4 December 2012 –
|London, December 4, 2012 – South Africa showcased its maritime expertise and cadets in London last night (Tuesday) highlighting to European shipping lines that the country’s maritime industry was open for business to supply high quality officers to international fleets. On board South Africa’s former SA Agulhas 1, which was docked next to the HMS Belfast in London Bridge, Sindiswe Chikunga, deputy minister of Transport captured South Africa’s role in leading the African continent towards crucial investment in the maritime sector with the supply of experienced maritime professionals.
Led by the South African Maritime Association the SA Agulhas 1 journey started in Cape Town on November 2, and travelled through Africa with 62 cadets – 12 of which are West African. The vessel will return to Cape Town to deliver an expedition team that will attempt the first ever winter crossing of the Antarctic, called the “Coldest Journey Ever”.
“Our South African maritime industry is open for business. We will be most encouraged to partner particularly with those who employ seafarers in order to give our seafarers an opportunity to support international trade.
“It makes business sense that in creating the supply market that we are influenced by the ever changing demands of your businesses which currently are recovering from the global economic and financial crisis,” Chikunga said.
Shipping operators representing world recognised fleets, members of the International Maritime Organisation witnessed at first hand the splendour of the Agulhas 1 as a Dedicated Training Vessel.
There are over 1.5 million seafaring jobs available in the major fleets, and while South Africa only contributed 2 500 towards those jobs, SAMSA was playing a crucial role towards world trade. With the African economy expected to grow by about 7% year on year, most countries in the continent were rebuilding their ports infrastructure to handle the additional trade required to fuel this high growth continent. In this way marine cadets from across the continent could find a natural home on a shipping line.
SAMSA CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele said: “We are not putting a case for an insular continent which deals with itself. But we want to play a role to contribute towards the global sea trade. South Africa is producing cadet officers of a high calibre that should be a solution to the global market. We know the world markets are recovering from a crisis. Shipping is the answer for a balanced economy and world trade.”
South African High Commissioner to the United KingdomDr Zola Skweiyiya said it was crucial to encourage SAMSA and the government to find jobs, and for the nations of Africa participating in the maritime programme to ensure better opportunities for Africans across the continent.
Shipping lines representative Peter Curtis of C-Span Ship Management expressed support for the SAMSA initiative saying it was “remarkable”, and has supported the calibre of training and expertise of South Africa’s maritime corps. “We have witnessed the threat the shortage of officers has had on business. I will continue to come to South Africa and shop in Simonstown for cadets,” he said, applauding the country’s seaside town for its calibre of maritime professionals.
Pictures can be accessed here Pictures supplied by SAMSA.Please find captions for the pictures enclosed on the link
Issued by FBI Communications in collaboration with Blue Leaf Communications on behalf of SAMSA
Media Enquiries to be directed to:
London, Hamza Tebai (email@example.com) or cell + 44 77 1980 2875
South Africa, Silindiwe Dube (firstname.lastname@example.org) or cell +27 72 744 2865