The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) issued newly designed Certificate of Competence for seafarers has begun finding home with the country’s sailors and who are simply almost wholly impressed with its features. The CoC is one of two newly designed certificates launched by the organization a month ago.
Modeled on South Africa’s Passport with intricate security features, the new certificates according to SAMSA’s Centre for Seafarers, are in compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) and the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations, 2013, as amended (MS (SMTC) Regulations, 2013.
Chief Examiner at the Centre for Seafarers, Captain Azwimmbavhi Mulaudzi says the STCW Convention is one of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) cornerstone convention.
“It is a comprehensive set of international regulations intended to ensure that the highest standards of seafarer competence are maintained globally. The STCW 2010 amendments are intended to ensure that STCW standards stay relevant, so that seafarers can continue to develop and maintain their professional skills,” says Captain Mulaudzi.
To produce the new certificates featuring a set of new intricate security measures – inclusive of a watermark with the SAMSA logo; a background watermark featuring a South African Vessel which is visible when the document is held to the light, as well as hidden elements such as invisible ink and micro-printed text – SAMSA worked closely with the Government Printing Works (GPW.
According to Captain Mulaudzi: “These are all intended to prevent tampering, alteration, forgery and to allow for easy recognition of the genuine items and also to ensure that seafarers’ identities are protected.”
The first proud sailor to lay claim to the new CoC earlier this month is Ryan Smith, a Chief Navigating Officer (<3000GT>) at Smit Amanda Marine in Cape Town, a company he has been with since about 13 years ago.
Smith, a graduate of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and a seafarer who has gone through the ranks on board various scientific research vessels managed and operated by Smit Amanda Marine, as well as the Offshore Division of the company involving various Offshore Tugs, said he was impressed with the overall layout of the new CoC.
“The layout of the new COC is more refined and substantially simplified, with useful additional general information notes at the rear of the booklet,” said Smith.
Being the first seafarer in the country to lay claim to the new CoC will remain a matter of pride for him for a while yet, he mused.
Of his now over a decade old career at sea, Smith quipped: “My most memorable moment in my short career thus far was the salvage of the jack-up rig, Perro Negro 6 which capsized off Angola. At this time I was serving onboard the AHTS Smit Madura, under the command of Captain Toralf Grapow, my friend and mentor, and coincidentally the Master of the very first vessel I joined as a cadet!”
Meanwhile, according to Captain Pierre Schutz, a deputy Principal Officer and a chief examiner (deck) at SAMSA’s Cape Town office, one or two other sailors have since collected theirs as well.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has been left devastated following the passing away of one of its senior managers, Ms Sindiswa Nhlumayo, who passed away on Thursday night, February 11, 2016 after a battle with cancer.
Ms Nhlumayo (45), an Executive Head of SAMSA’s Centre for Maritime Excellence was a highly recognized business leader and manager acknowledged worldwide for her acumen and style.
But the organisation will have to do more, fast; as “50 more” are needed: Deputy Minister
Saldanha Bay: December 07, 2015
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has received praise from Government for its speedy facilitation of the registration of cargo trade vessels now carrying the country’s flag in the past year.
The accolade came from national Transport Ministry’s deputy Minister Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga during a Presidential Imbizo week event held at the port of Saldanha on Monday.
Speaking during the open imbizo of the maritime economic sector (oil and gas subsector) chaired by the Transport Ministry and attended by the media, to receive reports on progress achieved so far with new infrastructure development being undertaken at the port of Saldanha, Ms Chikunga hailed SAMSA’s pace in achieving the registration of at least three cargo vessels in 2015 under the South African flag.
Ship registry is among priorities identified under Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) launched a year ago.
The first of the three private sector trade vessels now carrying the country’s flag was registered in September 2015, followed soon thereafter by two others.
Ms Chikunga noted how she had put ‘tremendous pressure’ on SAMSA to “deliver” on the goal but went further to describe the feat as exemplary of the high pace denoted by Operation Phakisa (meaning “speed things up”) in implementing timely, programs and processes jointly identified by Government and the private sector as required for the country’s economic rejuvenation and growth, but especially the maritime economic sector.
“We made promises to the people of South Africa. We have to deliver on those.” She said, adding that while the ministry was happy with the development, the country needed more vessels registered.
“We now want to see 50 more registered and we want to know from the institution (SAMSA) how soon can we have that 50 in our books,’ said Ms Chikunga during a media conference.
However, the applause for SAMSA contrasted the mood of both the deputy Minister as well as private sector representatives that greeted a Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) report on progress achieved so far with development of the port of Saldanha.
The gathering was the first of several this week during which Government and private sector principals across sectors are meeting to thrash out challenges facing the economy and to come out with clear plans on how best to overcome these.
Ms Chikunga said the imbizo at Saldanha Bay on Monday had been convened to receive and evaluate reports by both her office as well as concerned maritime sector investors on TNPA’s progress with projects earmarked for the port of Saldanha in terms of the Operation Phakisa (Ocean Economy) plans for the Marine Transport and Manufacturing lab – one of five targeted for prioritization in the revitalization of the country’s maritime economic sector.
Precisely, in terms of the MTM lab recommendations, the port of Saldanha was approved by Government for the establishment of a purpose built oil and gas port infrastructure, with TNPA charged with facilitating rapidly not only the development, and unlocking investment in new and existing port facilities around the country, but also with creating and implementing a public procurement and localization programme, as well as developing a strategic marketing campaign and value proposition for target markets.
According to a presentation by port of Saldanha manager, Mr Willem Roux, the oil and gas infrastructure intended for development at the West Coast port, at an estimated investment of approximately R10-billion, include a proposed Mossgas quay extension, a general maintenance quay, a new oil and gas repair berth as well as an extension of the current iron ore berth.
This would be in addition to a long planned development of an Industrial Development Zone alongside the port.
It emerged at the imbizo on Monday the expectation was that with timely execution of the MTM lab related plan for the oil and gas port infrastructure by the TNPA, at least 3 000 direct and indirect jobs would be created each year since 2014 – a figure said should have doubled to 6 000 new direct and indirect jobs to date.
However, tempers flared at times during the imbizo after it emerged that according to TNPA current plans as presented by Mr Roux, the key facilities of the development at the port of Saldanha earmarked for the oil and gas subsector would most likely be ready for utilization by about 2019 instead of the scheduled 2017.
This according to Transnet, was due in part to the need for the relocation of manganese ore from both the port of Saldanha as well as the port of Port Elizabeth to the Ngurha deep water port also in Port Elizabeth. This would take three years through to 2019 to complete, the parastatal reported.
The report did not go down well with neither Ms Chikunga nor the investment, business and local community representatives virtually all of whom saw the performance as ‘slow’.
Speakers all bemoaned what they described as a reflection of South Africa’s apparent inability to stick to undertakings, and instead seemed at ease with moving further time frames for delivery of identified infrastructure development programmes.
Business representatives said this practice did not only paint a bad image of the country in the investment community but was also proving costly to those investors already committed.
In addition, local business and civic society representatives were far from pleased that the number of jobs planned for the port of Saldanha infrastructure development were far from being realized – but especially that there were not even figures presented at the meeting to illustrate if any jobs at all had been created, in order to alleviate high unemployment in the community of just over 100 000 inhabitants.
It helped little that TNPA officials cited also ongoing discussions within the institution intended partly at ensuring that businesses currently utilizing the port ,such as mining; were not impacted negatively by the new projects.
An apparently frustrated Ms Chikunga responded: ‘If decisions take 14 months to make…by people sitting together every day, who therefore can organize one another and discuss, what do I say? What report do I take to the President…and you are expecting investor confidence?
“It cannot be that you are taking 14 months to sit and discuss. The second issue for me is that we do not respond quickly as South Africans, why is that? If are you are saying we as the Department of Transport are appointing people who do not know what they are doing, then tell us, so that we can look into the issue!
“We are a country like other countries. We must be able to respond quickly enough as other developing countries are doing. I am talking about Kenya. I am talking about developing African countries. A delay in an Operation Phakisa project has so much impact on other projects..and surely it should be frustrating investors even more because there is money involved,” said Ms Chikunga
TNPA Chief Executive Officer Richard Vallihu, however assured both Ms Chikunga and the business and local community representatives that deadlines on the projects would be met, and that a substantial number of jobs were assured to be created in this and various other current projects underway, inclusive of the deepening of parts of the Durban port.
With regards community benefits but especially in terms of jobs and related matters, Mr Vallihu said his institution was doing far more, as it had embarked also on investment in schools along its ports intended to offer skills development programmes for labour, specifically youth and women that would be absorbed in the maritime sector.
The imbizo wrapped up with a visit of the earmarked port area in Saldanha designed for oil and gas infrastructure development.
Clip One: Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga outlines the purpose of the Presidential Imbizo (Transport sector/maritime sector)
Clip Two: Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga responding to Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) report on progress achieved to date on the development of port infrastructure for the Oil and Gas subsector at the port of Saldanha
Clip Three: Transnet National Ports Authority CEO responding to concerns raised by both Department of Transport deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga and business, investment and local community representatives at the imbizo.
For Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga’s media conference video remarks, click here
The creep of maritime sector education in South Africa may be decidedly slow, almost imperceptible yet it is an absolute certainty, and it is about to come full circle with the envisaged formal roping into the milieu of the country’s technical vocational education and training (TVET) colleges in a year’s time.
With TVETs on board, maritime sector-focused public sector education will have reached virtually all relevant levels of formal education structures in the country, from foundational (currently high schools) through to vocational and tertiary levels.
The ‘10th Province’ has it in good authority that TVETs will be drawn into the fray in earnest from January 2017, with the launch of a pilot project involving two TVET institutions in as many provinces; one in KwaZulu-Natal and one other in the heart of Cape Town, Western Cape.
This follows the completion and approval of appropriate curriculum for a National Occupation Certificate in certain levels of discipline in seamanship that include, “Able Seafarer Engine”, “Able Seafarer Deck”, “Able Seafarer Fishing” “Marine Motorman Grade 2” and “Fishing Deck Officer”
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 delegationof 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.
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.
A week ago, South Africa saw the launch of the country’s Marine Tourism & Leisure strategy aimed at providing for the first time a coherent road map forward for the sub-sector of South Africa’s maritime economic sector and the latter whose focused development, transformation and integration into the main economy is deemed highly important, as clearly articulated in the current Operation Phakisa: (Ocean Economy) national campaign.
Launch of the strategy by its developer, the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) together with partners Worldsport and the V&A Waterfront, supported by financial sponsors, Calulo Group and several others; occurred during an inaugural national Ocean Festival held at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
The country’s media covered the event and picked up on key salient points.
There were salient points all right! For one thing, an interesting fact to surface was that Johannesburg is effectively a freak city, given that all around the world, cities its size are all maritime based as developed on the basis of sea trade.
For this and various other interesting illuminations, it is worth revisiting the historical event last weekend to listen carefully to the officials that presided over it and whose speeches told more than traditional media could master in its highly limited space and time.
As it transpired, on the evening of Friday, October 30, 2015; close on 100 guests gathered in a splendidly decorated marquee featuring a nautical theme, to be treated to fine sea food, a bit of friendly banter, but importantly, to share in the enthusiasm of the officials behind the event as they explained the genesis of the Marine Tourism & Leisure Strategy, its positioning within the development framework of the country’s maritime economic sector, as well its objectives for the marine sub-sector.
Focus on maritime economic sector the way to go for SA
The list of speakers on the evening, (and who incidentally were all given no more than five minutes each!) included (in order of appearance) V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.
Summarily, according to Mr Green; it was high time South Africans took to the oceans, and made use of the resource for wealth generation and sharing…….
(Please do note that audio is bad at first but improves dramatically thereafter with all the clips. Also, a video version of the speeches will be loaded soon on the “Reflections” page.)
South Africa is a maritime country. Johannesburg is a freak city!
Meanwhile, according to SAMSA CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, the launch of the Marine Tourism & Leisure Strategy marked what he described as; “the beginning of a change that one day, when our time shall have passed, from another media somewhere, we will look back and say, we thought it was a party for one day, but it happened to be a day marking the beginning of the change we have all wanted for our country…..
“The biggest frustration for all of us in the maritime sector,“ he said: “has been a failure to move the consciousness of our nation to the fact that we are a maritime country, a maritime people, who live off a maritime economy.” Importantly, he properly contextualized the entire weekend activity in terms of South Africa’s grand plan for the maritime economic sector.
Take a listen……
The private sector wants in…
Up next was Calulo Group Chairman, Mkhuseli Faku whose group of companies largely operational in maritime sector he said was excited about the openness the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) reflected in its keen invitation to private sector companies to get involved and work closely with State entities. Because of it, he pledged future support of initiatives of the nature.
The Ocean Festival will be all over South Africa come 2016…
The final word on the evening fell on SAMSA partner in the Ocean Festival initiative, Worldsport, whose leader, Bruce Parker-Forsyth unpacked the Ocean Festival initiative going forward….
The SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) headquarters in Pretoria was still abuzz with fervor of excitement and a degree of nostalgia Tuesday and early Wednesday this week after confirmation of news that Ms Sindiswa Nhlumayo, an executive head of the organisation’s Centre for Maritime Excellence; has been recognized as the Institute of People Management’s “Business Leader of the Year 2015.”
The country’s top leadership recognition and achievement award was presented to Ms Nhlumayo at the IPM’s 70th anniversary celebrations and 59th year of its people management excellence awards presentations held at Sun City, North West on Tuesday evening.
By Wednesday morning the news of Ms Nhlumayo’s high recognition award had spread far and wide, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and such other modern social media communication platforms. Wednesday afternoon, SAMSA CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele in a brief general meeting with staff also shared the news, sparking a momentary frenzy of excitement characterized by ‘high fives’, hugs, kisses and handshakes.
Mr Mokhele described the awarding of the IPM’s “Business Leader of the Year Award 2015” to Ms Nhlumayo as both indicative of the high leadership qualities the award winner possesses and displays, but also an evidence of the calibre of people SAMSA has driving its programmes.
As executive head of the Centre for Maritime Excellence at SAMSA, Ms Nhlumayo is responsible for promoting and driving the growth of skills and human capacity in the Maritime Sector, promoting research, development and innovation and unleashing opportunities for economic development lying in our coastal areas and inland waterways.
Prior to her joining SAMSA, she was head of the Human Resources Development Council whose role is to ensure the implementation of the Human Resources Development Strategy for South Africa and to drive the message of ensuring that South Africa competes better through people in the entire human resources development service value chain.
Before that she was the Deputy Director General for Tourism at the National Department of Tourism and had previously served as head of the first ever Tourism Black Economic Empowerment Council. Ms Nhlumayo is also a former Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and former Chief Director for Tourism and Economic Development in the Western Cape.
She holds a Master of Science Degree from the University College of Buckinghamshire and is currently enrolled for a PhD in Maritime Affairs (World Maritime University) in Sweden, specifically focussing on maritime policy and job creation.
She is a founding member of the Cape and Craft Design Institute, and also a lifetime fellow of the Emerging Leaders Programme from Dukes University in the United States and University of Cape Town in South Africa. She currently serves on the National Heritage Council, Tourism KwaZulu Natal, TETA Maritime Chamber and Cullinan Holdings (Non-Executive Director). She was the 2013 Best Female Public Servant. She also got an award from the University of Durban Westville (University of KZN) for being exemplary alumni.
Speaking briefly to staff Wednesday afternoon, Ms Nhlumayo expressed gratitude for the support her work with people received from all, including top management, her peers as well as support staff in her centre and the rest of the establishment.
She committed to maintaining and improving the people leadership standards she’d now been formally recognized for by industry, and to continuing to share her experiences with others. For the period of her ‘reign’ as “Business Leader of the Year 2015” Ms Nhlumayo would also serve ceremoniously as ‘ambassador’ of the IPM, making such appearances at various functions or events as shall be possible.
The institute of Professional SA Mariners (IPSAM) has embarked on a public campaign, through social media platforms, to solicit input on the development of its brand colours, logos and related matters pertaining to its formal establishment.
IPSAM is a State approved governing body for professional mariners in South Africa established in terms of National Qualifications Framework Act. It gained formal government recognition and approval following to formalization of its establishment two years ago facilitated by the promulgation of the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations 2013 that year.
According to the SA Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which houses and administers the new professional body, IPSAM’s coming into existence is yet another critical step forward in the country’s current campaign to rejuvenate, grow and develop the country’s maritime economic sector and facilitate its integration into the main economy.
IPSAM is also calling for public input into a set of documents: its founding report due for submission to the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA), a proposed Constitution, a Code of Ethics as well as disciplinary procedures for the organization.
The public has until 31 November 2015, to submit responses.
There is barely gainsaying that this past week’s events at the country’s universities involving students waging a mighty battle for the suspension or reversal of proposed increases in fees for the 2016 academic year were certainly a source of major concern to especially parents and sponsors.
That the issue of increased fees would be of direct interest to them, possibly as a short term financial benefit, would not dissipate or arrest parents’ concerns both for the safety of the youths and their positive progress in their studies, which process would preferably entail partly, their successful sitting for and passing the current’s year’s exams. The very timing of the action, coming so close to year end exams, would worry parents most.
But as observers would testify, the action which saw the country universities’ students marching not only on Parliament but also on the seat of Government at the Union Buildings in Pretoria with much bravado; was not their only achievement, nor did it reflect wholly on the student’s general performance and achievements at campuses.