Ports & Ships Maritime News

Sep 28, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Transnet NPA calls for public comment re Port Rules

  • French offer to protect UN food ships from Somali pirates welcomed by UN and WFP

  • Wanted: two engineers for Antarctica

  • Departmental squabble holds up Mombasa cargo

  • SA and Sweden to build on strong ties

  • Pic of the day – BBC ZARATE

    Transnet NPA calls for public comment re Port Rules

    A series of public consultative meetings has been called by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to give port users the opportunity for comment on the draft Port Rules and Harbour Master’s Written Instructions.

    Once finalised the Port Rules will be issued in terms of section 80(2) of the National Ports Act (Act 12 of 2005), and the Harbour Master’s Written Instructions, which relate to the handling of bulk flammable liquids and the handling of flammable liquid containers, will be issued in terms of section 74(3) of the National Ports Act (Act 12 of 2005) and the Port Rules.

    Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has issued for notice and comment draft Port Rules and Harbour Master’s Written Instructions.

    Copies of the draft Port Rules and Harbour Master’s Written Instructions are available on the Authority’s website and can be accessed via www.transnet.net. Copies may also be purchased between from the respective ports for a fee of R50.00 (in lieu of photocopying costs), from:

    Interested and affected parties are invited to submit written comments to the TNPA by 5pm on 19 November 2007, for the attention of Gaynor Kast, Transnet National Ports Authority Spokesperson (tel 011 351 9021 or 083 271 4350), in one of the following ways:

  • By hand: Transnet National Ports Authority Head Office, 30 Wellington Road, Parktown, Johannesburg
  • By post: PO Box 32696, Braamfontein, 2017
  • By fax: 011 351 9023
  • By email to: portsact@transnet.net

    Written comments received after the closing date may be disregarded.

    Prior to this deadline, public meetings for consultation on the draft Port Rules and Harbour Master’s Written Instructions will be held at the respective ports, as set out below. At these meetings, the draft Port Rules and Harbour Master’s Written Instructions and their consequences will be explained, questions will be answered, written comments will be invited, oral comments will be recorded and views from members of the audience will be documented.

    Port of Cape Town
    Venue: 10th Floor Boardroom, Transnet National Ports Authority offices, Port of CT
    Date: 29/10/07. Time: 08:30 – 16:00

    Port of Saldanha Bay
    Venue: Protea Hotel, Saldanha Bay
    Date: 30/10/07. Time: 08:30 – 16:00

    Port of Durban
    Venue: International Convention Centre, Durban
    Date: 01/11/07. Time: 08:30 – 16:00

    Port of Richards Bay
    Venue: Elwazini, Bayvue Centre, Transnet National Ports Authority offices, Richards Bay
    Date: 02/11/07. Time: 08:30 – 16:00

    Port of Mossel Bay
    Venue: Pinnacle Point Hotel, Mossel Bay
    Date: 05/11/07. Time: 08:30 – 16:00

    Port of Port Elizabeth
    Venue: Summerstrand Inn Hotel, Port Elizabeth
    Date: 06/11/07. Time: 08:30 – 16:00

    Port of East London
    Venue: The Golf Club, East London
    Date: 07/11/07. Time: 08:30 – 16:00

    For further information regarding these public meetings, interested parties may contact Gaynor Kast (tel: 011 351 9021, 083 271 4350 or

    Kindly note that if there is any inconsistency between the English and Afrikaans texts of this notice, the English text will prevail.

    source - TNPA

    French offer to protect UN food ships from Somali pirates welcomed by UN and WFP

    27 September 2007 (UN News) – Faced with the risk of mounting piracy off the coast of Somalia at a time when it is increasing its shipments to feed over a million hungry people in the strife-torn country, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed France’s offer to provide naval escorts to protect its vessels.

    WFP and the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have jointly appealed high-level international action to stamp out the piracy, which saw 17 attacks in the first half of 2007 compared with eight in the same period last year. In 2005, an upsurge of piracy, including the hijacking of two ships contracted for WFP, forced the Agency to suspend all deliveries by sea for some weeks.

    “We are grateful to the Government of France for this generous offer, which would reduce the threat of piracy and allow WFP to feed more hungry people in Somalia,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said.

    Ms Sheeran also thanked the multinational coalition naval force off Somalia for its increased surveillance in recent months and said she hoped it would continue.

    Some 80 per cent of WFP food assistance for Somalia moves by sea, and pirate attacks threaten to cut the main supply route, jeopardising rations for the 1.2 million people WFP expects to be feeding by the end of 2007 as drought, floods and factional fighting take their toll.

    The French proposal envisions a two-month period during which naval vessels would escort ships carrying WFP food assistance as they traverse Somali waters. Ships would be escorted to the entrance of the port of Mogadishu, the capital.

    WFP is increasing its food distributions in Somalia and has to ship more food just as the stormy monsoon season is coming to an end, Ms Sheeran said.

    Before the onset of the monsoon in June, increasing pirate attacks had cut by half the number of ships WFP contracts to transport food.

    Without escorts, WFP fears the pirates will return as the heavy monsoon seas calm, allowing them to start hunting for ships again.

    Most of the pirate assaults did not appear aimed at seizing cargo but rather designed to force ship owners to pay ransom for the vessels and crew held hostage. The pirates are highly mobile, manning fast boats and using satellite position-fixing gear to attack ships far out at sea, sometimes more than 200 nautical miles off the Somali coast.

    In 2006, WFP delivered some 78,000 metric tonnes of food to 1.4 million people affected by drought and floods in southern Somalia alone.

    Wanted: Two engineers for Antarctica

    The South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) has issued an invite for two engineers to be part of its next voyage to the Antarctica which is certain to be an opportunity of a lifetime.

    The South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP), DEAT’s Antarctica programme, is searching for a Mechanical Engineer and a Electronic Engineer to be part of the next Antarctic overwintering team. The selected engineers will be expected to embark on a training programme before the departure scheduled for 4 December 2007.

    The Mechanical Engineer will be responsible for a specialised vehicle fleet and all mechanical systems and the Electronic Engineer will be responsible for all electronic equipment as the base in the Antarctica is operating on a computer monitoring system.

    Prospective candidates will be qualified engineers or have extensive experience with a technikon qualification.

    In addition to an adventure of a lifetime, competitive salaries are offered.

    South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) is responsible for the logistics and scientific support to the Marion and Gough islands and Antarctica South African base stations. Expedition members are recruited annually to overwinter in these 3 bases (13 - 15 months).

    Interested individuals should contact Gideon van Zyl (021 405 9420 or 083 662 1172) or Henry Valentine (021 405 9404 or 083 306 7084) for more detail.

    Source DEAT www.deat.gov.za

    Departmental squabble holds up Mombasa cargo

    Hopes of easing the container congestion at Mombasa have been dashed, at least temporarily while the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) try to sort out red tape and bureaucratic differences.

    As a result of the impasse importers face additional surcharges levied by shipping lines because vessels in port cannot be cleared more quickly. A vessel delay surcharge of $200 for TEU for southbound containers and $100 per TEU for northbound boxes will apply from 1 October.

    The problem arises from a decision by the KPA to contract two container freight stations (container depots) outside the port to handle excess cargo awaiting clearance to importers. The KRA however says that all its conditions be met before the boxes can leave the Mombasa Container Terminal, even though the two depots are run by the KPA.

    The KPA is maintaining that all it is doing is moving containers around within its own terminals to ease congestion within the port itself and that it (the KPA) still retains possession of the imported cargo, which in effect remains custom-bonded. It says that the demand by the Revenue Authority for fresh guarantees is tantamount to punishing importers unnecessarily.

    The KRA, which is clearly not recognising the two depots as being part of the port itself, is insisting that cash bonds be posted before containers are allowed to leave the port and states that these will not be cancelled until all clearance procedures have been completed.

    The port authority is also complaining over the KRA’s refusal to agree to a 24-hour operation aimed at hastening the clearing of containers from the port. The port’s chief operations officer, Capt Twalib Khamis told the East African newspaper that although the port had begun a 24-hour, 7-day programme, some government departments were not playing their part.

    "We still have no verification at night and delivery of transit cargo is not allowed at night. We believe that once these issues are resolved, the congestion will be reduced and the port performance will improve," he said.

    Khamis said that the delivery of cargo from the port by rail and road was not matching the rapid inflow of containers and this has created congestion of containers in the yard and affected port performance. The port of Mombasa is experiencing a 30 percent increase in container volumes.

    source – East African

    SA and Sweden to build on strong ties

    by David Masango (BuaNews)

    Pretoria - South Africa and Sweden will hold their fifth Bi-National Commission (BNC) next week to further strengthen existing robust political and economic ties.

    Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will lead a South African delegation to Sweden, where she will be hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson for the BNC deliberations.

    Addressing reporters at the Union Buildings Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General Gert Grobler emphasised the "special relationship" that existed between South Africa and Sweden, dating back to the time when Sweden and other Nordic countries supported the struggle against the apartheid rule.

    As a result of the strong relationship and solidarity that exists between the two countries, their Heads of State in 1999 decided that in order to give further substance to relations between both countries, a BNC should be created, Mr Grobler said.

    "We utilise the BNC, to amongst others, have a very active and in depth political dialogue between South Africa and Sweden on issues related to our bilateral relations, regional and continental and global issues where we share many common positions," he explained.

    He assured that Sweden's foreign policy had not changed significantly under the new government that took over in 2006.

    "The foreign policy of Sweden has always been based on respect for human rights and international law and working very closely with the developing world.

    "In terms of our relations under the new government, it has been more of the same with excellent co-operation between the two countries and governments," added Mr Grobler.

    He said trade relations between the two countries were growing rapidly, adding that the total trade between South Africa and Sweden currently amounted to R10 billion coming off a very low base in 1994.

    However, he expressed concern that South Africa imported double the amount that it exported.

    "We import approximately R6.5 billion from Sweden and we export about R3.5 billion. These are one of the issues of the BNC: to address this skewed trade relationship," he said.

    The two countries have been working together since 1994 on a host of issues related to development co-operation to reduce poverty, inequality, vulnerability.

    "There are various highly commendable projects in many of the provinces. We have been working very closely with them in the health sector to, amongst others, combat HIV and AIDS. And SIDA [Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency] has been an excellent partner in that they have very closely aligned their support and assistance to South Africa with our own national objectives and priorities in the various sectors in which we co-operate," Mr Grobler explained.

    The Deputy President will also rally support for the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) with the aim of forging a formal government-to-government skills development partnership, said Mr Grobler.

    Ms Mlambo Ngcuka and her business delegation are expected to participate in an investment seminar jointly hosted by South Africa and Sweden.

    Also taking place in the next month is the South Africa-European Union (SA-EU) Troika Ministerial meeting.

    The meeting aims to elevate its relations between South Africa and the EU to a higher level beyond the framework provided for by the South Africa-EU Trade and Development Co-operation Agreement (TDCA).

    Grobler said it was critically important that should South Africa enter into such an arrangement with the EU that it wanted that mechanism to promote the interests of the SADC region and the African continent.

    "We made this very clear that we would always, in our engagement with the EU, factor in our relations with the region and continent," stressed Grobler.

    That stance, he said, was taken forward in a number of meetings including the SA-EU Ministerial Troika where the parties agreed on a strategic partnership and that they should continue to work on a joint-country strategic paper and focus on a joint action plan that was inclusive.

    Following a meeting on 14 May this year, the parties agreed on a joint action plan for the establishment of a South Africa-EU strategic partnership, said Grobler.

    Some of the issues that are contained in the joint action plan include:

    * holding high level political talks in a Troika format twice a year - once in Europe and once in South Africa;
    * ongoing high level ad hoc meetings on issues of common interest; joint co-operation council consisting of senior officials to meet twice a year and
    * providing a regular summit with President Mbeki, members of the EU troika and other EU members where necessary.

    "This Strategic Partnership has elevated South Africa's relations with the EU and the forthcoming SA-EU Ministerial Troika meeting will further strengthen and consolidate this relationship to which we have agreed.

    "We will also focus strongly on trade and economic issues. We would like to use this mechanism to further strengthen trade relations with the EU and also to revitalise the SA-EU TDCA," he explained.

    The meeting will be held on 10 October and will be co-chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; the Portuguese Foreign Minister and current EU President Luis Armado.

    Pic of the day – BBC ZARATE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The general cargo ship BBC ZARATE (9,608-gt) carrying a variety of heavy cargo items as deck cargo, including some items of earthmoving equipment. The Antigua and Barbuda-registered ship is on charter BBC Chartering and Logistics and entered service earlier this year. The BBC fleet consists of more than 140 modern, multipurpose heavylift vessels. Photograph by Arie Burggraaf

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