Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 18, 2006
Author: P&S


  • Trade unions square up to Transnet

  • Another batch of SA cadets begin training abroad

  • First iron ore shipment by BEE shipping company

  • EU rejects port directive

  • Clipper Race – R&R in Singapore

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    Trade Unions square up to Transnet

    Four trade unions who are in dispute with Transnet, Sataawu, Utatu, Sarwhu and Uasa over restructuring plans jointly expressed their disappointment with Transnet today and hinted that a national strike is in the offing.

    ‘Transnet management has made no effort to resolve the dispute since the conciliator appointed to mediate the dispute issued a certificate on non-resolution in late November last year,’ said the joint statement.

    The certificate allows the unions to give 48 hours notice of strike action.

    Joint meetings of up to 85,000 union members are due to be held in every Transnet workplace over the coming week. Membership covered by the unions involves Metrorail, Spoornet, SA Airways, SA Port Operations, National Ports Authority, Petronet, Transwerk, Autopax, Freight Dynamics and several other smaller business units.

    The unions claim that Transnet management is flagrantly ignoring procedures and is deliberately trying to fragment the process of restructuring so that unions are unable to be coherently involved in the ‘bigger picture’. They accuse Transnet of regarding the trade unions as an obstacle and workers as pawns in a process.

    ‘This refusal to see the trade unions and their members as partners and a resource will come back to haunt Transnet in the future,’ they said in their statement.

    Another batch of SA cadets begin training abroad

    Another two young South Africans who recently completed their studies at Cape Town’s maritime training institutions are about to embark on exciting sea-going careers when they fly out of Cape Town next week to New Orleans in the USA where they will join the Sanko Shipping Company vessel, Sanko Unity.

    The cadetships are a part of groundbreaking work by the two South African companies, Marine Bulk Carriers (MBC) and Marine Crew Services (MCS), which aim to increase South Africa’s interest in the international shipment of cargo and increasing job opportunities for South African seafarers.

    The two latest recruits, MacDonal Makgwe from Taung in the NW Province, and Mtunzi Mzamo from Umtata in the Eastern Cape, will join Sanko Unity at an offshore oil platform off the coast of Louisiana as navigation cadets.

    Last year Sanko Shipping Co of Japan acquired a stake in the two Cape Town-based companies. Part of the agreement is to provide a number of training berths for South African seafarers on Sanko’s fleet of ships.

    In addition to Makgwe and Mzamo, a number of other young South Africans will soon benefit from the agreement on board Sanko vessels. Emile Rocher and Burt van der Westhuizen will join another cadet, Francois Fouche on the oil tanker Sanko Breeze at Tranmere in the United Kingdom as engineer cadets.

    Floyd Bloem, who also comes from Taung, and Russell Burgess from Grahamstown will join the gas carrier Gas Leo next month in a Japanese port.

    Sanko, which operates a fleet of more than100 ships, has guaranteed 50 training berths to young South African seafarers.

    First iron ore shipment by BEE shipping company

    The Sanko Spark, a Capesize bulker is on the way to China with the first cargo of iron ore in terms of a charter agreement between the Marine Bulk Carriers (MBC)/Sanko Shipping Company partnership, and mining group Kumba Resources.

    The cargo was loaded at Saldanha Bay iron ore terminal earlier in January and is due to arrive in the Chinese port of Yantai early February to discharge nearly 150,000 tonnes of iron ore.

    MBC director Jan Rabie described the successful conclusion of the charter agreements as groundbreaking for a South African Black Economic Empowered (BEE) shipping company.

    “It all adds up to boost the economy while at the same time making significant contributions to job creation for South Africans in the maritime field,” he said.

    MBC also announced that the 298,920-dwt Sanko owned VLCC Sanko Unity has been chartered by BP Shipping for 12 months deployment in worldwide trades. A number of South African cadets are due to be placed on board the vessel for training purposes.

    EU rejects port directive

    The controversial European Port Services Directive was firmly defeated by the European Parliament yesterday, a decision that should bring to an end worker disruption at a number of ports across Europe.

    A late compromise suggestion met with little success as MEPs voted by 532 to 120 to reject the directive. In 2003 the EU also rejected the directive in its original form. The directive called for a liberalizing of port services.

    Clipper race – R&R in Singapore

    With all yachts now in Singapore Ports & Ships is taking a break from the 2005/06 Round the World Clipper Yacht Race and will resume reporting on its progress once the next leg gets underway on 27 January 2006.

    Westernaustralia.com 41.5 points
    Durban Clipper 33.0
    Liverpool 08 30.5
    New York 30.5
    Victoria 22.5
    Cardiff 22.0
    Qingdao 22.0
    Uniquely Singapore 21.0
    Jersey 15.0
    Glasgow 6.5

    - source and further details of this round the world race can be found at http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk

    Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast.

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