Cape Town-based vessel operator, seafarer recruitment and training company Marine Crew Services (MCS) has registered a modern, multipurpose platform supply and support vessel (MPSV) on the South African Ships Register.
The 4 221 t, 93.67 m MPSV Greatship Manisha, bareboat chartered from owner Greatship Global Offshore Services to service MCS’s two-year contract with PetroSA, is the first vessel to be registered by MCS under the South African flag.
The registration of the Greatship Manisha on the South African Ships Registry provided employment opportunities for South African officers and ratings and offered young South Africans who have completed their theoretical training the opportunity to obtain the required practical seatime experience, said MCS CEO Daniel Ngubane.
The vessel, which has a total crew complement of 17 and will be deployed off the coast of Mossel Bay, had previously been registered in Singapore.
MCS chairperson Lester Peteni added: “Although Singapore is widely considered as a more attractive ships register, the decision to move the Greatship Manisha onto the South African register is not only a perfect example of private companies and government working together to achieve a common goal, but it has been taken in the interests of supporting the growth of the South African maritime industry and Greatship should be commended on supporting this move.”
The group recognised the South African registration as a “step in the right direction”, with plans to add further vessels to the South African Ships Register in due course.
“Two South Africans have been serving on the ultramodern vessel and the move to the South African Ships Register will lead to a further seven South African seafarers joining the vessel upon registration,” Ngubane added.
A second officer, third officer, fourth engineer and six ratings formed part of the South African crew complement, with six South African trainee cadets scheduled to join the vessel once it has been recognised by the South African Maritime Safety Authority as a designated training vessel.
“Our aim is to have a 100% South African crew complement on this vessel and this will be achieved as South Africans with the requisite experience and skills in operating this type of vessel become available,” he explained.
Peteni pointed out that South African seafarers were highly regarded internationally and demand for senior South African officers was particularly high.
“In fact, MCS has, over the past 14 years, successfully trained and placed in excess of 880 South African and African officers, ratings and cadets on local and international vessels, [and employed South Africans on foreign-owned vessels],” he added.
The company also provides bursaries to Lawhill Maritime Centre graduates to enrol for tertiary maritime studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.