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

DSC_3914Pretoria: 21 October 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For his full remarks, Click on the video below.

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South Africa called upon to increase support for Indian Ocean rim countries’ port State controls.

DSC_2913Cape Town: 21 August 2019

South Africa has been called upon to step up and increase its regional support of Indian Ocean rim countries in order to improve the general standard and level of control measures in place to maintain safety and security of the regions’ oceans.

The call has been issued by the chairperson of the 20-member States Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU), Ms Beatrice Nyamoita in an interview on the sidelines of the organisation’s Port State Control Committee meeting currently taking place in Cape Town over five days since Monday this week.

DSC_3041IOMOU member States represented include Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Eritrea, France (La Reunion), India, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen.

Also present are delegates from other observer States and organisation with similar status as the IOMOU.

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Ms Beatrice Nyamoita, Chairperson of the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU)

The IOMOU on Port State Control has its main function the establishment and maintenance of a harmonised system of port State Controls as envisaged in various instruments under the directive of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and similar such institutions. 

The port State control system, according to the IOMOU ‘aims to verify whether foreign flagged vessels calling at a port of a State comply with applicable international maritime conventions.’

There are no less than 12 of such IMO and related institutions’ conventions and protocols that inform the IOMOU’s port State control activities across the region.

In Cape Town on Tuesday, Ms Nyamoita said while the IOMOU block had made several achievements over the past two decades to both enrol as many Indian Ocean countries into the fold of the IOMOU, and to harmonise adoption of instruments for group of countries activities in promoting and maintaining safety and security of the region’s ocean area by preventing entry of substandard vessels into the region’s sea waters, sufficient capacity remained the major challenge.

She said because of the nature of the training programme required for inspection officers in member States, particularly the long duration and costs involved, many of the countries were unable to develop an adequate number of personnel sufficiently skilled to carry out necessary vessel inspections and surveys.

‘We have managed to ensure the development of standard procedures across the region intended to harmonise and establish uniformity of activity aimed at enhancing safety and securing of people and ships in our our respective ocean spaces. However, the greatest challenge currently facing IOMOU member States with regards port State control is capacity,” she said.

“Most of the member States cannot afford to train enough people. The training takes too long and governments budgets do not give priority to training people for port State control.

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She said currently, the IOMOU relied on support from other MOU organisations across the world, but this was just not enough for development of a cadre of skilled officials required by countries in the region in order to meet their obligations.

Ms Nyamoita said South Africa on the other hand, however, had certain advantages that would be beneficial to the organisation, such as vast experience in maritime matters, as well possessing infrastructure in terms of its relatively higher number of ports in which to conduct vessel inspection. The vast ports infrastructure could be beneficial to IOMOU country’s skills development, she said.

“I’d like to encourage the government of South Africa to endeavour to train the port State control officers and to effectively take control of port State control activities in the region.

“We request that South Africa actually support… because we know that the country has more experience in the region…to undertake the training of port State control officers for countries in the region that are unable to do so themselves. In so doing, this will greatly assist in harmonising the training and activities in the region,” she said.

For Ms Nyamoita’s full interview (9.18 minutes) click on the video below:

Meanwhile, IOMOU Secretary, Mr Dilip Mehrotra presented his organisational report to the meeting on Monday. His presentation (about 20 minutes) is captured in the video below.

The IOMOU five-days meeting’s agenda this week is looking at a whole range of issues among which is an analysis of CIC on MARPOL Annex VI as well as development of guidelines for MARPOL Annex IV and Annex V for inclusion into the region’s port State control manual; port state inspections carried out by the maritime authorities, short term training programmes and a lot more other issues including the organisation’s online information management system.

This blog will carry more news information about some of these issues as and when such information is shared. Also lined up are two interviews with the IOMOU Secretary, Mr Dilip Mehrotra who is due to retire, as well as Captain Thobile Gqapu of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). 

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

DSC_2841.JPGPretoria: 06 August 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mr Sobantu Tilayi. Acting CEO. SAMsA

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

For his full remarks, click on the video below.

 

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

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Mr Buti Manamela. Deputy Minister: Higher Education & Training

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

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

For his full remarks, click on the video below:

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

 

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South Africa’s elderly remain key players in socio-economic development: SAMSA

DSC_1811Pretoria 23 July 2019

South Africa’s elderly population is not without longer a purpose nor a significant continued contribution to the country’s socio-political and economic contribution, and it is only correct that it remains accommodated in programmes to develop the country.

This is according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which, in partnership with the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, hosted some 250 elderly people during a function to mark the international Mandela Day at the Mthatha dam on Thursday.

The choice of the massive dam (or lake, by some accounts) for the function was consistent with SAMSA’s expanded mandate to promote the environmental and economic potential value of the country’s inland waterways within context of the development of the country’s maritime and marine economic sector as espoused through the Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) programme.

The partnership for the event with the KSD Municipality, and to an extent, the KSD Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) was part of a larger SAMSA Corporate Social Investment (CSI) campaign in the part of the Eastern Cape that is part the agency’s rural development programme in coastal areas of the country involving mainly youth skills development and job creation.

As it were, Thursday’s Mandela Day celebration with the area’s elderly, had been preceded by a day long SAMSA initiated and driven youth awareness programme involving more than 2000 high school children who were introduced formally for the first time to maritime sector careers.

In marking Nelson Mandela Day annually, SAMSA has over the last few years not only encouraged its own employees to donate 67 minutes of their own time to worthy causes, but also consistently focused on and donated material goods, mainly warm winter blankets to the elderly countrywide.

The activity also consistently involved the staging of a main function to entertain and dine the elderly our the country’s population.

In Mthatha on Thursday, SAMSA Head of CSI, Ms Mapitso Dlepu said the focus on the elderly was both in appreciation of their massive contribution to growth and development of families and communities, as well continued involved in support of those communities.

Many grandparents particularly in the previously marginalised and poor communities, still continued to play an active role in the rearing of children and in support of their own grown children many of whom face unemployment. Government grants are shared with whole families just to ensure that life remained bearable for many.

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Ms Mapitso Dlepu. Head: Corporate Social Investment. SAMSA

However in addition, according to Ms Dlepu, it remained sensible that the elderly were not only recognised and acknowledged for their significant continued contribution, but were also kept informed of developments around them.

She said SAMSA’s statutory mandate to promote South Africa’s maritime interest both domestically and abroad essentially involved continuous engagement with communities through information sharing for greater public awareness of maritime sector issues.

Currently in the Eastern Cape, SAMSA is engaged jointly with the provincial government through the Office of the Eastern Cape Premier in an ongoing Maritime Youth Development Programme (MYDP) the both provides basic maritime skills as well secure them jobs on cruise vessels worldwide. Since launch in 2017, no less than 1000 youths from the province have since been assisted this way.

She said it made sense that parents including the elderly were also occasionally appraised of these developments in order to broaden their awareness and solicit support.

For Ms Dlepu’s remarks click on the video below. 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, KSD Municipality Executive Mayor, Mr D.N Nelani told the audience that plans for the transformation and development of the Mthatha Dam into a marine tourism attraction were underway. He said the plans have long been established but little had been achieved to date. This he said, would need to change soon as job creation was among key objectives of both the local and provincial governments.

He said the introduction of cruise vessel services at the massive dam would be instrumental in achieving the goal. For Mr Nelani’s full remarks, click on the video below

Spoken to as they dispersed in late afternoon on Thursday, many of the elderly had high praise for the effort and expressed appreciation that Government and its agencies was consistent in acknowledging their continued existence and contribution.

This blog spoke to a few of them in the following video:

For more pictures and videos of the Mandela Day 2019 function for the elderly in Mthatha, see  below

 

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No matric pass without swimming: Transport Minister

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School children on board the SA Agulhas while docked in Port Elizabeth recently. (SAMSA File Photo)

Pretoria: 11 March 2019

Rapid transformation and development of South Africa’s maritime economic sector will require several interventions among which must be a comprehensive education, training and skills programme to equip particularly youth with the requisite knowledge that will ensure meaningful inclusion and participation.

According  to Transport Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande this may include school going children in particularly coastal areas of the country being required to learn how to swim as part of their basic education.

South Africa’s coastline covers a length of some 3 200km along which four provinces; KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape are settled, from the Indian Ocean in the east, Southern Ocean in the south through to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

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Minister of Transport: Dr Blade Nzimande

Swimming as a possible compulsory subject for South African schools was among a raft of projects proposals mentioned and discussed at the recent maritime transport sector inaugural dialogue held in Durban.

In his closing remarks of the gathering, Dr Nzimande said the seriousness of the proposal for swimming  to be a compulsory school activity was such that it might become a necessary competency that  is a condition to exiting high school.

“I cannot commit to the idea until it has been canvassed with the relevant departments including the Minister of Basic Education. But I think it’s a good idea that we should not allow any child to complete matric without also learning to swim.,” he said.

Jokingly he said that of all sports codes in the country, swimming was the only sports the majority of South Africans – precisely black people – did not really care about its transformation because, he said: “They are afraid of water.” This had to change, he said, in order to broaden and deepen transformation of the maritime transport sector.

Among other issues the maritime transport sector could look forward to in 2019 would be the launch of an Inland Waterways Strategy following to its approval by government recently.

For Dr Nzimande’s full remarks, click on the video below.

Meanwhile, a Maritime Transport Sector Declaration developed and adopted by delegates to the Department of Transport convened two-days meeting in Durban has been released and shared with delegates this past week.

To access and download the document, click on the link below:

2019 DECLARATION – MARITIME TRANSPORT INDUSTRY DIALOGUE

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Mpumalanga Province all out to mark World Maritime Day 2018.

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Celebrating World Maritime Day 2018 on Day 1 of the two day event being held at Baadplaas in Mpumalanga Province on Thursday and Friday this week is one of several pupils from local schools who brought their self-built replicas of vessels to the show.

Baadplaas: 27 September 2018

Maritime economies around the world turn their focus momentarily onto the sector globally this week to observe the annual celebration of the World Maritime Day held in the last week of September each year as set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and South Africa joins the activity over two days in Badplaas, Mpumalanga on Thursday and Friday.

Domestically, organized and driven by the national Department of Transport, the World Maritime Day 2018 event in Mpumalanga Province that begun on Thursday morning is the second such to be to held in one of South Africa’s five internal provinces in last few years.

V2033 IMO 70 Logo-English version_NEW_2 f.jpgThe purpose thereof, according to the DoT, is to continue to enhance greater public awareness countrywide about the country’s maritime status and its significance and contribution to socio economic development.

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Transport Department Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga

“Every year, the IMO observes and celebrates the World Maritime Day (WMD). This event usually takes place during the last week of September each year. It is an IMO event that serves to promote awareness and maximize participation of all maritime transport stakeholders in order to promote safe, secure and environmentally sound seas.

“For the year 2018, the IMO Council and Assembly adopted the theme: “IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future”. This theme provides the opportunity to take stock and look back, but also to look forward, addressing current and future challenges for maritime sector.

“In 2016 World Maritime Day was celebrated in the Free State Province and saw participation from the two adjoining provinces of Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. Notably so it was a celebration within the perimeters of the Gariep Dam.

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A unique looking cultural centre in Baadplaas located near the venue of this year’s celebration of the World Maritime Day 2018 in Mpumalanga

“In 2017, the event was celebrated at a coastal town of Port St Johns which was in part celebrating the centenary of OR Tambo. This year, Mpumalanga is hosting the 2018 celebration at Baadplaas Forever Resort,” said the DoT

For a full statement by DoT Deputy Minister Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, click on the three minute video below:

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Dozens of pupils from local schools in Baadplaas attending Thursday’s Day 1 national celebration of the World Maritime Day 2018 in Mpumalanga Province

According to the DoT, this year’s event will be used to profile the World Maritime Day celebration and in the process, raise general public awareness about the maritime sector, particularly the inland communities, raise awareness of the contribution of the maritime sector to the socio-economic lives of South Africans and enhance awareness among particularly school learners from previously disadvantaged communities in the province of Mpumalanga and throughout the country about the career opportunities available in the maritime sector.

Countering what the department describes as a general lack of awareness and ignorance about the maritime sector and which makes it difficult for the public and the media to have interests in the industry, this year’s celebration will focus among other things on South Africa a coastal and a port state, the country’s vision for its maritime sector, its global positioning as a well trusted partner with the IMO and a strategic and trusted partner in the fight against piracy.

Information will also be shared about South Africa preparations to host the 2020 World Maritime Day Parallel Event, the first to be hosted in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Friday’s event will see several senior national and provincial government officials, inclusive of the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, senior management of the South African Maritime Safety Authority and others converge Baadplaas Report for the official function starting 9am through to 2.30pm

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Skills development still a key priority for SA maritime economic sector: SAMSA

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The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Head Office. Pretoria.

Pretoria: 10 September 2018

Talent nurturing as part of a broad based skills development strategy for South Africa’s economy, but particularly the country’s maritime economic sector, remains a top priority according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

The remarks by SAMSA Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sobantu Tilayi came at the weekend as the government agency hosted a send-off event for one of its employees, Mr Siphosenkosi Mthembu who jetted off on Saturday to Malmo, Sweden for a two-year academic study at the World Maritime University.

Mr Mthembu will be pursuing a Master’s level course of study in Shipping and Logistics,  supported by both the Transport  Education Training Authority (TETA) and SAMSA.

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SPREADING WINGS: (From Left) Mr Sobantu Tilayi, Chief Operations Officer, South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) congratulating the agency employee, Mr Siphosenkosi Mthembu who jetted off to Sweden at the weekend to begin his year and half Master’s level maritime studies at the World Maritime University.

Mr Mthembu embarks on the academic study in Europe having spent close on six (6) years as an employee of SAMSA in its certification unit, a service record that began in 2013 shortly after he’d completed his junior degree in maritime studies at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), following to which he also acquired a post graduate degree in maritime studies through the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

SAMSA’s support of Mr Mthembu includes his retention as an employee of the organization on his return in a year and a half from 2018.

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Mr Sipho Mthembu (Centre back with blue jacket) with family and colleagues at SAMSA during a send-off gathering on Thursday last week at SAMSA Head Office, Pretoria to wish him ‘bon voyage’ to the World Maritime University in Sweden where he will spend the next two years.

Speaking shortly after an event on Thursday last week to bid Mr Mthembu farewell, and which was attended by some of his family members, Mr Tilayi said that while South Africa’s economy currently was being battered on all sides by indicators that clearly reflected that not all was well, it was not time to fold arms and prepare for better times.

The drive towards improvement of education and skills development and placement of especially talented South African through institutions of learning, in the country and abroad, should not slow down but speed up

“We are very tight on skills particularly in the maritime economic sector and it is initiatives of this nature that we want to support as SAMSA. It is people like Sipho who’ve demonstrated talent that we want to lend all the support we can.”

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks, click on the three minutes video below.

For his part, Mr Mthembu was ecstatic for having gained the opportunity and support to further his maritime education studies particularly at an international institution dedicated to education and training in the sector. He will be joining the ranks of several other South Africans who have studied at World Maritime University since the programme was initiated by SAMSA jointly with other partners about four years.

For a brief chat with Mr Mthembu click on the three minutes video below.

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