Ports & Ships Maritime News

Sep 11, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • SA Port statistics for August
  • Cape Town faces pressure from ship repair
  • Vice President Mlambo-Ngcuka goes to India intent on strengthening trade relations
  • Senegal: No wall to the sea
  • Reports of NCL sale to MSC less likely after news of new ships
  • NSRI to the rescue of fishermen off Mossel Bay

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    SA Port statistics for August

    South Africa’s ports handled a total of 14.045 million tonnes of cargo during the month of August 2006 (July 14.930Mt). This figure excludes containers which the National Ports Authority no longer records by weight.

    However, if a calculation is made allowing for the containers handled, the figure handled by all ports would increase to 18.324 million tonnes (July 19.324Mt).

    On that basis including containers the respective ports handled the following:

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay     6.921 million tonnes (July 6.184Mt)
    Durban             5.902 Mt (July 6.917)
    Saldanha Bay    2.714 Mt (July 3.601)
    Cape Town       1.443 Mt (July 1.344)
    Port Elizabeth    0.984 Mt (July 0.900)
    East London      0.159 Mt (July 0.225)
    Mossel Bay        0.201 Mt (July 0.149)

    Containers measured by TEUs
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal and Tranship cargo)

    Durban           200 298 TEU (July 211,467)
    Cape Town       77,259 (July 72,931)
    Port Elizabeth    36,175 (July 37,166)
    East London        2,715 (July 3,708)
    Richards Bay          538 (July 461)

    Total handled 316,985 TEU (July 325,733)

    Ship Calls

    Durban:          380 vessels 7.814m gt (392 vessels 8.088m gt)
    Cape Town:     241 vessels 3.828m gt (301 vessels 4,014m gt)
    Port Elizabeth: 129 vessels 2.390m gt (143 vessels 2.295m gt)
    Richards Bay:   131 vessels 4.567m gt (122 vessels 4.340m gt)
    Saldanha:         49 vessels 1,802m gt (49 vessels 2.152m gt)
    East London:     23 vessels 0.707m gt (36 vessels 0.664m gt)
    Mossel Bay:     314 vessels 0.236m gt (372 vessels 0.244m gt)

    - source NPA plus P&S calculations on container weights

    Cape Town faces pressure from ship repair

    The head of maritime law at Cape Town law firm Webber Wentzel Bowens said recently that the Port of Cape Town was experiencing pressure on its ship servicing and marine surveyor services due to insufficient capacity.

    According to Arthur James, the article in Business Day said that if nothing was done about the problem then the city stood to lose lucrative business to other ports, notably Walvis Bay, Luanda and Maputo.

    James said the ship repair and oil-rig maintenance sector contributed R1,5bn a year to Western Cape’s economy and supported up to 2500 jobs when a large oil rig was being repaired. He described the sector as a ‘huge contributor to the economic success of the region.’

    However, capacity was now stretched and work lost and the port needed to re-capitalise on deep-sea oil prospecting and related vessel servicing requirements off the West African coast, especially Angola.

    Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry CE Albert Schuitmaker warned that Walvis Bay was ‘falling over backwards to attract business.’

    Billy Cilliers, NPA planning manager at the Port of Cape Town said the NPA had called for proposals to develop a new ship repair facility in Elliott Basin at the port.

    The facility would be developed by a consortium on a long-term basis and a preferred bidder had already been selected for the development. The mandate for negotiating a contract between the NPA and the preferred bidder was now being finalised.

    Cilliers said the new ship-repair facility would consist of a ship lift with multilane repair facilities, which would increase the port’s ship-repair handling capacity.

    The newspaper report concluded that it was believed that construction of the facility could not commence for at least two years, this being the time remaining on the Rpyal Cape Yacht Club’s lease in Elliott Basin.

    - source Business Day

    Vice President Mlambo-Ngcuka goes to India intent on strengthening trade relations

    by Thapelo Sakoana, BuaNews

    Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka leaves for an official visit to India on Saturday, in the context of increased market and trade access among countries of the south.

    South Africa and India have a partnership in developing the agenda of the south, and are members of the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Forum.

    Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka has been invited by Indian Vice President Bhairan Singh Shekhawat and is to discuss, among others, the cooperation between India and South Africa in terms of skills acquisition and placement.

    "Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka will also during her visit to India promote the objectives of South Africa's Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative (AsgiSA) and Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) aimed at ensuring a shared and faster economic growth in SA," the foreign affairs department said.

    Other issues on the agenda include co-operative projects for small industry development particularly for the benefit of rural women as well as the development of small businesses in the fields of ceramics, jewellery manufacturing and textiles.

    While in New Delhi and Mumbai, the Deputy President will deliver the 5th annual Alfred Nzo Memorial Lecture and interact with various business leaders in the country.

    She will also address Indian chief executive officers on "Investment and Skills Transfers", as well as give a presentation on AsgiSA, said the department.

    Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka is also expected to pay courtesy calls on President Abdul Kalam and Sonia Gandhi.

    In terms of economic relations, the department said major Indian products exported to South Africa are rice, cotton, yarn finished leather goods, machinery and instruments, handmade yarn fabrics, spices, handicrafts and hand made carpets.

    India imports from South Africa chemicals, gold, silver, coal and briquettes, iron and steel, inorganic and organic fertiliser, pulp and waste paper as well as precious and semi-precious stones.

    Trade between the two countries trade has grown with a total bilateral trade approaching R14.5 billion last year.

    Imports from India stood at R7.02 billion and exports to India at R7.05 billion.

    India currently ranks as South Africa's 13th most important export market and the 13th most important import market.

    Foreign affairs said since the two had similar developmental challenges, their collective capacity in bargaining and voicing concerns that affected their economies in international forums was made highly effective.

    "As a key emerging regional economy, India provides a platform for the re-integration of the South African economy with that of South Asia," the department said.

    Opportunities for closer co-operation had been identified and constitute South Africa's trade development agenda in India.

    In the automotive industry, Tata Motors has already established itself in South Africa while Mahindra Motors has expressed interest to commence exporting vehicles to South Africa.

    Other important areas identified for co-operation are health, information and communication technology, services and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

    Senegal: No wall in the sea

    Dakar, 7 Sep 2006 (IRIN) - So far this year, 20,000 illegal migrants have arrived in the Spanish Canary Islands from the West African coast in the hopes of eventually reaching mainland Spain.

    The Spanish Red Cross estimates that more than 1,000 migrants have drowned trying to reach the archipelago.

    Despite the risks, many young West Africans, frustrated by the limited opportunities at home and tempted by the stories of those who have made it, continue to embark on the journey.

    This is the second of a series of three profiles of Senegalese migrants.

    Assane Dia, 25

    Assane Dia can already picture himself in Valencia, Spain’s bustling eastern coastal city. There, he believes, he would find work far more lucrative and satisfying than his job as a car painter in Dakar. Despite the poor salary and lack of job security, he has stuck with it for nine years because he has little other choice.

    “You can be a month without any work, and when there is some it’s the boss who makes a profit, leaving you with the crumbs,” he said. “Here, you work to death without accomplishing anything. At some point you have to take a risk for something more.”

    Then a friend who had migrated to Italy offered to help pay the US $ 600 that traffickers were asking to take Assane to the Canaries on their fishing boats. It was a bargain, a special rate offered by the boatmen because he knew them.

    Assane’s family begged him not to go.

    “My parents believe that the sea is unsafe, and it was difficult to listen to their concerns,” he said. “For a week I hesitated but then decided to go.”

    He made the roughly 1,500 km journey but was detained shortly after his arrival on the Canary Islands and repatriated to Senegal.

    Upon his return, his father confiscated his passport and has been making the rounds at various embassies trying to get his son a visa so Assane can travel legally and safely to Europe. So far, no country has given Assane a visa.

    In the meantime, Assane continues to work painting cars and dreaming of leaving again.

    The short time he spent in the Canary Islands, even if it was simply playing soccer with the other illegal migrants at a detaining camp, convinced Assane that life is better in Europe.

    “I tell myself that the voyage is risky but as soon as you arrive you forget all that suffering, even for those that arrive exhausted, they are taken away on stretchers,” he said.

    “It is only decent jobs that will fix this situation, not the untimely declarations of politicians, which only further encourage illegal migration,” he said. “It’s because they don’t stop talking about how they are going to fix things that youths keep leaving. The youth have become disillusioned. I don’t see how they can build a wall in the sea to keep the boats at bay.”

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

    Reports of NCL sale less likely after news of new ships

    In a recent News Bulletin (4 September) Ports & Ships carried a report suggesting that there were strong indications that Mediterranean Shipping Cruises (MSC) was negotiating with Star Cruises to buy Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL).

    The reports emanating from a respected publication in Europe and elsewhere have not been confirmed or backed up by further disclosures, although they did indicate the negotiations were being held ‘behind the scenes’.

    Since then however has come the news of NCL placing orders with Norway’s Aker shipyards to build three 4,200-passengre cruise ships at the St Nazaire yard in France.

    The three ships will each be 325m in length for delivery in 2009 and 2010 and according to Star and NCL chairman Tan Sri TK Lin will transform NCL in its 40th year. Lin said the intention was to turn NCL into one of the youngest, most innovative and exciting fleets around by 2010.

    With that sort of statement it seems unlikely that the company would be for sale, although who knows in this strange world of ships and finance.

    NCL currently has 15 ships either in its fleet or under construction.

    NSRI to the rescue of fishermen off Mossel Bay

    Eleven fishermen have been rescued off a burning boat off the southern Cape coast last week by rescue vessels sent out by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

    The fishing boat Gurusan caught fire in its engine room while some 17 miles from Mossel Bay and five miles off the coast at Gouritz, resulting in a Mayday being transmitted and the launching of two NSRI rescue craft. In addition a second fishing vessel named Bowfaith which was in the area also went to the rescue.

    It all turned out well because by the time the would-be rescuers arrived the crew of the Gurusan had managed to extinguish the fire and were waiting for a sister vessel to take them in tow. Despite this the 11 crew members agreed to be taken on board one of the NSRI vessels for safety reasons.

    In another incident this time off Durban two ships at anchor in the Durban anchorage collided during a period of strong winds last week. The two ships As Salaam and Ocean Neptune had been waiting for a berth in the port – at the time there were more than 20 ships at anchor outside and the anchorage was somewhat crowded. One of the vessels began dragging its anchors and drifted down on the other. As Salaam suffered a gash above the waterline and the Ocean Neptune a bent anchor shank. There were no injuries on board either vessel.

    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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