Interim maritime sector development council to launch in June.

DSC_9580.JPGDurban: 01 March 2019

Delegates to a two day maritime sector transport dialogue held in Durban on Thursday and Friday wholly endorsed the setting up of a proposed development council for the sector, possibly as early June 2019.

This emerged at the closure of the event by Transport Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande at about lunchtime on Friday, following to two days of deliberation by hundreds of delegates representing government, the private sector as well as academia.

Minister of Transport, Dr Blade Nzimande

According to Dr Nzimande, establishment of the development council for the maritime economic sector is a proposal emanating from the adoption and implementation of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP) in 2017.

In his opening address on Thursday, Dr Nzimande said the maritime transport sector was a “key component in government’s objective in growing and developing the oceans economy.”

He said according to current estimates of the Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy strategy, the country’s oceans in which South Africa has as much as 1.5-million square kilometers of an exclusive economic zone, have the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create just over one million jobs by 2033 and between 800 000 and 1-million direct jobs.

“Through Operation Phakisa, 47 detailed initiatives have been identified, whose progressive implementation is expected to increase the oceans economy’s GDP contribution by R20 million per annum and lead to the creation of 22 000 direct new jobs this year, 2019,” he said.

Some of the delegates to the Department of Transport convened two day maritime sector dialogue held in Durban on Thursday and Friday.

However, very little progress was being achieved both in terms of actual economic and business development as well as transformation due to a whole range of reasons, hence the need for those immersed in or with interest in the sector to get around a table and devise workable plans about how best to overcome identified challenges.

He said: “As the Department of Transport, we are leading the Marine Transport and Manufacturing work stream, which is amongst the six work streams established by Operation Phakisa ocean economy.

“Amongst others, our work stream has highlighted a concern that South Africa currently has no registered ships (since corrected to “two or three”). This is in spite of the fact that each year, 300-million tons of cargo moves through our ports in imports and exports.

“In addition, 1.2-million tonnes of liquid fuels move along our coast, while the rapidly expanding offshore oil and gas activities require a supporting fleet of vessels,” he said

DSC_9581.JPGConfronted by these and various other challenges, Dr Nzimande said the proposed development council, in terms of the CMTP, was intended as a critical intervention to assist with realization of the goals of growth, development and transformation of maritime transport.”

He said: “The CMTP envisages the establishment of the Maritime Transport Sector Development Council as a platform and vehicle to develop concrete strategies and co-operation to develop and transform the sector. This Council is also expected to develop appropriate plans to grow the sector within the context of the oceans economy.

“The development of a multiyear Maritime Transport Sector Plan (MTSDP) as well as the review and monitoring of the overall performance of the sector are key tasks assigned to the MTSDC by the CMTP.”

On Friday, Dr Nzimande announced that delegates to the two day Transport Department dialogue were with one voice that the proposal should be implemented as soon as possible.

He said establishment of the council could occur as early June 2019, even if on an interim basis.







The port of Cape Town, one of the country's busiest of seven commercial ports dotted along South Africa's 3900km long coastline.
The port of Cape Town, one of the country’s busiest of seven commercial ports dotted along South Africa’s 3900km long coastline.

Pretoria: 22 February 2016

South Africans might hurriedly get used to and settle permanently with the knowledge that their’s is a maritime country whose vast oceans remain central to its economic development into the future, according to Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga.

Department of Transport Deputy Minister: Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga.

Ms Chikunga told mourners at a funeral of a senior manager of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Ms Sindiswa Carol Nhlumayo; in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend that the development of the country’s maritime economy – long suffering neglect yet with abundant economic resources – was now firmly in government’s national agenda and that no effort was being sparred by the State to ensure that requisite infrastructure, along with appropriate human skills were invested upon.

According to government estimations, South Africa’s oceans inclusive of an Exclusive Economic Zone equivalent some 1.5-million square kilometers along a coastline equivalent some 3900km, have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and create more than one million jobs by 2033.

Ms Chikunga is the designated cabinet minister for co-ordination of South Africa’s maritime economic sector development and which effort is being pursued through the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) programme – a joint initiative between the State, the private sector as well as educational and research institutions.

Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) was launched in October 2014 targeting for rapid development over the next five years, five subsectors of the country’s maritime economy; Off-shore Oil and Gas, Marine Transport and Manufacturing, Marine protection services and Ocean governance, Aquaculture and Marine Tourism.

Ms Sindiswa Nhlumayo, former Executive Head, Centre for Maritime Excellence
Ms Sindiswa Nhlumayo, former Executive Head of SAMSA’s Centre for Maritime Excellence

Ms Chikunga bemoaned the premature death of Ms Nhlumayo, an executive head of SAMSA’s Centre for Maritime Excellence; whom she described as having been a major contributor to both the country’s tourism strategy development as well as a key national figure in the promotion of development of the maritime economic sector.

Ms Nhlumayo (45), also a PhD candidate in maritime economy studies at the Sweden-based World Maritime University, as well as a multi-award winner inclusive of the Institute of People Management (IPM) “Business Leader of the Year 2015”, died of cancer on 11 February 2016.

Ms Nhlumayo had been central to development and implementation of national human resources skills development initiatives for particularly the maritime sector and had been instrumental in forging relationships between national and international education institutions inclusive of the World Maritime University that now has direct links with the Port Elizabeth based Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Since 2012 as many as 22 South Africans have read for Masters and Doctoral degree in maritime studies at the World Maritime University. In addition, several other South African youths, supported by SAMSA; are enrolled for maritime economy studies in Vietnam. Similar opportunities are currently being explored with institutions in the Phillipines.

IMG_0310Ms Chikunga said Ms Nhlumayo’s death was unfortunate as it came at a time when SAMSA was gathering speed with several of its promotional programmes of the country’s maritime economic sector and which has now seen commercial cargo vessels carrying the country’s flag for the first time in more than 30 years.

Two of these were registered late in 2015, while according to SAMSA Chief Executive Officer, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele; 12 others are currently awaiting approval.

For Ms Chikunga’s full remarks, view the video clip: (Warning: the deputy Minister’s entire speech is in isiZulu)