South Africa all out to draw global cruise liners to its port cities: SAMSA

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Pretoria: 10 April 2019

South Africa moved to take its rightful place in the global cruise tourism industry and increase its share of the cruise market by beefing up its presence at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference currently underway in Miami, Florida, USA this week.

The conference held at Miami Beach Convention Center over three days, and viewed as the world’s foremost cruise industry event, began on Monday and ends on Wednesday this week.

SeatradeCruiseGlobalSignificantly for South Africa,  the South African Safety Maritime Authority (SAMSA) is leading a delegation of 10 organisations exhibiting at the conference,  in a bid to attract more cruise ships and liners to South Africa.

The South Africa delegation is accommodated in a 140m2 ‘South African Pavilion’ at Seatrade, where it showcases the offerings of the KZN Cruise Terminal, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Cruise Terminal and Durban Tourism. The Eastern Cape Provincial Government and the Department of Trade and Industry are also participating.

According to SAMSA, Seatrade is the largest global gathering of the cruise industry and and the agency believes that an improved showing at the event – South Africa has one of the biggest stands – will lead to more cruise tourism.

According to SAMSA, South Africa’s share of the global cruise market is estimated at less than 1 per cent. Notably, South Africa has exhibited at the global gathering before, but not as aggressively and not as a combined package.

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. SAMSA Acting CEO.

SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi says this year’s increased investment in Seatrade is intended to showcase the full range of South Africa’s offering as a cruise destination.

“The cruise tourism industry is the only growth area in the broader maritime shipping sector. It is envisaged to double in size over the next eight to 10 years with all the order books of the shipping yards full until 2027. But while the global cruise industry is growing exponentially, South Africa is not reaping its full share of the benefits.

“Our share of the market is miniscule and this is mainly due to lack of infrastructure and lack of action. South Africa has rectified the infrastructure issue through the development of two world class terminals in Cape Town and Durban. Now SAMSA is tackling the issue  by proactively marketing South Africa as a cruise destination.”

According to Mr Tilayi, SAMSA had opted to take the lead and manage South Africa’s presence at Seatrade because it was determined to fulfill its mandate to promote South Africa’s maritime interests.

In addition to lending a hand in attracting more global cruise liners onto South African shores, SAMSA since 2016 launched a jobs focused initiative called the Maritime Youth Development Programme and through which South African youth is recruited and placed on cruise vessels across the world.

Working in partnerships with interested parties as the Gauteng and Eastern Cape Premiers’ Offices, Harambee and others, SAMSA is continuing with the programme which is hoped will create no less than 1000 job opportunities on global cruise liners annually.

Mr Tilayi says: “There is a lot of opportunity to create jobs and to grow the maritime economy. Unfortunately, South Africa has not fully exploited these opportunities. SAMSA is determined to accelerate the process by, among other things, ensuring South Africa is prominent at all the necessary global gatherings, such as Seatrade, and by building on our Ships Register, which we have also been actively doing,” he says.

He describes SAMSA as confident that SA’s presence at Seatrade will entrench the message that South Africa is open for business as a cruising destination.

“South Africa has a world-class cruise offering, but we have not communicated that effectively in the past. We are rectifying that oversight with our presence at Seatrade. We are saying to the world, Come to South Africa; it really is a world in one country. And it is your loss if you never visit.” he says.

Below are two video interviews of South African youth, one with Miss Asisipho Nombityana who is now on her second year working, and another with Miss Aviwe Makhaba who was due to start work earlier in 2019.

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Maritime emergencies a real threat for South Africa: SAMSA

DSC_9692.JPGDurban: 27 March 2019

South Africa’s state of readiness for maritime emergencies along its expanse of oceans at the southern tip of Africa remains porous at the very least, and finding viable solutions to the massive challenge lies with consultation and ongoing collaboration among stakeholders, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has said.

Addressing about 80 delegates from the private and public sectors to a two-days maritime risks workshop in Durban that began on Wednesday, SAMSA board member and chairperson of the agency’s Maritime Industry Committee, Ms Sekabiso Molemane described the country’s maritime risks as high and the state of readiness for emergencies  as low.

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Ms Sekabiso Molemane. SAMSA Board Member

She attributed the situation to both increasing global utilization of the oceans and waterways in and around the country, and the collapse of structures previously in place to safeguard the maritime and marine environments.

The risks involved ranged from pollution and environmental degradation, vessel traffic accidents involving both property and people’s lives, to improper use of the country’s waters by rogue elements in world trade. Alongside these, was the country’s poor state of readiness to respond properly and on time, with the requisite personnel, tools and equipment.

She said South Africa’s marine emergency response rested previously on a foundation of cooperative institutional infrastructure built on the mandates and respective capabilities of mainly government entities.

“Over time,” she said: “the mandate or main focus of most of the entities that formed the core of South Africa Maritime Emergency Cooperative Response got reviewed and in most cases, the review led to the erosion of the respective maritime elements.

“The cumulative result of these reviews is a substantially eroded marine emergency response capability.”

Examples of the situation included the diminished role of the South African Air Force in carrying out aerial functions as well as the reduction of Telkom Maritime Communications to Telkom Radio which has lead, she said, to inadequate and obsolete communications infrastructure. In addition, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Pollution Combating Function had inadequate and outdated pollution equipment.

“Thus with the passage of time, the capability that the Department of Transport requires in order to respond to maritime emergencies has been largely diminished, in most cases both in terms of skills capacity, the equipment as well as institutional memory. This demise is largely driven by budgetary constraints within  those institutions,” said Ms Molemane.

The purposes of the SAMSA organized workshop, she said,  was for maritime risk stakeholders to take stock of what remains of the architecture for marine emergency response, reassess what the requirements are to resuscitate and sustain a world standard state of readiness, taking into account the funding and capacity that would be required to achieve the goal.

For Ms Molemane’s full remarks, click on the video

Meanwhile, speaking at the end of the first day of the workshop on Wednesday, SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi expressed satisfaction with progress achieved during the day, and wherein a number of crucial issues were identified for correction, inclusive of legislation that was suffering neglect due to lack of adequate attention.

Crucially, Mr Tilayi said, the important point of the exercise was to ensure that South Africans were aware of the situation and secondly, that necessary steps were being taken to address it.

“It helps little to hide challenges of this nature and which are in the public’s interest when what would be useful is to share the knowledge and with that, trust stakeholders to partner with you in finding solutions. That is what this two day gathering is about,” he said.

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks at end of day one of the workshop, Click on the video below.

The workshop continues on Thursday.

 

South Africa’s maritime risks come under scrutiny in Durban this week: SAMSA

20170419_101108Durban: 26 March 2019

The safety of oceans around South Africa along with the country’s level of preparedness for maritime risks come under the spotlight at a two-day sector workshop in Durban this week.

Organized by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the two-day workshop on Wednesday and Thursday is scheduled to explore a variety of maritime risks issues ranging from an overview of the country’s maritime risk profile involving case studies, the country’s legislative framework and institutional responsibilities, third parties dependencies, to maritime domain awareness, pollution monitoring and combating, the country’s response capability as well as funding.

As many as 20 participants inclusive of experts in specialized fields of the maritime time sector drawn from industry as well as SAMSA, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) are lined up for contribution and discussions over the two days.

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A tug under construction at a sea site in Durban in 2017. (SAMSA File Photo)

The event comes at a time when ship traffic volumes are reportedly on a steady increase around South Africa over the last few years leading to economic opportunities that include the recent establishment of a bunkering services in Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s nine commercial ports and reputably the most secure for the service.

There is also a notable increase in oil and gas exploration and related activities in the country’s oceans opening to unique opportunities and risks that the country must prepare for.

SAMSA, a State owned entity established 20 years ago and operating under the guidance of Department of Transport, is the country’s dedicated authority responsible for ensuring the safety of property and people at sea, the combating of pollution of the oceans’ environment by sea traffic as well as promoting South Africa’s maritime interests domestically and globally.

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(SAMSA File Photo)

Among processes involved in monitoring activity across the three oceans surrounding South Africa, SAMSA operates a Centre for Sea Watch and Response (CSWR) based in Cape Town. SAMSA’s CSWR is responsible for carrying out search and rescue functions over a 27-million km² oceans area abutting the country’s 1 300km coastline, the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the Southern Oceans in the south and the Indian Ocean to the east.

SAMSA’s CSWR is also charged with implementing systems for surveillance of the maritime domain, inclusive of vessels safety, vessel security, oil pollution prevention, detection and combating, maintenance of the maritime domain awareness as well as monitoring coastal and offshore maritime activities.

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An artist’s impression of the new facilities to be developed for the oil & gas subsector at the port of Saldanha

Tools in place include terrestrial and satellite automatic identification systems involving both long range identification, tracking and monitoring of ships and other vessels within South African territorial waters (a 200 nautical miles area within the country’s exclusive economic zone) and beyond, in order to maintain safety and security to navigation threats, marine environmental threats and assistance with search and rescue.

In pursuing these activities, SAMSA’s CSWR collaborates with a range of entities both in the private and public sectors inclusive of the South African National Defense Force, the SA Navy, the State Security Agency, the Department of Transport, Border Management Agency and others.

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The Cargo Bridge – an old vessel whose interior has been converted into a quaint restaurant is one of Durban’s landmarks venues and which recently hosted delegates to IMO Djibouti Code of Conduct Three Day Workshop in the city in November 2018.

In Durban on Wednesday, the two days workshop’s programme on South African maritime risks is scheduled to kickoff at 9am with an outline and analysis of the country’s maritime risk profile by Mr Brian Blackbeard of the Atlantis Consulting group and involving a feasibility study on of the country’s emergency towing vessels.

He will be followed by SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi’s overview of the weather incident that rocked the Durban port a year ago and during which extensive damage to ships as well as pollution ensued.

Next in line with a review of current legislation related to maritime risks by Captain Gustav Louw (SAMSA) and exploration of vulnerabilities of the South African Maritime Risk System) by Messrs Mike Heads and Nick Sloane.

In the discussion on third party dependencies, Mr Andrew Pike and Mr Dave Main are scheduled to share insights gleaned during the incident of the sinking in 1991 of the Oceanos, a French-built and Greek-owned cruise ship due reportedly to uncontrolled flooding while sailing off the Wild Coast (Indian Ocean), as well as a look at costs of maritime risks management involving the exposure of the State to uninsured rogue ships transiting South Africa’s coasts.

The rest of the discussions involving Messrs Lauren Williams, Captain Theo Oakes, Dr Stander, Gavin Fitzmaurice, Terence Mabuela and Captain Ravi Naicker will look at maritime domain awareness issues including oceans and coastal management information management systems capabilities and usage, South Africa’s weather services capabilities, completeness and key challenges relating to provision of services in the maritime sector.

They will also discuss the country’s hydrography in relation to current incidents and the country’s maritime risk profile. They will also share insights into hindrances to successful maritime prosecutions, incident management organization as well as existing capabilities related to sea watch and rescue.

This SAMSA blog will carry updates on the discussions over the next few days.

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Ten crew members rescued from sunken fishing vessel in West Coast. SAMSA launches an investigation into the incident.

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SAMSA File photo.

Pretoria: 16 February 2019

The South African Maritime Safety Authority has confirmed the sinking of a fishing vessel off the west coast of the Western Cape near Saldahna Bay and the successful rescue of its 10 member crew early on Saturday morning.

According to the SAMSA Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town, the incident of the sinking of the fishing trawler, registered as Ankoveld/ZR4388, occurred early on Saturday morning at a position some 28.5 nautical miles west north west of Cape St Martin and same distance from the closest land point.

The MRCC said the vessel’s skipper who was among the 10 rescued crew confirmed that the Ankoveld experienced difficulties after it had begun to take water in the engine room, following to which it capsized and sank.

After being alerted to the incident, the MRCC through the rescue sub-rescue centre in Saldanha mobilized a vessel nearest the incident, the Atlantic Leader, which successfully rescued the sunken fishing vessel’s 10 member crew that had already abandoned ship to life rafts.

The centre said a navigational warning had been promulgated warning other vessels sailing in the vicinity of the sunken vessel. SAMSA officials in Saldanha Bay were on the case to conduct an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, the 10 member crew of the sunken fishing vessel were also confirmed to have since landed safely with the Atlantic Leader rescue vessel at Laaiplek harbour.

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SAMSA clocks 20 in a trot and still younger for it!

Updated to include two videos of employees messages. (For these, please scroll down.)

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SAMSA celebrates 20 years in 2018

Pretoria: 26 December 2018

It is often stated as a truism that time flies past quite quickly when fun is had, and that the opposite is just as true when the going is tough. Whether or not there be any truth in the claims, what is an indisputable fact is that with each passing year of existence, gains are achieved and milestones reached.

The same is true of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which clocked its 20th year of existence in 2018 and whose founding in 1998 has led to a series of achievements and milestones reached in especially the country’s maritime economic sector.

It’s an ongoing story repeatedly told as events unfold and whose chunks and snippets are to be found on this blog – a communication platform established in 2015 for the express purpose of information sharing with the public about SAMSA and its activities in pursuing and furthering South Africa’s maritime interests consistent with its mandate.

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. Chief Operations Officer: South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)

Indeed, in a hour long interview with an international publication in March 2018 and which was subsequently repackaged in video format for this blog’s audience, SAMSA’s Chief Operations Officer and acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi tells the story of SAMSA and some of its remarkable achievements and challenges in its 20 years of existence.

However, it is a history of performance commonly known and told also by stakeholders among them the main shareholder, Government, through the holding ministry, the Transport Department.

DSC_5781In the series of videos below, developed especially to mark SAMSA’s 20th anniversary during the course of the past year, Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, in congratulating the agency, tells of her experiences with SAMSA, as do several others, among them chief executives and other senior managers of private sector companies, foundation education pupils as well as SAMSA’s own employees.

The seven (7) videos range in length from about two (2) minutes 30 seconds to about 10 minutes, all with congratulatory messages to the organization. In addition, Mr Tilayi shares a message to stakeholders that mark the milestone of a 20 years toll by SAMSA in promoting South Africa’s maritime interests, among other issues.

Video 1: Mr Sobantu Tilayi [2:37)

Video 2: Deputy Minister of Transport – Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga [2:30)

Video 3: SAMSA Stakeholders Group 1 [10:00]

Video 4: SAMSA Stakeholders Group 2 [5:20)

Video 5: SAMSA Bursary Holders (Simon’s Town Lawhill Maritime Centre) [6.30]

SAMSA Employees Messages.

 

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The maritime sector isn’t quite about ‘marrying time’: SAMSA explains it’s role in SA’s economy

DSC_4242Pretoria: 20 December 2018

It is not unusual for people working for the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – spread across the length and breadth of the country’s waterways – to be mistaken for workers of the popular Asian smartphone maker, Samsung; an apparent ‘mistake’ followed almost immediately by curious, yet polite requests for phone repairs or news of models planned for the future.

In fact, this is barely out of place considering that even the mention of the marine or maritime sector, for some people – a large number – conjures up thoughts and feelings related to marriage! ‘It’s marrying time?’

In a country that’s practically and literally maritime in its geographic makeup at the southern tip of Africa, surrounded by no less than three oceans (the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Southern Ocean to the south and the Indian Ocean to the east) with a coastline of some 3200 kilometers, covering at least four of the country’s nine provinces (Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal), and central if not crucial to it a 1.5-million square kilometers of an exclusive economic zone, it should come as a surprise the apparent low level of public knowledge about and engagement with the marine and maritime economic sector.

Reasons for this clear anomaly are varied yet not hard to fathom. Summarily, past political and economic activities generally exclusive for many, are to blame.

For this reason, in addition to statutory and necessary activities it conducts consistent with its mandate, inclusive of furthering South Africa’s maritime economic interests, SAMSA regularly and consistently shares as much information as is necessary and possible about its role as well as the general maritime economic sector to as many constituencies as can be reached.

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FLESHING SAMSA:  Seated to the right, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer of SAMSA during a March 2018 interview with journalists from the Oil&Gas Journal, Offshore Magazine (digital) and EnergyBoardroom

It was for partly this reason also that earlier in 2018, SAMSA’s Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi took time to sit down with a couple of international journalists from the Oil & Gas Journal to explain what SAMSA’s role is in the country’s maritime economic sector and how this sector is shaped to contribute to the South African economy within context of the “New Dawn” concept now espoused by new leadership of the ruling party, the ANC.

In the hour long interview, which this blog was allowed to record, Mr Tilayi covers a whole range of issues involving the role of SAMSA – ranging from protecting the oceans’ environment, lives of seafarers as well as ships at sea, to initiatives on taxation and other legislative reforms, education, training and skills development, job creation and engagement with similar and relevant regional and international institutions including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – all in the interest of promoting the maritime economic sector.

The video interview presented here is split into four sections of a 15 minutes duration per section.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Video 3:

Video 4:

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Fun, games and maritime awareness and education at Transnet’s port festival

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FUN PE PORT FESTIVAL: The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) owned dedicated national cadet training programme vessel, the SA Agulhas (in the background) alongside the fisheries monitoring vessel, the Ruth First during the Transnet National Ports Auhority (TNPA) port festival in Port Elizabeth at the weekend. The vessels formed part of a fleet of six for the festival, four others coming from the South African Navy.

Port Elizabeth: 03 December 2018

The weather did not quite play fairly over the two days of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) festival at the port of Port Elizabeth at the weekend, leading to curtailment of some of the activities.

But it was still great turnout by thousands of people that filled the port for fun and games whose theme centred on greater public awareness and education on maritime issues.

The TNPA port of Port Elizabeth’s 2018 port festival was, as usual, the first in a series reportedly planned for some of the country’s major ports over the next few weeks, including Richards Bay, with the aim being to facilitate greater engagement between the ports and the general public for enhanced understanding and knowledge of aspects that make up the country’s maritime economic sector activities.

DSC_8780.JPGThis year’s festival in Port Elizabth enjoyed support from a range of stakeholders including the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which again featured its vessel, the SA Agulhas – a former research vessel that has been retuned for purposes of servicing the country’s national cadet training programme now under the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI).

Another notable supporter at this weekend’s festival was the South African Navy which provided four of its vessels including two frigades, as well as the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries whose fisheries monitoring vessel, the Ruth First, participated – adding to the great fun many festival revelers, many among them young children, enjoyed.

 

Also  present was the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the Nelson Mandela University and several others.

However, strong winds particularly on Saturday, the first of the two days of the event, proved a major challenge as it forced some of the water sports lined up for the weekend to be suspended – well until Sunday, after the strong winds subsided in the early part of the day.

 

 

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Probe into capsized catamaran in Cape Town underway: SAMSA

Catamaran CT 2018 (2).jpgPretoria: 27 November 2018

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) says it has begun an investigation into the incident of a capsized small leisure vessel in the port of Cape Town late on Monday afternoon and from which occupants escaped with minor injuries.

In a statement on Tuesday, SAMSA said the incident involving the sunset cruise Catamaran  Escape Cat, occurred at the breakwater entrance to Table Bay port in Cape Town at 06.45pm on Monday.

Eight people including the skipper, two crew members and five passengers – two males and three females all from the United Kingdom – were on board the vessel at the time of the incident and all escaped with minor injuries for which they had since been medically treated.

“All crew and passengers are accounted for. They were treated for non-threatening injuries /mild hypothermia. As a precaution they were transported to Cape Town Medi-Clinic,” said Captain Antoinette Keller, a Principal Officer at SAMSA in Cape Town.

Captain Keller added: “There is currently no risk to the environment. The vessel was secured by the NSRI on a three-anchor spread outside the outer breakwater. The location remains unchanged with DM Diving to assist with the recovery during the day.

“The vessel is to be towed into port following the removal of the mainsail, jib and mast and to be righted once alongside Jetty No 2. SAMSA commenced an investigation into the incident,” she said.

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New maritime education bursary for women up for grabs: SAIMI

Pretoria: 26 November 2018

Women empowerment but particularly the previously disadvantaged is gaining momentum in South Africa’s maritime economic sector, boosted this time around by the launch of a study bursary being offered to young black women keen on maritime studies.

The South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), the country’s newest institution entrusted with among other things; the country’s national cadet training programme, is behind the initiative announced two months ago. 

In a statement (below), SAIMI announced the opening of applications for the bursary and whose deadline is 10 December 2018. 

SAIMI Statement (Issued Wednesday, 21 November 2018)

WITH only two percent of the entire world’s maritime workforce consisting of women, a new bursary scheme announced by the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) plans to unlock the oceans economy for women in South Africa.

The Sindiswa Carol ‘Tu’ Nhlumayo Merit Bursary is now open for young black women wanting to pursue a qualification at a South African university to develop their career opportunities in the maritime sector.

HONOURED: Former SAMSA Executive Head of the Centre for Maritime Excellence, the late Ms Sindiswa C. Nhlumayo

As head of the Centre for Maritime Excellence at the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the late Nhlumayo played a pioneering role in putting maritime skills development on the map in South Africa, in particular by empowering women in the sector, and championed the establishment of SAIMI.

The Sindiswa Carol ‘Tu’ Nhlumayo Merit Bursary is offered for maritime, marine or related studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level at any tertiary institution in South Africa. The bursary is open to South African black women (African, Coloured and Indian) under the age of 35 years.

The bursary is available for a wide variety of maritime-related study fields including Marine Engineering, Oceanography, Logistics, Shipping, Ocean Governance, Environmental Law, Geological Sciences, Zoology and Marine Ecology to name just a few.

SAIMI Project Manager Odwa Mtati said the bursary aimed to continue the work of the late Nhlumayo by encouraging women’s meaningful contribution to the maritime sector, and particularly to bolster the participation of young black women.

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Mr Odwa Mtati. Projects Manager: SAIMI

“Her role was pivotal in the promotion of women’s participation in the maritime sector. She also played a critical role in establishing SAIMI, and the bursary scheme in her name honours her contribution to growing South Africa’s skills capacity in the oceans economy,” said Mtati.

SAMSA Chief Operations Officer Sobantu Tilayi encouraged women to apply for the bursary scheme in Nhlumayo’s honour. “We thank SAIMI for acknowledging the legacy and role that Sindiswa played in the human capacity building of the South African maritime industry,” said Tilayi.

During her time at SAMSA, Nhlumayo initiated the National Cadet Programme that enables South African seafaring students to obtain the professional qualification for careers in the global shipping industry.

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. Chief Operations Officer: South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)

In 2013 she was a recipient of the Oliver Top Empowerment Award for Best Female Public Servant. At the time of her death in 2016 at the age of 45, she was enrolled for a PhD in Maritime Affairs at the World Maritime University in Sweden.

Recipients of the Sindiswa Carol ‘Tu’ Nhlumayo Merit Bursary will have the full cost of their tuition fees and textbooks covered. They will also be afforded opportunities to attend SAIMI conferences and other maritime-related events, as well as participate in organised bodies supporting women in maritime and science.

The closing date for applications to the Bursary Scheme is 10 December. To apply, download the application form from the SAIMI website: 

http://www.saimi.co.za/careers-bursaries.html or e-mail Soraya Artman at info@saimi.co.za

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South Africa calls for a single oceans security group for Indian Ocean rim countries. SAMSA

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Delegates from 21 countries attending an International Maritime Organization (IMO) three day workshop on the Djibouti Code of Conduct shipping safety and security instrument held in Durban from 12 to 14 November.

Current groups efforts aimed at strengthening shipping safety and security around Africa’s oceans area a welcome, due development in the fight against piracy and other crimes but risk being seriously undermined by a duplication of efforts , the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has warned.

 
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Mr Boetse Ramahlo, Executive Head: Legal and Regulations Unit at SAMSA

SAMSA’s concerns were shared with about 65 delegates attending the International Maritime Organization (IMO) three day workshop of signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct in Durban this past week. 

According to Mr Boetse Ramahlo, an Executive Head for Legal and Regulations unit at SAMSA, South Africa through the agency’s representation – along with 11 other African countries on the Indian Ocean – is a member to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) while also a signatory to the IMO Djibouti Code of Code.

On assessment, he said, both groupings – with cross membership dominated by countries subscribing to both – offered safety and security programs and approaches with basic commonalities in their approach to crimes affecting shipping.

The situation, he said, not only carried the risk of possible wastage of highly limited financial, human and time resources of member countries, but also held the potential of raising and abating unnecessary competition. 

Mr Ramahlo confirmed that South Africa would soon be also signing the DCoC Jeddah Amendment following to conclusion of necessary consultations in the country. (see last video clip towards the bottom of the article)

“One of the most important principles in the Djibouti Code of Conduct (2009) and its Jeddah Amendment (2017) is the importance of involvement of international support as given the nature and complexity of piracy, no single country can amass the vast resources needed to wage a successful fight against crimes affecting shipping.

“The illegal activities we are out to combat are transnational, and for us to be able to fight them we need regional and international cooperation,” said Mr Ramahlo

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Delegates from 21 countries that are signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) three day workshop from Monday to Wednesday (12-14 November 2018) in Durban

An absolutely crucial aspect of international support, he said, was that it needed firmly to be informed and driven by regional needs, and that the existence of non aligned groups in the same region yet with the same common goals and objectives would simply weaken such support.

He said IORA had recently established a safety and security unit with more similarities than differences to those goals and approaches envisaged and being pursuit by signatory countries to the DCoC and its Jeddah Amendment

“As South Africa, we are members of both. As functionaries of government, the question now asked by authorities is why is this situation prevailing where members states of these two groups work in isolation.

“We are hard pressed to explain why there is this duplication,” said Mr Ramahlo. To avert unnecessary complications that were likely to rise due to the situation, South Africa proposed that IORA and GCoC signatories should explore, as a matter of priority, the possibility of working far much closely together, he said. 

For Mr Ramahlo’s full presentation on the situation, Click on video below.

GCoC Jeddah Amendment Action Plan developed and adopted

Mr Ramahlo’s remarks came on Wednesday, the last of three full days of engagement and discussions among some 65 delegates a majority of whom were from the 21 signatories of the GCoC, and which activity both the IMO and South Africa as a host, described as having been highly fruitful.

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A break away session by delegates to the IMO DCoC three day workshop in Durban this week.

Key issues included an action plan for development and enhancement of information sharing centres to advance maritime domain awareness among both member countries as well as regional and international role players – this in the interest of strengthening safety and security of shipping around Africa and globally.

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Mr William Azuh. IMO Head of Africa Section of Technical Cooperation

Summing up the progress achieved, Mr William Azuh, IMO’s Head for Africa Section of Technical Cooperation, said both the turn-out of more delegates than anticipated, as well as the intense engagement of everyone contributed to development of an action plan to ensure and effective implementation of a programme for enhanced shared communication and greater marine domain awareness among affected parties.

Describing the action plan agreed upon as only the beginning of a process, Mr Azuh said the IMO held the view that the outcomes of the workshop could be adopted as a template for development of programs for application regional and possibly globally. He urged delegates to continue to share information even with those countries that were not represented.

“Spread the message that this is what we did in Durban, and that we can work together.” he told delegates in a closing address. Mr Williams further thanked both England and South Africa for the support given the event.

(This blog will provide a full outline of the Action Plan adopted at the Durban Workshop as provided in a separate exclusive full length interview with the IMO’s Mr Kirija Micheni

For Mr Azuh’s full remarks, Click on video below

South Africa takes pride in hosting IMO workshop

Meanwhile, South Africa through the Department of Transport and its agency, SAMSA expressed appreciation for the selection of the country as a host of the GCoC Jeddah Amendment Workshop. 

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Captain Ravi Naicker. Senior Manager, Navigation, Security and Environment. SAMSA

Speaking on Wednesday, Captain Ravi Naicker, Senior Manager for Navigation, Security and Environment at SAMSA, contextualized the staging of the workshop in South Africa and explained its perspective as a crucial development in the strengthening of safety and security of shipping along Africa’s oceans.

South Africa for its location at the tip of continent and surrounded by three oceans, the Atlantic to the west, the Southern and Indian Oceans to the south and east respectively, provides a particularly important international shipping passage whose safety and security can’t be taken for granted.

For his full remarks Click on video below.

Equally impressed by the staging of the event in South Africa, thereby providing opportunity to several of the country’s internal security agencies, was the South African Polices Services (SAPS) 

SAPS’s Captain Mandla Mokwana said as part of the border security agencies of the country, the police’s participation at the workshop allowed it opportunity to gain useful information on marine domain safety and security activities taking place in other countries. His full remarks here: 

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BREAKING BREAD: (From Left) Mr Dumisani Ntuli, acting Deputy Director General, Maritime Directorate, Department of Transport with Mr William Azuh, head of IMO’s Africa Technical Cooperation Unit during  a workshop delegates’ dinner in Durban on Tuesday evening

Meanwhile, in earlier remarks expressed during a welcome dinner for the delegates on Tuesday night at the Durban’s uShaka Marine complex, Mr Dumisani Ntuli, acting Deputy Director General, Maritime Directorate at the Department of Transport said South Africa took pride in its contribution to both regional and global maritime sector development endeavors linked to its active membership of the IMO.

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The Cargo Bridge – an old vessel whose interior has been converted into a quaint restaurant and which hosted the 65+ IMO Djibouti Code of Conduct Three Day Workshop delegates in Durban from Monday to Wednesday, 12-14 November 2018.

He said the IMO DCoC Workshop in Durban was a precursor to among other events, South Africa’s hosting of the 2020 IMO International World Maritime Parallel event, expected to be attended by as many as 230 countries.

“We would like to see you all return to South Africa for that event,” he said. 

Also speaking on behalf of SAMSA, Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer, said: “It is always a great pleasure for SAMSA to have people that you partner with as a country in the various areas that we interact in. It is important that as a country (South Africa) and  other countries, that we plan such that our economies are always protected.”

Greater awareness coupled with effective communication and sharing of information was vital in that process, he said.

For Mr Ntuli and Mr Tilayi’s full remarks Click Here.

In the video below, Mr Ramahlo who also expressed a word of gratitude both to the IMO and delegates to the conference, formally confirmed South Africa’s readiness to also become a signatory to the DCoC Jeddah Amendment 2017.

End