Pretoria: 07 July 2023
The relaunch of South Africa’s maritime sector education and training syllabus committtee in Durban a week ago, after a haitus of just over a year, has been warmly welcomed by the sector, and key to its significance, among other issues, described as being its enhanced inclusiveness.
Stewarded by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), no less than 30 members of the committee, representing virtually all subsectors of the country’s maritime industry across public and private institutions, gathered in Durban over three days from Tuesday to Thursday last week (27-29 June 2023) for the formal relaunch of the national syllabus committee.
According to industry, the 37 member strong commitee’s notable enhanced inclusiveness, now also strongly entrenched through adoption of a new Constitution, and a Code of Conduct, denotes a welcome reapproach to needed broad sector stakeholders’ consultation and collaboration.
Ms Yvonne Wright, founder of Saldahna Bay based Project Maritime Training, Ms Alicia Moreland, Training Coordinator for Viking Fishing, a division of Sea Harvest, and Ms Theresa Williams, a Transnet executive for training, were among those that applauded the latest development.
According to SAMSA, the legally mandated custodian and enforcer of the Merchant Shipping (Training, Certification and Safe Manning) Regulations 2021, the relaunch of the maritime sector education and training national syllabus committee last week followed its desolution in June 2022 due to gaps and weaknesses that were identified as hindering its intended objectives.
Among these, was the absence of guiding documentation regarding the committee’s composition and operations, which led to unseemly complications that hampered its effectiveness.
Following the dissolution, said SAMSA Chief Examiner, Mr Azwimmbavhi Nelwamondo last week, industry-wide consultation ensued over a number of months, eventually leading to both the development of a new Constitution and a Code of Conduct, as well as reappointment of sector representatives as members of the committee who were inducted during the relaunch meeting in Durban last week.
Mr Nelwamondo said the Syllabus Committee’s chief role is to serve as a sector advisory body on national maritime sector education and training for certification of seafarers across the board, in terms of the Regulations and, where applicable, strictly consistent with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Conventions on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping (STCW, 1978 for seafarers) and (STCW-F 1995 for fishers ).
As now fully outlined in the newly adopted Constitution, Mr Nelwamondo said the work of the Syllabus Committee is limited in focus to three aspects; the development, review and maintenance of the training and assessment standards for seafarers, through the Training Standards Code, development and submission of proposals for consideration amendment of Regulations, and identification and channelling to the authority of any other matters relating to the training, assessment and certification of seafarers, raised by members of the public.
Crucially, he added that with membership of the committee in three broad categories comprising ordinary, associate and invited person’s for purposes of formality (‘good order retention and continuity’); “The Syllabus Committee is a public engagement forum, therefore its meetings are open to all members of the public who have interest in the training and development of seafarers.
Below, is a 15 minutes interview with Mr Amwimmbavhi Nelwamondo, in which he fully explains the latest development.
Meanwhile, Ms Zamachonco Chonco, acting CEO of SAMSA described the relaunch of reconstituted Syllabus Committee, almost a year to the day since dissolution, as highly significant with regards to ensuring South Africa’s maintainance of high standards of seafarer education and training on an ongoing basis.
For her full remarks, click on the video below.