South Africa endorses IMO compensation treaty on ship transportation of hazardous and noxious substances.

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Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula (Right) with IMO Secretary-General, Mr Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London on Sunday

Pretoria: 17 July 2019

South Africa on Sunday joined about half a dozen countries in the world to formally ratify and become part of a key International Maritime Organisation compensation treaty covering the transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by ship.

The country’s accession to the treaty was delivered by newly appointed Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula to the IMO during a meeting between him and his delegation with IMO Secretary-General, Mr Kitack Lim at IMO Headquarters in London.

The South African delegation led by Mr Mbalula is attending the 122nd session of Council for the IMO that started on Sunday and continues until Friday this week.

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South Africa’s delegation to the IMO, London on 15-19 July 2019: (From Left) Mr Rufus Lekala -(TNPA) and Themba Nkontwane (DoT) Sipho Mbatha (SAMSA) Minister of Transport Mr Fikile Mbalula, Spokesperson for the Minister of Transport Ayanda Paine, SAMSA acting CEO Sobantu Tilayi and SAMSA Company Secretary Moyahabo Raphadu

Included in Mr Mbalula’s delegation is Mr Sobantu Tilayi, acting Chief Executive Officer of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) – an agency of government under the Department of Transport responsible for application and enforcement of maritime sector related conventions, treaties and related international oceans’ administration and governance instruments.

South Africa is a Member State to the United Nations’ specialised agency, the IMO as well as a member of the IMO Council. The objectives of the IMO, among other things, are to adopt international standards for maritime security and safety, ensuring the protection of pollution from ships, and to facilitate seaborne trade.

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South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula (centre) at his first attendance as Transport Minister ,an IMO Council meeting in London this week.

According to the IMO on Sunday, the 2010 Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (2010 HNS Convention) is a treaty which, when in force, “will provide a regime of liability and compensation for damage caused by HNS cargoes transported by sea, including oil and chemicals, and covers not only pollution damage, but also the risks of fire and explosion, including loss of life or personal injury as well as loss of or damage to property.

“An HNS Fund will be established, to pay compensation once shipowner’s liability is exhausted. This Fund will be financed through contributions paid post incident by receivers of HNS cargoes,” said the IMO.

In embracing the treaty, South Africa become the fifth country in the world – or IMO Member State) to join, after Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey

Said the IMO: “As required by the treaty, South Africa provided data on the total quantities of liable contributing cargo. Entry into force of the treaty requires accession by at least 12 States, meeting certain criteria in relation to tonnage and reporting annually the quantity of HNS cargo received in a State.

“The treaty requires a total quantity of at least 40 million tonnes of cargo contributing to the general account to have been received in the preceding calendar year. The total quantity of contributing cargo has reached 9.8 million tonnes.

For Mr Mbalula’s remarks during the deposit of the SA’s accession to the IMO treaty, please Click below.

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SOUTH AFRICA’S MARITIME SECTOR RESEARCH COLLABORATION GATHERS SPEED

Verging on becoming the world’s Top 10 maritime nation, South Africa firms up its Oceans Research capabilities through enhanced collaboration.

Docked at the port of Cape Town, the SA Agulhas II, South Africa's dedicated research vessel owned and operated by the Department of Environment Affairs (DEA). Photo: SAMSA
Docked at the port of Cape Town in October 2015, the SA Agulhas II, South Africa’s dedicated research vessel owned and operated by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Photo: SAMSA

South Africa’s increasing focus on expanded development of its maritime economic sector should soon yield dividends for especially much needed research, and maritime sector education in general.

It is through research, education and skills development that desperately sought-after economic opportunities in the maritime sector can be identified, thereby opening doors for entrepreneurship and business investment, and which in turn should lead to job creation and increased employment, wealth sharing and ultimately poverty reduction.

It is a long held recognition in the country but which has gained more currency and airtime notably since the historic inaugural all-embracing maritime sector indaba: the South African Maritime Industry Conference (SAMIC) held in Cape Town in 2012.

20151113_070215Yet, even as broadly acknowledged at the SAMIC four years ago and indeed, in prior and subsequent industry or sub-sector imbizos and related, ocean space focused research in the country has hitherto been sparse and decidedly shallow and isolated, undertaken separately by different groups including mainly the State, education institutions and the private sector, in line with their peculiar interests and goals.

This led summarily to not only excessive costs for individual groupings, compounded by unnecessary duplication in some cases, but also to poor collation, quantification, coding and utilization of accumulated knowledge.

However, a groundswell of events currently clearly suggests that this is about to change, fast.

To read more click here