The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)in partnership with the Port St. Johns Local Municipality and the Port St. Johns Development Agency is proud to launch the Maritime Partnership Program (MPP), where 104 young people residing within the Port St. Johns(PSJ) local municipality are earmarked to benefit.
The young people are aged between 16 and 35, and all come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The MPP is a multi-stakeholder corporate social responsibility initiative involving the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence (KZNSB MCoE), SAMSA, the PSJ Development Agency and the PSJ local municipality.
Under the MPP, the local youth are being offered practical training in skills such as deep-sea diving and lifeguarding.
The MPP is a comprehensive integrated programme with a holistic approach. Its offering includes leadership, entrepreneurship, and community service training; adding to the practical skills training already being offered.
Of the 104 youths earmarked to be trained under the programme, 32 youths are already receiving training which is scheduled to be completed by September 25, 2017. Their training started on July 5, 2017.
The training of the remaining 71 will take place after the training of first group has been completed.
The programme is accredited by the Sector Education Training Authority (SETA). The KZNSB MCoE, which is facilitating the training, has enlisted skilled professionals from various sectors to deliver specialized training to the youth.
Below are the profiles of the 32 Eastern Cape candidates who are already receiving training.
29-year-old Luthando Mamani, from Mthumbane situated in the Eastern Cape says, Its initiatives like these by the South African Maritime Safety Authority that sow seeds of hope to those who aspire to work at sea as they help with providing them with skills. Mamani said: “I look forward to the programme and want to adhere to the programme requirements; at this stage I am so hopeful that someday I become something out of this initiative.”
Vincent Sapho Luraga
A career in maritime has been anchored to Vincent Sapho Luraga’s vision as the 27 year old professed he aspires to be a commercial diver someday. Luraga who is currently involved in the Maritime Partnership Programme said he hopes the programme opens up doors to showcase the skills he has been equipped with. “I am excited because I could not afford to pay for the programme. I see myself as a commercial diver someday,” he said.
Clarence Fletcher aged 32 from Mthumbane says he hopes the programme opens up vast opportunities for him so he can contribute to the maritime sector in the future. Fletcher said: “My hopes are that the programme escalates to maximum level so as to open opportunities for me in future.” Fletcher also mentioned coming from an area surrounded by natural resources will make it easier for him to locate more opportunities in the maritime sector that are willing to be exploited.
Thembile Mayuze, 31, from Cwebeni location said being part in the collation that is training the youth with maritime skills programme that will help him add on to the skills he already has. “Having a lifeguard and my matric certificate, being part of this programme gives me the opportunity to add on to the qualifications that I have and become a commercial diver,” she said.
Avela Mseswa, 24, from Qoboshendlini location who currently holds a business certificate from PC College said he will use this opportunity to merge the experience he has to birth a vision that will stir him into becoming a renowned business owner in the maritime sector someday. “I hold a business certificate through PC College, through this programme I see myself as a lifesaver and a business owner in the marine sector,” he said. He added its initiatives like these that give the youth the opportunity to manifest talents they never knew they had and use them to make a difference in the lives of many.
Aviwe Maboko, 26, from Manteku is just a local guy who is in love with water sports and has a burning passion for life saving and diving. Being in this programme she described gives her the ability to practice what she loves most. “Being Part of the programme makes me happy as I am passionate about life saving and water sports. I want to become a commercial diver,” she said.
Zandile Nozaza, 27, from Sicambeni is equipped with a lifesaving certificate. The 27-year-old is also aspiring to be a mariner who will one day sail from continent flying the South African Flag. Nozaza said: “I have a lifesaving certificate as well as the nature conservation on top of my matric certificate. I aim to enhance my skills to fit in the maritime sector. I also want to incorporate my driver’s licence with the skippers’ licence that I will obtain through the programme and drive boats and someday sail ships.” The youngster added they are very hopeful about the future.
Ndumiso Ndabambi, 32, from Mthumbane said he was feeling happy that he was given the opportunity to partake in a life changing programme that will help him beef up his existing qualifications to become a paramedic practitioner in ships. “I am feeling Happy to be part of the programme as I will combine my existing qualification, in the future I see myself as a paramedic practitioner in the ships,” he said. Ndabambi is a part of 33 students who are currently taking part in the Maritime Partnership Programme that provides maritime skills for the youth in Port Saint Johns.
Litha Nongayiyanga, 23, from Mthumbane is an aspiring commercial diver who hopes are latched into becoming one of South Africa’s renowned black commercial divers. “I am excited and hopeful as the programme is here to equip us. I aspire to be a commercial diver and with what they are teaching us in this programme, I’m confident that I will be the first in my family to choose this profession,” said Nongayiyanga.
Coming from an impoverish community with financial restrictions has been a tough challenge for Thandeka Duka. However after endless attempts to break barriers and to have a change of story, the 23-year-old through a Maritime Partnership Programme is turning her dreams into a reality. She said: “I am excited to be part of the programme as I am from a financially disadvantaged background and could not further my studies. I see myself an exceptional Lifeguard.”
With his mind set into investing his efforts and passion into the maritime sector, Mlungisi Maboza who is 25-years-old is currently enrolling in the Maritime Partnership Programme. He shared the programme has enlighten him that there is life at sea and there are diverse opportunities that are in the maritime sector. “This programme enlightens me to many opportunities in the marine sector. I want to be an HR Manager someday,” he said.
Nkululeko Mavimbela, 32, coming from a background which provided slim opportunities did not limit Mavimbela from hoping for a brighter future then a dim past. Mavimbela said: “To me this is an exciting programme; so far I am learning a lot and hopefully will be employed after completing this.” Mavimbela elaborated since the programme began, he has been equipped with skills that will last a lifetime and contribute into making a change into the maritime sector.
A career at sea was the last thing on Philani Msungubali’s mind as he grew up because he didn’t think he was good enough but throughout the past two weeks that has all changed as a burning and unending love for maritime was ignited. Msungubali aspires to be a certified commercial and scuba diver. He said: “I see myself with a commercial diving certificate and scuba diving. I am obtaining skills through this programme and enjoy the learning process.”
William James (brand ambassador)
Life at sea has always been the dream for William James from Mthumbane. With an unseized desire and passion for marine life and having a career that is aligned with maritime, the 27-year-old said he was happy to be in programme as he wants to become a water photographer. James also shared the programme will help him get maritime skills that will go a long way into helping get him a qualification as a commercial diver. “I am happy to be on the programme and I want to be a water photographer in future, I am looking forward to my commercial diving certificate,” said James.
Ncebakazi Qithi (brand ambassador)
Coming from a financially challenged background did not discourage Ncebakazi Qithi for hoping for a bright future, especially for one in the maritime industry. The 29-year-old expressed her excitement about pursuing a dream in which she thought would not be fulfilled before she reached old age. Qithi said: “I am excited about the programme, hopefully I will get employment in the marine sector especially S.A Navy. I have found that it is expensive to study any marine related studies and would not have afforded to finance my studies.”
Azolile Rawutini, 26, from Mthumbane said this programme would be one that would boost not only the image of their community as it will place it on the map. But it will also change the lives of those who aspired to be in the maritime sector but had not means or finances to further their studies to get involved. Rawutini has a fierce passion for commercial diving. Rawutini said: “I feel so excited and blessed to be part of the programme. As a community we are now working hand in hand and have a hope that the programme shall uplift us. Commercial diving is my passion.”
Msindisi Ndamase, 20, from Mthumbane is currently the hope of his family. The 20-year-old who is unemployed at the moment shared this programme has gave him something to look forward to as an unemployed person struggle to make ends meet in a challenging world. Ndamase says he wants to be a lifeguard and through the skills that are being taught in the Maritime Partnership Programme. That will become possible for him, resulting in him being the main breadwinner for his family. “I am unemployed, now that I am part of the programme I want to be a lifeguard and look forward to boat building and repairs course,” said Ndamase.
Mvula Rawutini, 29, from Mthumbane hopes after he gains the qualifications from the programme he will use them to benefit his community and help him secure a stable job. Rawutini said: “After the SAMSA qualifications I hope to find work as I am unemployed and also want to be helpful in our community.”
Nolizwi Ngqandana, 28, from Mbalane said the course will help her enhance the qualifications she has to her name. Ngqandana currently has a scuba diving and security certificate and now wants to obtain a qualification for commercial diving. She shared this would open a gate and pave a way into living the dream of being part of the family at sea and give her the opportunity to contribute positively in the PSJ and Eastern Cape community. “I have a grade 12 certificate, Scuba diving and security certificates. Now I want to focus on commercial diving and work in the marine sector. My aim is to contribute positively in PSJ and Eastern Cape at large,” she said.
Luxolo Ngcukana, 17, from Port Saint Johns in the CBD shared he has a passion for being a lifeguard and aspires to further his studies after completing matric in the maritime field. “I am currently doing my grade 11. My aim is to obtain my lifeguard certificate then study other courses related to the maritime industry after matric,” said Ngcukana.
Ziyanda Ndzombane, 23, who was restricted to further her studies due to financial constraints, shared the programme being offered to their community has revived hope in him and he aspires to be a professional commercial diver. “I am currently unemployed and have passed Grade 12 in 2012 with no hopes of studying further due to finances; it is a great opportunity to be part of this programme. I look forward to learn more about commercial diving,” said Ndzombane.
Sisipho Mabhude, 22, from Nonyevu says he sees himself as a commercial diver and through this programme hopes to take the skills he has learnt and put them to good use for his community. “I have a matric certificate and could not complete my B-ED qualification, I am now going to focus on this programme and study more. I indeed see myself as a commercial diver and want to help the PSJ community through the skills I’m learning at the programme,” said Mabhude.
Sinazo Gaxela, 28, from Sicambeni through this programme wants to spread her wings and look pursue a career in maritime abroad. Gaxela stated: “I am so excited to be in the programme. My aim is to work abroad with the skills that I will obtain from SAMSA.”
Nikhola Mpukwana, 22, from Gomolo is currently unemployed. She has a great passion for life at sea and desires to become a powerful business woman in the maritime industry. She said: “I obtained my matric certificate and cannot find work. If I can find work through this programme then I would study further and become a business woman.”
Avela Maguga, 27, from Mthumbane in the Eastern Cape aspires to become a business man. He has a passion for working with people and working as a unit. Through the skills offered by the programme he said he wants to use them to run his own business one day. “I am excited to be part of this great initiative, in the future I want to run my own business through the skills that the programme offers,” he stated.
Banzi Nyikima, 31, from Mthumbane is a qualified lifeguard who is currently without a job. Nyikima hopes this course opens doors for him in the maritime sector and he is very much passionate about commercial diving. He remarked: “As an unemployed qualified lifeguard and IT drop out due to lack of funding for my studies, I want to explore the field of diving and see how I can incorporate with IT and find work for myself.”
Ndiphiwe Mlondi, 33, from Mthumbane has always loved water sports. He was happy to be chosen as one of the 33 students would partake in a life changing programme that would equip the youth of Port Saint Johns with maritime skills. He has a great passion saving people and said: “I am happy to be part of the programme because I will be a lifeguard and that has always been my passion. I even pursued sports management and never completed due to finances.”
Mvuyiseko Langa, 25, from Mthumbane is a college student has worked as a lifeguard before. He wants to explore the diverse options in the maritime industry and venture into commercial diving. “I am a college student. I grabbed the opportunity of being part of the SAMSA programme, because I once worked as unqualified lifeguard but now through this programme I will be a qualified one. I want to be in commercial diving someday, “stated Langa.
Siyamcela Goniwe, 30, from Mthumbane has a passion for commercial diving and wants to use the opportunity offered to him to get a qualification for what he loves. “I’m an unqualified lifeguard and I feel happy to be part of the programme. I want to be a commercial diver and from the experience I get here I’m hoping to be the one changing the youth in my community through what I am learning,” expressed Goniwe.
Nomawethu Somakhephu, 23, from Noqhekwana plans to further her studies in maritime sciences after completing the Maritime Partnership Programme. She sees herself as a water photographer. “I obtained matric in 2016, if I can go to University I would study maritime sciences on top of what I will obtain through the programme. I see myself as a water photographer,” explained Somakhephu.
Nokubonga Mlungwana, 19, from Greens farm wants to pursue a career as a water photographer. The programme has given her and her family hope that she will have a brighter future. Mlungwana shared: “I have been staying at home hopless. I am excited to be on the programme and thankful for the opportunity that SAMSA is giving me. I want to study and be a water photographer.”
Andiswa Gcelu, 24, from Mthumbane in the Eastern Cape is pursuing her studies into becoming a qualified lifeguard. Gcelu has high hopes that the programme will open numerous opportunities for her in the maritime industry as she wants to become a seafarer. “I am honoured to be part of this programme because I was destitute at home with a job. This has given me hope and I hope that through this I can become a qualified seafarer,” said Andiswa.