77 years old in March, marking his formal retirement – further confirms that final stage of approval of a newly developed curriculum for eight (8) national maritime sector occupational certificate courses is on course.

img_3850The eight national occupation qualifications for which a new curriculum was developed in record time in 2016 include; Port Operations Master, Marine Electro-Technical Officer, Aids to Navigation Manager, Aids to Navigation Technician, Dock Master, Traffic Controller (Vessel Tracking System), Maritime Search & Rescue Mission Coordinator and Diver (Commercial).

According to Mr Pines, the qualifications conceptualized and proposed by SAMSA consistent with the objectives of the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) project, and developed with the full involvement of the maritime industry; 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.

In this next video (04:25 minutes: Click Here), Mr Pines provides an update of the curriculum’s formal approval process. He also chats briefly about his pending “real retirement this time” from next month, and about which he gives an assurance that there will certainly be continuity at SAMSA with the maritime sector education and training curriculum campaign. He hints on his possible successor.

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