Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 4, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – DAYAHAI

  • Zuma warns that economic crisis may affect pace of service delivery

  • Concargo adds four new routes into Africa

  • The case of the missing ship MV UGANDA

  • New Single Buoy Mooring for Durban’s oil discharge point

  • Dar es Salaam decreases port tariffs to fight congestion

  • Pic of the day – HELLESPONT DARING


    First View – DAYAHAI

    The COSCO bulk carrier DAYAHAI (28,653-gt, built 2002) seen in Cape Town harbour recently. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Zuma warns that economic crisis may affect pace of service delivery

    by Bathandwa Mbola (BuaNews)

    Parliament, Cape Town 3 June 2009 - The economic downturn will affect the pace at which South Africa is able to address its social and economic challenges, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.

    However, it will not alter the direction of the country’s development, said Mr Zuma, delivering his first State of the Nation Address to a packed joint-sitting of Parliament.

    “The policy priorities that we have identified, and the plans that we placed before the electorate, remain at the core of the programme of this government,” he said.

    Referring back to the popular statement that he made during his inauguration as President of the Republic, Mr Zuma reiterated again today: “As long as there are South Africans who die from preventable disease; as long as there are workers who struggle to feed their families; as long as there are children who do not receive a decent education; as long as there are people who are unable to find work, government will not rest.”

    In pursuit of these goals, Mr Zuma said his government had identified 10 priority areas, which form part of our Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2009 to 2014.

    The President acknowledged that these will be introduced under difficult economic conditions.

    “The past year has seen the global economy enter a period of crisis unprecedented in recent decades.

    “While South Africa has not been affected to the extent that a number of other countries have, its effects are now being clearly seen in our economy. We have entered a recession,” he told parliamentarians.

    The president’s speech comes a week after South Africa officially entered its first recession in 17 years as the economy contracted 6.4 percent in the first quarter, a figure which shocked economists.

    The announcement brought with it further fears of job cuts, and interest rates were slashed another full point to 7.5 percent, although unions demanded they be cut even further to stimulate the economy.

    Earlier this year, economists predicted that up to 250,000 jobs would be lost as the mining and automotive industries suffer.

    There is also pressure from a recession and union demands for economic policy changes that could scare off foreign investors.

    President Zuma called on civil society, government and businesses to unite against this crisis.

    “It is more important now than ever that we work in partnership on a common programme to respond to this crisis.”

    As a starting point, Mr Zuma indicated that government would implement South Africa's response the framework to the international economic crisis, concluded by government, labour and business in February this year which will among other things reduce job losses.

    There is an agreement in principle between government and the social partners on the introduction of a training layoff, said Mr Zuma.

    He said this will among other things see workers who would ordinarily be facing retrenchment due to economic difficulty would kept in employment, for a period of time and re-skilled.

    President Zuma said government will support the work of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to assist employers and workers to find alternatives to retrenchments through the relevant legal process.

    To date, CCMA commissioners have saved over four thousand jobs through facilitation processes, and provided ongoing advice and support to retrenched workers.

    Mr Zuma also assured that government will buy more goods and services locally, without undermining the country’s global competitiveness or pushing up costs beyond acceptable levels.

    Building on the successes of our industrial policy interventions, Mr Zuma went on to say that a scaled up Industrial Policy Action Plan will be developed.

    The lead sectors already identified are automobile, chemicals, metal fabrication, tourism, clothing and textiles as well as forestry.

    In addition, he said attention will also be paid to services, light manufacturing and construction amongst others, in the quest to create decent jobs.

    “… we have to forge ahead to promote a more inclusive economy.

    “In this regard, we will utilise state levers such as procurement, licensing and financial support to assist small medium enterprises as well as to promote the implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and affirmative action policies.”

    The implementation will be done in recognition of the need to correct the imbalances of the past.

    The transformation will be undertaken in support of women, youth and people with disabilities.

    “We will reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses. The matter of being stifled by regulations has been raised by the sector several times.”

    In another intervention to create an enabling environment for investment, government will move towards a single integrated business registration system.

    The president said this will improve customer service and reduce the cost of doing business in South Africa.

    Concargo adds four new routes into Africa

    Concargo (www.concargo.com), leading experts in Supply Chain Management activities, has recently added four new routes to its Over Border Road Freight service offering, namely Angola, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

    Of these the Angolan road service has proven to be a very popular alternative to sea freight for shippers given the lengthy berthing delays and port congestion problems currently being experienced in Luanda.

    The destinations currently serviced in Angola are Lubango, Benguela, Lobito, Porto Amboim and Luanda. At this stage only full loads can be accommodated; both Flat deck, as well as containerised, using Tri-axles, Superlinks and Stepdecks. The trucks travel in convoy and are accompanied by a supervisor and diesel mechanic in an escort vehicle. Radio communication with the escort vehicle is maintained and clients can receive regular tracking reports.

    The route from South Africa is via Namibia, entering through Nakop if travelling from Gauteng or KZN, and through Noordoewer if travelling from the Western Cape.

    Concargo has a Namibian Road Bond facility that allows them in-transit clearance through Namibia. They cross into Angola at the Oshikango - Santa Clara border crossing.

    Transit from Cape Town or Johannesburg takes approximately 14 days allowing four days for customs clearance into Angola. For more details contact Concargo HERE

    The case of the missing ship MV UGANDA

    A ship that went missing 30 years ago is the subject of an investigation in Uganda as legislators ask questions about how a Ugandan ship, the MV UGANDA could mysteriously disappear from Mombasa harbour and off the books of a Ugandan company.

    The ship was owned by the government-backed Coffee Marketing Board, and was a similar vessel to four others belonging to Kenya (two), Tanzania (one) and Zambia (one). The five ships were apparently managed by the East African Shipping Line Company.

    At some point in 1979 or thereabouts the MV Uganda disappeared from Mombasa – no-one seems to know how or where she went but a later report indicates the ship was attached in a Dutch port in February 1980 and subsequently sold at auction to pay creditors of unpaid goods and services.

    No-one today seems to know whether Ugandan officials or representatives of the Coffee Marketing Board were advised that the ship was being sold. Nor did anyone take up the matter of a ship missing off the company’s books, until now.

    Quite why questions should be asked now, 30 years later is also not very clear, but a group of parliamentarians in Kampala has latched onto the mystery and instigated an investigation. In addition the Kenyan ambassador to Kenya has been requested to follow up the matter with Kenyan authorities.

    According to newspaper reports from Uganda, Kenya Port Authority managing director James Mulewa is reported to have said that ships also get stolen just like cars and that the Kenyan Port Authority had been wondering what Uganda has been doing about the matter for all this time. The MD apparently told visiting Ugandan MPs that the ship had disappeared under “strange circumstances”.

    Reagan Okumu, Uganda’s chairman of the committee on Commissions, Statutory and State Enterprise has written to Uganda’s Works and Transport Minister asking for detailed information about the ship, including the routes it operated.

    If any reader has any recollection of this particular ship and / or its disposal and eventual fate in the Netherlands, please let PORTS & SHIPS know at info@ports.co.za

    New Single Buoy Mooring for Durban’s oil discharge point

    A new Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) is currently being installed offshore of Isipingo Rocks opposite the Durban International Airport.

    Not many people give much thought to how South Africa gets the crude oil that is used to make the petroleum products on which the country depends. South Africa has a highly specialised piece of marine equipment called the Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) through which about 75% of the country’s crude oil is imported. The SBM makes it possible for massive oil tankers in the ULCC and VLCC class (200,000 – 300,000+DWT) to dock and to discharge crude oil, which then gets transported by pipelines to refineries in Durban and Gauteng.

    The SBM is located 2,5 km offshore at Reunion Rock, south of Durban. It is managed by SAPREF on behalf of industry. The SBM that is currently in use has been serving the country faithfully for 35 years, but now it is time for an upgrade.

    A new SBM, which was constructed in Abu Dhabi, is currently being installed. While the new unit is a direct replacement of the present buoy, significant upgrades in design and equipment have been made.

    Captain George Franklin, marine manager for SAPREF says that operational safety, environmental risk management and crude oil supply continuity have been improved. The total cost of the replacement project is R125 million.

    A highly specialised deepwater offshore installation vessel has been brought in to undertake the replacement. This involves the removal of the old buoy together with its hoses and moorings and the complete installation of the new facility. The work is expected to take about two weeks, but is weather critical.

    According to a SAPREF spokesperson sufficient crude oil stocks are available and no shortage of refined petroleum products is expected during this period.

    Dar es Salaam decreases port tariffs to fight congestion

    Port tariffs at the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania have been lowered, bringing them below tariffs being charged at Mombasa and Durban. And, according to the marketing manager of Tanzania Ports Authority, Ms Friancisca Mwindi, the reason is to fight congestion.

    She told East African Business Week that the TPA had decided to lower port tariffs in order to reduce critical congestion at Dar es Salaam. Where one tonne of cargo is charged US$7.5 at both Mombasa and Durban, it will now cost $4 at Dar es Salaam.

    The Tanzanian port has been adversely affected by severe congestion mainly in the port’s container terminal, caused largely by the slowness of clients in removing their cargo from the port terminals. The dwell time at Dar es Salaam has reached an average of 25 days per container while for some transit cargo it is 35 days. The port requires containers to be cleared within five days for import containers, three days for export boxes and ten days for empties.

    There is also a shortage of rail wagons leading to a growing demand for road transport.

    To assist the clearance of containers the TPA is making use of the port of Mtwara for transhipment cargo, as well as the use of inland container depots as secure areas outside the port to store uncleared containers. TPA also intends constructing an additional two berths at the container terminal and a multi-storey car park for motor vehicles. Other long term plans include a proposed new container port at Bagamoyo slightly north of Dar es Salaam.

    Pic of the day – HELLESPONT DARING

    The newbuild offshore supply ship HELLSEPONT DARING (2,177-gt, built 2009) which has been undergoing some serious repair in Cape Town harbour after arriving on her maiden voyage from the Cochin Shipyard in China. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    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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