Maritime transport sector in for a shake-up and shape-up phase: Transport Ministry

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Durban: 02 March 2019

South Africa’s maritime transport sector is poised for a significant shake-up and shape-up phase over the next few years including the possible corporatization of the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), establishment of innovation hubs, reconfiguration of maritime education and training as well as a push towards domestication of local shipping trade transport occurring along the country’s and southern region coastal areas.

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Minister of Transport; Dr Blade Nzimande

That is according to South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande in an address to delegates to the country’s inaugural maritime transport sector dialogue held in Durban on Thursday and Friday this week.

The gathering at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel on the Durban beachfront and with its focus on the maritime transport sector, was the first in a series planned for the country’s transport industry over the next few months and years.

Guiding focus of the maritime transport sector dialogue was the recently promulgated Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP), a product of the National Transport Masterplan (NATMAP) 2050, aimed at facilitating collective pursuit and achievement of maritime sector economic development targets some set under the country’s Operation Phakisa: Ocean’s Economy programme for the next decade.

Among other things, the CMTP requires the Department of Transport to ‘initiate programmes to holistically and coherently grow and develop the South African maritime transport sector.’

On Thursday in Durban, Dr Nzimande who celebrated his first full year as Minister of Transport in February, said several proposals towards fulfillment of the goal were on the table for consideration. Among these was the setting up soon of a Maritime Transport Sector Development Council (MTSD), a development delegates to the dialogue have since endorsed.

Dr Nzimande said the council may be up and running by June 2019, even if on an interim basis pending finalization of its member composition and related matters.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) corporatisation

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However, also on the cards was a contemplated corporatisation of the country’s ports management entity, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), with a view to unlocking vast economic opportunities identified within the country’s ports area of contribution and influence.

Dr Nzimande said “The present policy and legislation of government requires that we corporatize the Transnet National Ports Authority. I will be tasking the National Ports Consultative Committee to advise me on the steps to be undertaken to implement this crucial piece of legislation.

“I know that there is a debate (about this) because there are some people who are not wild about this idea. But a debate is good.”

He said this would take place against the backdrop of recognition that the country’s ports regulator was already doing a sterling job in creating a conducive and investor friendly environment at the ports, and also helping to reduce costs of doing business in the economic zones.

For Dr Nzimande’s remarks on the topic, Click on the 3 minutes video below

Transport innovation hubs

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Dr Nzimande said another crucial intervention would be the establishment of transport innovation hubs to facilitate the harnessing of talent and skills in the development of solutions to the country’s transport sector, inclusive of the maritime sector.

Describing this as something ‘very close to my heart’, Dr Nzimande said: “I am really committed into investing in having transport innovation hubs. We are not going to transform the transport sector generally, or any mode of transport, without investment into science, technology and innovation.”

Illustrating the particular importance of this aspect of development, Dr Nzimande drew an example about the country’s rail transport and said it was inconceivable that in modern times, trains in South Africa were still colliding randomly on railways when transport mobility technology had so advanced such that such collisions should be history.

He said the innovations hubs would facilitate the promotion and harnessing of science, technology and innovation ideas for deployment in areas of transport to help improve both functionality as well as efficient services. He said he would set up a task team to explore and pursue the idea towards implementation.

For Dr Nzimande’s remarks on the topic, Click on the 3 minutes video below

Focused education, training and skills transfer

On education and training, Dr Nzimande said empowerment and transformation in the sector was proving futile in the absence of proper and relevant education, training and skills transfer.

He said black economic empowerment was meaningless if it was limited only to shareholding while those sought to be empowered knew next to nothing about managing and understanding businesses in the maritime economic sector.

Towards addressing the situation, Dr Nzimande said his department would engage with various role-players inclusive of the Department of Higher Education and Training, with a view to establishing a dedicated education, training and skills development focus for the sector.

For his remarks on this aspect, Click on the video below:

Domestication of shipping and localization of content

Dr Nzimande also reflected on a number of issues inclusive of the need for a South Africa owned fleet of shipping vessels, as well as an increase in local content in the boat and ships repair and manufacturing subsectors.

On development of locally owned or registered ships, Dr Nzimande said coastal shipping could be supported in various ways inclusive of local mining output, but also the shifting some of the road transported goods onto ships that would service the southern African region.

With regards utilization of local content in ship repair and manufacturing, he said empowerment through shareholding by South Africans in operations that were importing goods that could be manufactured locally actually amounted to dis-empowerment as such schemes derived no meaningful and sustainable benefits for the local economy.

For his full remarks on this topic, Click Here:

For Dr Nzimande’s full unedited full speech, click here

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Maritime sector careers awareness crucial for SA youths’ future education choices: SAMSA

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SHARING CAREER INFO: Ms Neziswa Libala of SAMSA engaging with learners about maritime sector careers during an exhibition held in the Koukamma region of the Eastern Cape in May 2017

Pretoria: 05 June 2017

Enhanced general public awareness, but especially among youth, about the multitude of career choices available in South Africa across a wide range of economic sectors remains a crucial aspect to broadening the reach of education, training and skills development.

It was with this in mind that a regional unit of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) based in Port Elizabeth, landed full support to a careers awareness campaign for high schools in the western region of the Eastern Cape mid-May 2017, at the invitation of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature.

Targeted were high schools in the Koukamma area, situated in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality along the Indian Ocean coastline south-west of Port Elizabeth.

Koukamma CE 2017 bThe exhibition over two days was held at the Paul Sauer High School hostel hall. In addition to SAMSA, other exhibitors included the Department of Higher Education and Training, Department of Labour, Eastern Cape Health Department, MERSETA, Human Rights Commission, Eastern Cape Ambulance Services, Vodacom, ABSA, Sun International Boardwalk, FAMSA and a few others.

As many 300 learners attended the exhibition and according to SAMSA, the organization took the opportunity to share with the learners information on numerous careers available in the country’s maritime economic sector, a hitherto sector hidden in open view to the majority of people in the country.

“We covered about 250 learners, handing out brochures, together with making them aware of maritime careers. We encountered quite a number of very keen learners, children with math and science, and advised them to keep a look out for the SAMSA Bursary advertisement or email me (snaidoo@samsa.org.za) to enquire about it,” said Ms Saloshini Naidoo, a SAMSA office administrator for the southern region.

Ms Naidoo noted an alarming gap that could prove a significant challenge or even a limitation to some of the learners however – an apparent absence of math and science education at some of the schools.

 She says: “Some of the schools in attendance did not offer math and science to learners,” – this at a time when maritime sector specific education is gaining momentum, however gradually, at all levels of education; from foundational to technical and vocational education and training, and  tertiary levels.

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SPREADING MARITIME CAREERS AWARENESS: (From Left) Former Eastern Cape Premier and current Member of the Provincial Legislature (MPL) Ms Noxolo Kiviet with SAMSA southern region staffers, Ms Neziswa Libala and Ms Saloshini Naidoo

From a near complete absence of high schools offering maritime sector specific education as recently as five years ago, the Eastern Cape province now has two of these based in East London, while other provinces including Gauteng are engaged in similar initiatives.

A year ago the Free State provincial government also committed to allocating funding to students in that province keen to follow maritime sector careers.

TVET colleges are also currently in the process of being roped in to offer comprehensive maritime sector related education and training courses, with proposed curriculum driven by SAMSA in conjunction with various education and training authorities currently in the process of formal approval.

According to Ms Naidoo however, delivery challenges, inclusive of a critical shortage of maritime sector education teachers, should not hold back creation of greater awareness of careers that exist in the sector. The more people – and particularly young people – are aware so much the better; she says.

SAMSA regularly contributes to maritime sector careers awareness as part of its third objective of its legislated mandate.

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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.

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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

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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

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South Africa’s first registered cargo vessel lends hand to skills development on first day at work

SALDANHA BAY: September 27, 2015

Three South Africa youths made history in South Africa’s maritime economy sector here at the weekend when they boarded the country’s first registered cargo ship since the dawn of democracy.

MAKING HISTORY: (From Left) Samkelo Ndongeni (25) a deck cadet from Ngqushwa near King Williams Town, Thembani Mazingi (24) an engine cadet from Cofimvaba, and Gordon Sekatang (26), also an engine cadet from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, with the Cape Orchid skipper, Captain Edgardo De Asis prior to departure Friday with a trade cargo destined for Asian markets. The trio will remain with the ship for at least six months.
MAKING HISTORY: (From Left) Samkelo Ndongeni (25) a deck cadet from Ngqushwa near King Williams Town, Thembani Mazingi (24) an engine cadet from Cofimvaba, and Gordon Sekatang (26), also an engine cadet from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, with the Cape Orchid skipper, Captain Edgardo De Asis prior to departure Friday with a trade cargo destined for Asian markets. The trio will remain with the ship for at least six months.

Similarly, the city of Nelson Mandela Bay also marked its name in the country’s maritime sector’s history books when it was confirmed as the home of the country’s first registered vessel since 1985. The city is already home to the country’s first higher education and research institute, the SA International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) based at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

The youths, two from the Eastern Cape – Samkelo Ndongeni (25) a deck cadet from Ngqushwa near King Williams Town, and Thembani Mazingi (24) an engine cadet from Cofimvaba, and the third from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Gordon Sekatang (26), also an engine cadet – were taken on board the newly registered vessel at Saldanha Bay Friday for a hands-on ship management practical training scheduled to last six months.

The trio’s first travel aboard the Cape Orchid – a 32 day one way journey went underway at the weekend to China where the 279m long cargo vessel will off-load some 170,000 tonnes of iron ore – the vessel’s first trade cargo from South Africa since its registration under the country’s flag.

To read more, click here