Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 29, 2007
Author: P&S


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  • Mombasa suspends discharge and loading of container ships as congestion crisis worsens

  • Cape Town stowaways put ashore in Walvis Bay

  • Fishery patrol boats hard at work as poachers arrested

  • eThekwini (Durban) to promote manufacturing industry in India

  • Pic of the day – STELIOS B

    EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
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    Mombasa suspends discharge and loading of container ships as congestion crisis worsens

    As the congestion crisis at the port of Mombasa worsened this weekend the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) took the drastic step of suspending the discharge and loading of container ships in port.

    The action was aimed at enabling the terminal to shift containers in the terminal and create more space for incoming cargo, reports the East African Standard.

    According to the newspaper Mombasa’s harbourmaster and chief operations manager Capt Twalib Khamis confirmed that ship working at the terminal had been suspended although he said the situation was easing with the arrival of only two ships from the port of Dar es Salaam with cargo for discharge at Mombasa.

    Some of the crisis at Mombasa has been blamed on chronic congestion at Dar es Salaam, which has resulted in ships being diverted to Mombasa with cargo that should have been discharged at the Tanzanian port.

    The KPA intends transferring some containers stored at Mombasa to two inland container depots recently approved as Container Freight Stations (see Ports & Ships News report dated 23 May 2007).

    According to Capt Khamis containers will be transferred to the Container Freight Stations from the first week of June.

    Kenya is said to be experiencing a boom in containerised cargo but is also experiencing problems in getting inland importers from both Kenya and Uganda to clear the containers timeously. Problems with road and rail delivery is also seen as a reason for the crisis.

    Kenya’s railway network was taken over by a privately operated company, Rift Valley Railway in December last year but according to reports little progress has been achieved so far in speeding up rail services to and from the port. Kenya’s road services are also said to be unable to make much progress partly as a result of poor road infrastructure in the region.

    Shippers have warned that unless the situation improves the ongoing delays will lead inevitably to a vessel delay surcharge being imposed by the shipping lines for Mombasa.

    Cape Town stowaways put ashore in Walvis Bay

    According to a report in The Namibian newspaper five stowaways have been handed over to Namibian authorities in Walvis Bay after stowing away on board a container ship in Cape Town.

    The five men, whose nationality was not revealed, had apparently boarded the container ship BLUE SKY in Cape Town on 17 May. They were discovered after the ship sailed for Walvis Bay, hiding between containers stacked on deck.

    They told Namibian authorities they were hoping to reach Europe where they expected to find a better life.

    The newspaper identified the men as Ally Abdul (31), Ahimedi Yusuphu (18), Rayabu Marisho (21), Athuman Abdalah Hassan (22) and Mohammed Jamal (24).

    During the same week four Tanzanian stowaways boarded a ship in Richards Bay also with the intention of achieving a ‘better life’ somewhere in Europe or America, or so they told authorities.

    The ship was subjected to a search by the stowaway detection team of Magnum Shield Security, which recently opened a branch in Richards Bay. It was the security team’s first job in the port (see our full report in the News Bulletin dated 17 May 2007).

    Fishery patrol boats hard at work as poachers arrested

    The offshore patrol vessel SARAH BAARTMAN in Cape Town harbour. Picture IAN SHIFFMAN CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

    The effective deployment of the Environmental Protection Vessels (EPV's) during the past few weeks yielded significant results once again as poachers were arrested, boats seized and numerous poaching activities prevented, reports the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT).

    During the latest voyage of the SARAH BAARTMAN, the inspectors, captain and crew of the offshore patrol vessel arrested a diver at Bird Island, scared off three superducks (rubber inflatables) thereby prevented abalone poaching, and fined three fishing vessels for contravention of fishing permit conditions.

    The Sarah Baartman struck again soon afterwards this time confiscating a ski boat and arresting three suspects in the Kleinmond area for west coast rock lobster poaching. This arrest took place late at night and more than 20 crayfish traps, which were detected by the on-board equipment of the patrol boat, were also removed from the water. In a separate incident fines to the value of R13,250 were issued for contravention of fishing permit conditions in the St Helena Bay area.

    The Sarah Baartman rendered assistance when two fishing vessels collided at Dassen Island by providing situational reports indicating the exact location of the collision, depth of the water where the sunken vessel lay and whether or not any oil or diesel was leaking from the vessel. This information proved useful in immediately addressing the situation and minimising the impact on the marine environment.

    In a separate incident information was received that abalone poachers were preparing to launch from Harbour Island to poach in the Cape Point area. The inshore patrol vessel RUTH FIRST was tasked to carry out a visible patrol between Gordon's Bay and Cape Point in order to keep the poachers at bay. This strategy worked exceptionally well as the poachers' boats where unable to launch to carry out their criminal activities.

    Another inshore patrol vessel the LILIAN NGOYI was called in to assist with the recovery of a Research Buoy that had come adrift. The inspector, captain and crew rose to the occasion even though the weather conditions were not all that favourable. The Lillian Ngoyi also recently managed to apprehend a superduck in the Port Elizabeth area. It appears that the superduck had only one operational engine and did not comply with South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Regulations. The superduck was handed over to SAMSA and the owner has since paid a detention fee of R1000 in addition to the owner and skipper each being fined R 5000, generating a total of R11,000 in fees.

    The high speed chase vessel FLORENCE MHKIZE, which is capable of reaching speeds of 65 knots, continues to serve as a deterrent in her role against abalone poaching. The vessel participated in a joint SAPS operation where an arrest was made at Robben Island. A large superduck and eight divers where arrested with a consignment of abalone. Since then there have been no reports of abalone poaching at Robben Island, signalling a drastic decline in poaching in and around the Island.

    The VICTORIA MXENGE (another inshore patrol boat) is maintaining a continued presence around Robben Island, where she had been anchored at the Island at night conducting regular visible patrols with a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB). This system, which is employed with the cooperation of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Port of Entry Division, seems to have been effective in keeping poaching at bay and is set to be intensified.

    The Victoria Mxenge was also involved with the issuing of a R2,500 fine to a fishing vessel for non-compliance of fishing permit conditions.

    In another successful operation, the special investigation team of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism arrested three suspects and confiscated two consignments of shucked abalone in Beaufort West during the early hours on Friday morning (25 May 2007).

    This followed intense surveillance efforts involving the team having to work throughout the night, following two vehicles that left the Overberg region loaded with consignments of abalone destined for Gauteng. A BMW motor car, a Ford bakkie and a trailer were confiscated.

    source – Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT)

    eThekwini (Durban) to promote manufacturing industry in India

    by Bongani Mlangeni (BuaNews)

    The eThekwini Municipality on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) aimed at promoting the interests of the manufacturing sector.

    Deputy Mayor, Logie Naidoo, who is also chairperson of the city's Economic Development Committee, said the CII was a powerful voice representing some of the biggest corporations in the world.

    "This memorandum of understanding will solidify the relationship that we share with the Indian Industry.

    "The focus is on attracting foreign direct investment that would grow the economy of both our countries, and empower and integrate Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMME's) in the manufacturing industry," he said.

    The intention of the MoU is to position eThekwini on the manufacturing map of the world and to develop manufacturing advisory centers where manufactures could go to for assistance and advice.

    According to Shipra Tripathi, Director CII, the MoU would strengthen economic ties between eThekwini and the Confederation.

    "This relationship will help a lot of SMME's and emerging businesses and ensure that Indians' learning and knowledge of business is translated into a plan of action for South Africa and the eThekwini Municipality," she said.

    In the MoU, both parties undertook to:

    * strive towards the development of direct contacts and partnerships between business communities and will assist in the identification of potential partners through the organisation of business seminars.

    * jointly develop Manufacturing Advisory Centres and organise training programmes and workshops on a continued basis to promote mentorship, capacity building and skills transfer.

    * enhance the productivity and efficiency of small business in the municipality by conducting training and carrying out consultancy.

    This aims to achieve manufacturing excellence and overall business development in the municipality.

    Funds have been earmarked by eThekwini for the development of the Manufacturing Advisory Centres and a Centre for Manufacturing Excellence.

    The CII would serve as an advisory for the effective utilisation of the fund and will also identify and promote special schemes of relevance to the manufacturing sector in the municipality.

    It works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of the industry in India, partnering industry and government through advisory and consultative processes.

    Founded over 111 years ago, it is India's premier business association, with a direct membership of over 6 300 organisations from the private and public sectors.

    Pic of the day – STELIOS B

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    A ‘stern’ view of the Greek bulker STELIOS B berthed under the then new crane at Bluff Coal Terminal (since renamed Bluff Connections). The date was 30 May 2003 and the ship was loading coal – since which time Stelios B has returned to South Africa several times, including a call at Durban earlier this month. Picture Terry Hutson

    NB Shipping pictures submitted by readers are always welcome, also your comments or opinion on items in the news bulletins – please email to info@ports.co.za

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