Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 2, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • SAPO acts ahead of national strike

  • SENEGAL: Migrant repatriations halted after mistreatment claims

  • Port Elizabeth manganese ore dust poses no health threat, says van Schalkwyk

  • Antarctica Month to be launched today

  • African Rainbow Expedition arrives home on Sunday

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    Sapo acts ahead of national strike

    South African Port Operations (SAPO) said contingency plans had been put in place to minimise the impact on operations ahead of a South African Transport and Allied Works Union strike planned for today (Friday, 2 June).

    SAPO Chief Operating Officer, Graham Braby said a number of measures had been planned including ensuring access to the terminals was controlled and manned and extra security staff was retained.

    “SAPO has developed a contingency plan to minimise the effect of the strike on operations nationally. This plan has taken into account a number of issues including operational capacity, security and berthing schedules.

    “In conjunction with the National Ports Authority, we have taken the necessary measures to ensure that security is not compromised at our terminals and at the ports, in accordance with our ISPS code to ensure the safety of cargo.

    “We have adjusted quayside and landside operations at the various terminals across the country including the Durban Container Terminal, which is the busiest terminal in the country.”

    Raymond van Rooyen Safety, Health, Environment and Quality manager said: “We have activated our contingency plans for all terminals in order to ensure continuity of normal operations.

    “This will take into account the securing of all access control points and critical nodes within the business. The security measures include enhancing security visibility, cooperation with local law enforcement agencies and identifying critical posts within the port that are to be manned.

    He said SAPO had informed international and local customers of its contingency plans to ensure a limited impact on operations.


    In a late development yesterday the Labour Court ruled against the strike being allowed to go ahead, after a number of different sectors brought appeals to the court asking for protection against the strike.

    Satawu has apparently accepted the ruling and says it will hold lunchtime meetings among workers at which the issues relating to sympathy action in support of striking security members will be discussed.

    It remains possible that further ‘sympathy’ action including the holding of a national strike may be held in the near future.

    SENEGAL: Migrant repatriations halted after mistreatment claims

    Dakar, 1 Jun 2006 (IRIN) – Senegal has called a halt to the repatriation of illegal migrants arriving back home from the Spanish Canary Islands after first returnees claim mistreatment.

    A total of 99 Senegalese migrants were flown home from the Spanish archipelago in the early hours of Thursday, shortly after Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Bernardino Leon announced in Dakar that Madrid planned to repatriate 600-700 illegal Senegalese migrants in the following days.

    Those flown home in the first plane however said they had been mistreated, had not been told they were being taken home and that some had been handcuffed.

    “There were difficulties of such a nature that the government decided to suspend flight authorisations for the return of would-be emigrants to Spain,” an official who asked not to be identified told IRIN.

    “Senegal cannot admit such a situation which moreover violates human rights,” he added.

    Some of those flown back told reporters that the Spanish authorities had promised to fly them to Malaga or Madrid, but had never mentioned Dakar.

    “This is unacceptable,” the Senegalese official said. “They should have been told the truth.”

    Leon said after meeting Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade on Wednesday that “the only future for illegal migration is return - the alternative is death by drowning.”

    Almost 9,000 illegal migrants have arrived in the Canary Islands in the first five months of this year, almost as many as in 2002, a record-breaking year when 9,929 illegal migrants landed over 12 months. As Spanish territory, the islands that lie only 1,500 km from the Senegalese shore, are a stepping stone into Europe.

    To help Spain manage the flux of illegal migrants, seven of the country’s European Union partners will begin joint patrols with Madrid off the West African coast soon. Countries involved are Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    Port Elizabeth’s manganese ore dust poses no health threat, says van Schalkwyk

    According to the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the dust from manganese ore stored at Port Elizabeth harbour prior to export poses no threat to the health of the environment of those living in the nearby residential areas.

    The minister was responding to a written question from the Democratic Alliance party’s Eddie Trent. He said that samplers were installed in the vicinity of the ore dump by an independent and approved inspection authority to continuously test the atmosphere. In addition inspectors from the Nelson Mandela Municipality regularly undertook inspections, all of which had revealed no threat or any negative effects.

    Antarctica Month to be launched today

    The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology are launching 2006 Antarctica Month at the MTN Science Centre in Canal Walk, Cape Town today, Friday, 2 June 2006.

    Antarctica Month is aimed at raising awareness of Antarctica and its associated and dependent ecosystems. It further aims to draw attention to the unique and exciting research done by South African scientists in this frozen continent and the sub-Antarctic islands.

    The launch will focus on South Africa’s role in Antarctica, the research done by South African scientists on Antarctica as well as the development of the Marion Island base.

    The meeting commences at 10 am.

    African Rainbow Expedition arrives home on Sunday

    The year long odyssey of South African explorer Kingsley Holgate and the African Rainbow Expedition, which has taken them up the East African coast as far as the Somali border and back again in support of malaria prevention among isolated communities, is nearing its end with the wanderers expected back at Shakaland outside Eshowe this Sunday (4 June), exactly one year to the day when they set off from the same venue.

    The journey began at Shakaland on 4 June 2005, exactly one year ago and from the same place where it will end this Sunday, Shakaland in Zululand, South Africa – picture Terry Hutson

    The epic journey began with the team driving overland by Land Rover to Pemba in northern Mozambique where they linked up with an Arab sailing dhow named Spirit of Adventure, hand-built specially for the expedition. The dhow provided access to otherwise inaccessible islands and places on the coast impassable even to 4 x 4 vehicles. Slowly the party made its way up the coast into Tanzania and then into Kenya before reaching its destination on the Somali border.

    Since then the adventurers have retraced their steps along the coast, revisiting some of the villages and calling at others overlooked on the outward journey. During the return they had the advantage of an engine fitted into the dhow which gave them the ability to reach places denied them while relying only on wind and sail.

    The vessel’s engine was sponsored by Durban-based company Grindrod which was also a major contributor to the expedition. Other sponsors included Land Rover, Captain Morgan and USAID.

    The Holgate exploits are legendry, having come into our homes courtesy of National Geographic and in the pages of Holgate’s several books. As a result the 60-year old Kingsley Holgate’s flowing grey hair and bushy beard is instantly recognisable to television audiences the world over. He is in every sense the modern day equivalent of an explorer plucked from the pages of a previous era – his personal hero David Livingstone, or Speke, Burton, Baker or Henry Morton Stanley.

    But what makes Holgate truly unique in this age of credit card comfort is that he is fiercely African, born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal, with values that derive from a deep abiding respect and love for this continent, values that are obviously shared by wife Jill and son Ross and immediate circle.

    The journey ends this Sunday, does another await just over the horizon? If so then how long will it be before they set off once again?

    Did you know that 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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