Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 25, 2005
Author: P&S

EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

SOUTH AFRICA – Morwe reiterates the end of port privatisation

Speaking in Cape Town yesterday, Tau Morwe, chief executive of SA Port Operations (SAPO) repeated the message that privatisation of the port terminals is out.

He told journalists at a media briefing that SAPO was operating and would continue operating the Durban Container Terminal. In addition SAPO would operate the new but as yet incomplete Coega Container Terminal at the port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape, but said that if SAPO did not do a good job then government would step in and appoint someone else. Nevertheless SAPO has made strides in improving efficiencies at the terminals for which it is responsible.

He hinted however that private/public partnerships for the ports remained on the table.

He also indicated that the Coega terminal, which has been designed to handle a capacity of 500,000 TEUs might be doubled in size because of anticipated demand. During a visit to Germany and Brazil it had been indicated to SAPO that their plans for Ngqura were too conservative and that the size of the container terminal should be doubled.

Several shipping majors to whom Ports & Ships has spoken have said they do not care who operates the port terminals, so long as they become efficient and remain that way. Nevertheless it is known that some of these lines would like to hold the concession for Coega and to turn it into a hub for their operations, along the lines planned originally by P&O Nedlloyd.

It is hoped that SAPO, while listening to the advice of people in Germany and Brazil regarding capacity, will also ensure that the most efficient methods of container operation are put in place at the outset with the new terminal. They’ll never have another chance.

The port of Ngqura is expected to be come operational in 2008.

EAST AFRICA – agreement of lake fishing

Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have agreed on a programme aimed at conserving the fish stocks in Lake Victoria.

According the Uganda’s New Vision the assistant commissioner of fisheries, John Peter Etot said that fishing was an economic necessity which has been affected by illegal practices including the harvesting of immature fish and persistent destruction of fish breeding grounds.

He said this during the swearing in of Beach Management Unit chairmen and their committees in the Buguri, Mayuge and Jinja districts earlier this week.

Meanwhile President Kibaki of Kenya has announced that six cold storage facilities are to be erected along the shores of the lake to promote organised fishing activities in Lake Victoria. He also indicated that a naval patrol unit would be deployed to protect Kenyan fishermen operating on the lake.

SOUTH AFRICA – cruise seasons gets underway

The summer cruise season gets underway within the next few days with the arrival of MSC Rhapsody for its second full summer season of cruising out of Durban and along the Mozambique coast. Longer cruises to Mauritius and Madagascar are also on the ship’s itinerary.

MSC Rhapsody joins the MV Madagascar of Indian Ocean Cruises which is already based in Durban and which has begun a first season of local cruises also to the Mozambique coast. Madagascar is to be based all year round in Durban and from October next year the popular MSC Monterey will also be based permanently in Durban (see our News report dated 23 November 2005).

Other cruise ships expected in South African waters over the next few weeks include Silver Wind which will operate locally for about a month, with up to three visits to most of the country’s ports. Silver Wind arrives in Richards Bay on 5 December before heading down the coast to Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and then retracing her steps.

Other ships also to call during December are the diminutive Island Sky and the equally small Hebridean Spirit, both of which match the Madagascar for size.

Please refer to our CRUISE NEWS & VIEWS for detailed South African cruise schedules

SOUTH AFRICA – Radebe calls for South Africa to become a seafaring nation

The Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe has called for South Africa to look beyond being a maritime nation and to embrace what he calls the project of ‘becoming a seafaring nation in its own right.’

Radebe said this in Cape Town last week during a function to mark the Smit Maritime Empowerment Transaction. He said that to achieve this goal entails building up South Africa’s shipbuilding, maintenance and repair and infrastructure around all elements associated with maritime trade in general.

“And this needs doing it in a way that encourages seamless, efficient, cost-effective and intermodal operations across the freight logistics sectors.”

“Earlier this year I posed a challenge that we need to address the major stumbling block against more active participation in the maritime industry by the majority of this country’s citizens. This transaction (Smit Amandla Marine empowerment) not only opens doors to people who were systematically excluded by the previous regime; it also provides an example of best-practice. One estimate suggests that maritime transport contributes some R44 billion in the GDP of the country, making it a key factor in the development of the economy and it is through greater participation in this sector that we can help to achieve the economic goals we have set for our country.”

Clipper Race – R&R in Durban

Friday 25 November

With the conclusion of the 3rd leg of the Clipper Race at Durban, competitors are now relaxing in the sun and surf of South Africa’s favourite holiday playground and enjoying a well-earned rest. The race resumes on 14.00 local time Sunday, 27 November – until then if any reader wants to stay in touch with what is happening during the Durban stopover please go to http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk/plc/index.php for a daily update.

Ports & Ships will pick up the race again from Sunday.

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