Jul 04, 2012
SA Agulhas relaunched as dedicated training vesselBack
Cape Town|DURBAN|Engineering|Harbour|Africa|Ghana|Industrial|Marine|Safety|Africa|Angola|Ghana|Liberia|Namibia|Nigeria|South Africa|Cape Town Harbour|Environmental|Tsietsi Mokhele
© Reuse this
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) handed over the SA Agulhas to Samsa earlier this year, as the DEA had recognised the value that could be gained in the training of maritime cadets, explained Samsa CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele.
The vessel started its voyage with 32 Cape Town cadets and was on route to Durban to collect a further 15 cadets. In the next few months, the vessel would sail to Namibia, Angola, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria to collect further cadets to join the South Africans already on board for training.
According to Mokhele, the number of South African maritime studies graduates had diminished noticeably over the past years with a key factor being a lack of any South African-owned vessel of sufficient size on which cadets could complete their practical training. Owners of foreign vessels had to assist in this regard limiting opportunities for cadetships.
With only 120 marine officer candidates being produced a year in South Africa, Mokhele said the intention was to increase this number by at least ten times in years to come. Already by 2013, the tertiary institutions offering maritime studies would double their intake to start combating the dwindling numbers of qualified South African mariners.
“Skills shortage is a major challenge for the country, particularly in the maritime sector. This has contributed to a drop in active shipping companies in South Africa, but we believe that with the acquisition, we have the potential to double or even triple the size of the industry and contribute to job creation in years to come,” said the executive head of the Centre for Excellence at Samsa, Sindiswa Nhlumayo.
As under the DEA, the SA Agulhas would continue to be used for environmental studies while being operated by the cadets, providing a better understanding of the vulnerabilities of coastal and ocean ecosystems. The research would be supported by the DEA, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Science and Technology. These funded studies would contribute to covering the R56-million-a-year running costs of the vessel, which excluded the cadet training costs, which was handled as a separate budget.
“We have chosen a working vessel concept, where the vessel is out there trading and somebody will be paying us to avail the vessel to them . . . we will put it out on charter with our own cadets on board, with our own fuel, and then we charge it out,” explained Mokhele. He said the charter business model was sound and should allow Samsa to meet all the financial needs of the training vessel.
Mokhele added that the conversion of the SA Agulhas from a DEA research vessel to a training vessel was achieved at little cost to Samsa as the bulk of the upgrades required had been funded through a partnership with the CSIR. For the conversion, additional radar and navigation technology were installed, along with expanded workshop facilities for use by the engineering cadets.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Ports and Shipping News
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
South African State-owned defence industrial group Denel has announced its fourth consecutive year of profits. The group's results for the financial year 2013/2014 were recently announced at its head office in Centurion, south of Pretoria. Revenues grew by 17%, net...
There is little opportunity for JSE-listed infrastructure company Group Five to grow shareholder value in the domestic market, says CEO Mike Upton. He says value can still be found in the private sector, in the renewable and industrial power sector, as well as in...
The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) has announced the event dates of the 2015 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). The event will take place from October 14 to October 25, 2015, at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.
UK engineering support services provider Babcock is set to deliver the largest order of global truck manufacturer DAF’s truck tractors in Southern Africa to bulk carrier road-based logistics company Ngululu Bulk Carriers (NBC), with 133 trucks to be delivered in...
Digital radio communications in the African local government space can open up the world, but have many challenges to overcome, notes integration and migration of legacy radio communications infrastructure with digital mobile radio company Emcom Wireless head of...