Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 12, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – MICHAELLO

  • It’s time to Africanise seafarers – but still not enough recruits – says manning expert

  • Africa ‘gravely affected’ by economic crisis - report

  • SAMSA issues findings on MONIE MARINE and MARITIME MASTER collision

  • Trade news – Radio Holland and Pertec become one

  • DP World in talks with potential partner

  • Pic of the day – JOLLY ROSSO


    First View – MICHAELLO

    The super luxury yacht MICHAELLO, built in Durban and launched recently has taken up her position of honour at the Durban Marina. The vessel was built for and is owned by a Gauteng businessman and will be remaining in Durban for the foreseeable future. Picture L Rip Riphagen

    It’s time to Africanise seafarers – but still not enough recruits – says manning expert

    Africa has the necessary resources to train and develop a large pool of seafarers in all ranks for employment internationally through concerted youth career awareness programmes, proper, accredited and audited training programmes and through ethical and reputable manning agencies.

    This is the message which Deanna Collins, Director of Crewing & Training at Cape Town based Marine Crew Services given to delegates at the second African Manning & Training Conference held recently in Accra in Ghana. It was attended by a broad spectrum of members of the maritime industry from across the African Continent. Presenters from Africa, Europe, India and the United Kingdom participated.

    Ms Collins, a veteran in maritime training and crewing, was invited to deliver the key note address. She highlighted the progress made by the South African maritime industry over the years in training and employment of merchant navy officers and ratings. She urged other African countries to take the lead from South Africa and to seek the country’s assistance and IMO support for the implementation of quality standards of seafarer training and certification in their respective countries.

    Ms Collins said it was time for Africanising, which would result in a cross pollination of seafarers, allowing the opportunity for trained and certificated seafarers from any one African country to be employed on vessels operating in other African countries rather than restricting employment through cabotage regimes and onerous legislation. “We should have mixed African crews serving the vessels operating in our waters,” she said.

    Ms Collins said that given the reported shortage of seafarers to man the expanding world fleets and the high levels of unemployment and poverty in Africa, Africa must sooner rather than later take advantage of these opportunities to properly train and develop a pool of seafarers for lucrative employment internationally. “Not only will this contribute significantly to each country’s economy but will also feed many extended families in Africa and assist towards poverty alleviation,” she said.

    In order to take advantage of these opportunities, governments must support the development of maritime jobs in their countries. “We have to plant and grow new ‘trees’ and do this consistently taking cognisance of the ageing profile of marine personnel both at sea and ashore. This needs a steadfast political will at the highest level of Government,” she said.

    This should happen if Government’s have an understanding of what is needed to take advantage of this golden opportunity. According to her it is up to the maritime industry to inform and educate their Governments.

    Ms Collins also said that the establishment of effective Government Maritime Safety Authorities should set as their first goal the drafting of their country’s Seafarer Training and Certification Regulations in accordance with the IMO requirements under the STCW95 Convention. Funding and Government support for maritime education and maritime awareness programmes at the school, as well as for accredited seafarer training programmes to the minimum STCW95 standards, is of utmost importance.

    Governments should also fund the required sea time, which is the experiential phase of approximately 15 months training on board foreign-going vessels that all students require. “If funded, ship owners worldwide will be provided training berths,” she said.

    There is also a need for the establishment of maritime training colleges which can offer the theoretical phase and the practical safety training courses in alignment with STCW95 which sets the standards for training and certification of seafarers.

    The recruitment and selection of new entrants is crucial and must follow proper procedures and guidelines. “In this respect some recruitment is already taking place in certain African countries but this is not enough,” she said.

    “Finally, there needs to be an intake of a large number of young prospects every year from amongst school leavers to enter as Navigating or Marine Engineering Cadets or who could be trained and employed in the support functions on board ship such as Deck, Engine and Catering Ratings.”

    Africa ‘gravely affected’ by economic crisis - report

    Contrary to what the politicians and some local economists would have everyone believe, the economic outlook for Africa is not a happy one with the region described as being ‘gravely affected by the global economic downturn’.

    That’s the opinion of the authors of the 2009 edition of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) which was launched yesterday (Monday) in Paris. The AEO covers 47 African countries and is presented by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The authors reported finding that following half a decade of above 5% economic growth, the continent can expect only 2.8% in 2009, less than half the 5.7% expected before the crisis. Growth in oil-exporting countries will fall to 2.4 per cent in 2009 compared to 3.3 per cent for the net oil importers.

    Looking into 2010 the report anticipates growth rebounding to 4.5%. “The collapse of commodity prices and plummeting demand from OECD countries will have an adverse effect on Africa’s budget balances, with the regional budget deficit for 2009 predicted to be around 5.5 per cent of GDP compared to a surplus of 3.4 predicted in the AEO for 2008. Foreign direct investment decreased by about 10 per cent in 2008.”

    Concern is also expressed over downward pressure on donor aid budgets.

    “The financial crisis has now become an economic crisis; it has eroded benefits accumulated over the years of reform. With a projected growth rate of only 2.8%, and a bias on the downside, many people will fall back into poverty. This is a setback beyond the control of Africans and is likely to be protracted.”

    The report adds that, using an updated methodology, only a handful of African countries are on track to meet the target of halving the share of the population living on less than one dollar a day by 2015.

    “However, we should not despair,” says Louis Kasekende, Chief Economist of the AfDB, “the decade of reform has introduced efficiency in macroeconomic management and made African economies more competitive. Countries should therefore desist from implementing policies that restrain further integration of the continent into the global trading and financial environment.”

    On a positive note, the 2009 AEO notes that Africa is better positioned to weather the crisis than it was ten years ago. Many countries have undergone prudent macroeconomic reforms in the past few years which have strengthened fiscal balances and reduced inflation to single-digit levels. Many have also benefited from substantial debt relief, with the result that debt service/export ratios are low in most countries.

    The annual AEO is published jointly by the AfDB, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, with support from the European Commission.

    SAMSA issues findings on MONIE MARINE and MARITIME MASTER collision

    The following press statement has been received from the South African Maritime Safety Authority regarding the collision between the trawler MONIE MARINE and a Singapore-registered bulk carrier, MARITIME MASTER, which led to the sinking of the fishing vessel.

    At approximately 20h30 SAST on 8 March 2009 the South African registered fishing vessel
    Monie Marine and the Singapore registered bulk carrier Maritime Master were involved in a collision approximately 11 miles south of Cape Recife.

    The Monie Marine sank while under tow to Port Elizabeth.

    The Preliminary Enquiry has now been completed.

    The findings of the enquiry concluded that the collision occurred due to the apparent non-compliance of both vessels with the requirements of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. These regulations direct the conduct of vessels when in restricted visibility (which was the case at the time) and in a close quarters situation, where risk of collision exists.

    The South African Maritime Safety Authority has forwarded the Preliminary Enquiry report to the Maritime Authority of Singapore, for their consideration, and will take sanctions against the officers involved in the navigation of the Monie Marine.

    Capt NTCampbell
    Regional Manager: Southern Region

    NB: The report of the collision was carried in our New Bulletin for 10 March CLICK HERE

    Trade news – Radio Holland and Pertec become one

    Both Radio Holland and Pertec are well known names in the South African maritime industry. Beginning of 2008 Pertec became part of the global Radio Holland Group organization and since then Pertec and Radio Holland South Africa have been working together closely.

    In February this year the offices of Radio Holland and Pertec in Cape Town were combined into one address at Paarden Eiland Road 16, while the Durban offices are expected to be combined by mid 2009.

    Effective January 2009 Todd Gaine is the managing director of the combined operations in South Africa and Tom Redeker is appointed deputy managing director.

    Pertec is a brand-independent maritime services provider, established in 1963 and active in various disciplines, including electrical engineering, navigation, communication, ICT and airtime. Pertec employs more than 80 people operating from Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, St. Helena Bay and Mossel Bay, also having a network of service agents operating from various maritime locations.

    Traditionally Pertec operates and gained its merits in the fishing industry and new building market, whereas Radio Holland South Africa started in South Africa in 1983 is more focused on retrofit, service, sales in the deepsea and offshore sector.

    Radio Holland South Africa employs 27 people of which predominately in sales and service. This year, the aim is to integrate the organisations of Radio Holland and Pertec, leading to benefits for customers by combining expertise, quality brands and capacity.

    The acquisition of Pertec made Radio Holland the leading maritime service specialist in South Africa, with a network based in all the major ports that covers the entire country and providing an excellent basis for further growth.

    Combined, Pertec and Radio Holland share knowledge, manpower and resources and can provide even better support, a more extensive range of brands and tailor-made solutions, more service capacity and of course a worldwide organization along the shipping routes.

    Radio Holland Group is a specialized company in the supply, installation, integration and service of maritime electronics and is also known as satellite airtime provider. The company employs some 1,000 people worldwide in more than 60 own branches, strategically located along all major shipping routes. The Radio Holland Group represents a wide range of internationally renowned manufacturers and continuously focuses on electronic and functional innovations in communication, navigation and automation equipment.

    Radio Holland is known for its 24-hour service on the spot. Many ship owners around the world use the services of Radio Holland to maintain and repair the equipment on board. Radio Holland has many customers in the international shipping market: deep sea ship owners, coastal and inland shipping, dredging, government and navy, mega yacht shipyards, fishery, etc. Radio Holland enjoys a high reputation worldwide as an all round maritime electronics specialist. Unique is its worldwide ISO: 9001 certification, granted by Lloyds, emphasizing RH’s focus on delivering quality at all times. source CBN

    DP World in talks with potential partner

    Dubai World, the parent company of Dubai Ports World (DP World) is reported to be in talks with a private equity investment group regarding a minority stake in DP World.

    DP World has grown quickly into the world’s fourth largest terminal operator and currently operates 26 terminals worldwide and handles 27.7 million TEUs. Following the economic downturn however, the group said it intended cutting back of further development until the situation improves. If the talks with the equity investor amount to anything the sale will be processed mainly from the free float shares on Nasdaq Bubai.

    In November 2007 Dubai World raised close to US$5 billion when it sold a 23% stake in DP World.

    Pic of the day – JOLLY ROSSO

    The Italian Ro-Ro ship JOLLY ROSSO (30,969-gt, built 1983) of Ignazio Messina Line is at the Point City Terminal in Durban, working her cargo of containers and breakbulk after having arrived from ports in East Africa and the Mediterranean. Picture by Terry Hutson

    Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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