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Young crew and international scientists set sail to Antarctica on board Agulhas

Twenty young South African cadets will face freezing conditions to fulfill their dreams of becoming role-players in the maritime industry in South Africa and abroad.

The cadets, aged from 20-27, fresh from their academic studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Durban University of Technology (DUT) have set sail on the country’s dedicated cadet training vessel, the SA Agulhas.

The ship under the command of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) embarked on a scientific expedition to Antarctica last Friday (November 24), taking part in an international research expedition with scientists from India.

The vessel will transverse through the Indian ocean with its first stop in Mauritius, to collect the scientists, and then head to Antarctica to spend three months on a research mission.

It is the cadets, recruited for various on board technical functions, maiden journey.

The SA Agulhas is expected to reach Antarctica in four weeks.

As part of its crew the vessel has 19 deck cadets and one engine cadet, of which 12 are males and eight are females. The South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) has been appointed to manage the cadets and training operations for the Antarctic voyage.

Before setting out the Cadets completed Medical Exams, Induction, Designated Security Duties (DSD) and Personal Survival Techniques (PST), required for the long cold yet exciting journey ahead.

Once the working vessel returns the cadets will be expected to complete the Marine Fire Fighting (FF), First Aid At Sea (FAAS) and the Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) courses in 2018.

Cadet Profiles

Nompumelelo Ngubane

Nompumelelo Ngubane (24) is from Kwamashu, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal and is looking forward to gaining experience during the expedition which will help to fulfil her dream of becoming a Master of a ship one day. She is pursuing Maritime Studies at DUT and has completed her S2 level.

Phakamile Xaki

Phakamile Xaki (23) is from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape. Phakamile is excited to go on the expedition and looks forward to the adventure ahead. He has completed his S4 in Maritime Studies at DUT and one of his goals is to complete his 12 month practical training with SAMSA.

Salusa Tsengiwe

Saluse Tsengiwe (20) is from Khayelitsha, Cape Town, and is determined to perform well and complete his practical experience on the expedition. He aspires to complete the Certificate of Competence, Masters Ticket (highest practical certification). He said one of the highlights of the journey would be to meet the Indian scientists who will board in Mauritius for the trip. Saluse is studying Navigation and Maritime Studies at CPUT and has completed his S2 in Maritime Studies.

Siphesihle Mkize

Siphesihle Imryn Mkize (22) was born in Pietermaritzburg but grew up in Johannesburg. Once qualified he hopes to pursue a career in the Maritime Industry as he believes it is an honourable career path.
He has completed his S4 in Maritime Studies at DUT

Mluleki Khwela

Mluleki Khwela (23) is from Umbumbulu near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Mluleki is excited to go on the expedition and wants to succeed in the practical experience to enable him to pursue a fulltime career with SAMSA. He studied at DUT and completed his S4 in Maritime Studies.

Ayanda Mija

Ayanda Mija (20) is from Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal and is excited to go on the expedition. She is looking forward to succeed in the practical experience to enable her to pursue a fulltime career at SAMSA. As the oldest of three girls Ayanda wants to educate young girls about the exciting career opportunities in the maritime sector. She is currently studying at DUT and has completed her S2 in Maritime Studies.

Zandile Ngwabe

Zandile Ngwabe (28) is originally from Umlazi in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Zandile is excited to be part of the programme and said the expedition would allow her to gain practical experience and enable her to learn more about the maritime industry. She is completing her Maritime Studies at DUT.

Lindokuhle Majola

Lindokuhle Majola ( 21) is from Kwadukuza, Durban,KwaZulu-Natal. He sees himself as being one of South Africa’s top marine pilots in the next 15 years. Lindokuhle has completed his S4 in Maritime Studies at DUT.

Thembelihle Ntombela

Thembelihle Ntombela (24) is from Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal. Thembelihle said she felt blessed to part of this once in a life time opportunity. She said sailing from continent to continent had been a childhood dream. Being part of the expedition has fuelled her ambition to pursue a career at sea.

Muziwenkosi Mbanjwa

Muziwenkosi Mbanjwa, (24) is from Mandeni, KwaZulu-Natal, and is looking forward in taking part in the intensive training as he aspires to be an officer in the near future. He completed his S4 in Maritime Studies at DUT. Muziwenkosi said the expedition was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Majaha Kelvin Dube

Majaha Kelvin Dube (22) is from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Majaha sees himself as having a fulltime career in the maritime sector. He said he liked the fact that the industry did not get monotonous and offered the opportunity to travel all around the world. He has completed his S4 in Maritime Studies at DUT.

Sikelelwa Nogabhe

Sikelelwa Nogabhe (23) is from Cape Town in the Western Cape. She believes that the maritime environment is special and unique. Her goal is to become a ship Master or Captain. She is studying Maritime Studies at CPUT and has completed her S2 in Maritime Studies.

Sibusiso Khawula

Sibusiso Khawula (22) is from the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Sibusiso said he was excited and ready to learn new experiences on the scientific expedition. He aspires to be a Marine Pilot. He is currently studying Maritime Studies at DUT and has completed his S3.

Kishan Patel

Kishan Patel (20) is from the Western Cape, who said he was very excited about the long journey and had always wanted to pursue a career in the maritime industry. He plans to work with cargo and container vessels and his main goal is to be a Ship Master. He is pursuing Maritime Studies at CPUT and has completed his S2.

Thuthukani Manana

Thuthukani Manana (23), from KwaZulu-Natal said this experience will open doors for him. He aspires to be a Ship Master one day and said this trip would bring him a step closer to his goal. Thuthukani is a maritime student at DUT. He has completed S2 in Maritime Studies.

Alain Le Sueur

Alain Le Sueur (27) is from the Western Cape and very excited about the expedition. He said his childhood dream was to go to the North Pole and travel to space. He said although there were many types of seafarers he was working towards becoming a Deck Officer.
Alain is a student of Maritime Studies at CPUT and has completed his S2.

Nothando Minange

Nothando Minange (21) is from Newlands East in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She said she wanted to have fun and learn new things during the journey to Antarctica. When she has completed her studies, she wants to become a Marine Safety Training Facilitator. She is pursuing Maritime Studies at DUT and has completed S4.

Clementine Dlamini

Clementine Dlamini (21) is from Mandeni in KwaZulu-Natal. Clementine said she was excited about the expedition and could not wait to acquire new knowledge in Antarctica. She is pursuing Maritime Studies at DUT and has completed S4.

Cassandra Arends

Cassandra Arends (20) is from Stellenbosch, Western Cape. Cassandra said her aim was to become captain of a ship someday. She loves putting things together and making sure passengers feel safe when on-board. Cassandra is studying at CPUT and has completed her S2 in Maritime Studies.

Pranav Maharaj

Pranav Maharaj (21) is from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and is the only engine cadet travelling to Antarctica. He said to be the only cadet working in the heart of the vessel was very excited to sail to Antarctica for this once in a life time opportunity. He has a National Diploma in Engineering and is completing his Maritime Studies at DUT.


  1. Thobelani on at 2:49 pm

    Wow congratulations to the young cadets makes us proud we right behind you # DUT, CPUT, SAMSA, S.A

  2. Make us proud and enjoy this unique experience – all of you are the future of South Africa’s maritime industry

  3. Bongekile on at 7:38 pm

    Make the most of all the experience you will be getting onboard. Calm seas never make a good sailor, happy sailing.

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