Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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MSC Nitya B, maiden call at Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
 MSC Nitya B.   Picture: Trevor Jones

With Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) reported to be making a number of switches of ships to its South Africa – North West Continent (NWC) service one can expect several ‘new’ ships appearing in Durban, Ngqura and Cape Town as well as the Northern European ports. One of these appeared in Durban at the weekend, the 11,000-TEU MSC NITYA B (134,007-dwt, built 2017) which was phased in on voyage 1748, is making maiden calls at Durban, Port Elizabeth/Ngqura, Cape Town, Las Palmas, London Gateway, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp and Le Havre on the north leg. MSC Nitya B, which is one of five ships taken recently on bareboat charter from Canada’s Seaspan Corporation, is replacing the 8,800-TEU MSC Desiree (111,300-dwt) on the NWC service, being one of a reported five such changes. MSC Desiree is currently at Durban’s cross berth 108 on the container terminal. MSC Nitya B flies the flag of Portugal. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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The workboat Uqoyi in Durban harbour. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Uqoyi in Durban harbour. Picture: Keith Betts

In another incident involving departmental marine services at the Port of Durban, a workboat named UQOYI used to ferry mooring rope handlers to ships arriving or departing from the harbour, capsized at approximately 12h30 on Friday 17 November.

The accident occurred while the two harbour tugs UTHUKELA and LOTHENI were bringing in the 49,999-dwt tanker GAN-TRUST to berth at Island View 6. The chemical and oil products tanker was under pilotage at the time.

According to TNPA the mooring lines, presumably secured to the Uqoyi, became tangled around the tug Lotheni’s propellers (Voith Schneider blades) which resulted in the workboat capsizing, throwing a number of the personnel on board into the water. Those on board were all employees of the TNPA.

All those crew who went into the bay were rescued and three were later taken to hospital for assessment but were discharged the same afternoon.

Port manager Moshe Motlohi said that shipping delays could be anticipated while the tug Lotheni undergoes a full assessment.

Coincidentally, the new tug USIBA which was handed over to Transnet earlier that day, was due to depart for the port of Cape Town at the weekend and could have been retained to help out at Durban until Lotheni was passed for duty.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has been informed of the matter.


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Top: CEO of Southern African Shipyards, Prasheen Maharaj, TNPA GM: Commercial & Marketing and Lady Sponsor of UMKHOMAZI, Lauriette Sesoko, and Port Manager: Port of Durban Moshe Motlohi, with the port’s new UMKHOMAZI tug. Picture: TNPA

Umkhomazi on the floating dock and about to be launched into the waters of Durban Bay. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Top: CEO of Southern African Shipyards, Prasheen Maharaj, TNPA GM: Commercial & Marketing and Lady Sponsor of UMKHOMAZI, Lauriette Sesoko, and Port Manager: Port of Durban Moshe Motlohi, with the port’s new UMKHOMAZI tug. Picture: TNPA
Lower picture: Umkhomazi on the floating dock and shortly to be launched into the waters of Durban Bay. Picture: Terry Hutson

The penultimate tug being built for Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) as part of its R1.4 billion, nine-tug construction contract, was launched into the waters of Durban Bay on Friday at Southern African Shipyards.

Named UMKHOMAZI, meaning ‘place of cow whales’ in isiZulu, the latest tug will serve at the Port of Durban. All nine tugs are being built by Southern African Shipyards at their shipyard at Bayhead in Durban.

Umkhomazi follows the port’s tradition of naming its marine fleet after local rivers. She is…


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The tanker Mersini. Picture: courtesy Shipspotting, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The tanker Mersini, which rescued the sailors. Picture: courtesy Shipspotting

Four South African sailors were rescued off the coast of Mozambique early on Thursday (16 November) after the yacht KINDA MAGIC released a distress signal.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Cape Town was notified at about 06h50 of a yacht in possible distress. The Kinda Magic was reported to be about 215 km from Ilha Do Fogo (in Mozambique) and approximately 175 km directly from shore. The yacht…


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Conference banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Côte d’Ivoire conference 6-9 November

From an IMO briefing of 17 November it has been learnt that participants at a regional conference discussed a number of topics, including relevant international and regional legislation, exercising and training, use of oil spill dispersants, trans-boundary cooperation and shoreline clean-up.

It was reported that the regional conference of countries in west, central and southern Africa have now committed themselves to continue to work at national and regional levels to boost preparedness to deal with…

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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(left to rght) Revd Paul Richardson, Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, Missionary Jessie John, Chaplain Steve van Schalkwyk with their certificates, appearing in Africaq PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
(left to rght) Revd Paul Richardson, Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, Missionary Jessie John, Chaplain Steve van Schalkwyk with their certificates

Sailors’ Society SA celebrated its 140th anniversary by holding a well attended service in the Durban Glenwood Presbyterian Church on 19 November.

Led by the Revd William Pool with the Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, Principal Chaplain, participating, tribute was paid to those who from 1877 built up the Society to what it is today. The Sailors’ Society of SA is a Christian Mission organisation established in Durban in 1877 by Mrs Marie Schulz, wife of Durban’s Medical Officer of Health who recognised the need to provide a welfare service for seafarers visiting the port.

Representatives from the various Missions and organisations associated with Sailors’ Society who was present delivered messages of good wishes and others were read. Chairman of Sailors Society SA, Mr Barry Haley presented Chaplains with certificates for their years of devotion to seafarers. Recipients were the Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, Revd Paul Richardson, Missionary Jessie John, Chaplain Steve van Schalkwyk from Cape Town and Ds Danie Taljard from Port Elizabeth.

It was also a particular honour to have received warm greetings from the Chief Executive, Sailors’ Society in the UK, Mr Stuart Rivers who unfortunately could not attend. In his message he sketched the present projects as well as looking to the future.

Continuing to value the collaboration between the sister societies in South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, avenues and areas are continually being explored where we can collaborate, extend and develop the work of the Societies, he wrote. The partnership is one of like-mindedness, serving seafarers and their families, servicing our shared ministry and serving God.

He explained the programmes they have developed to assist seafarers whilst in port and at sea. The Wellness at Sea Programme, e-Learning platform and App which looks at seafarer wellness and well-being through a holistic lens. A Crisis Response Network has also been set up.

“Our vision for the future is to continue to extend the above services in ports around the world, and provide platforms for other maritime charities in terms of digital technology. We have an innovative digital strategy, which enables us to provide greater continuity of care to seafarers around the world through real time reporting. Our work is global and you are an integral part of this dynamic ministry. We stand together with you today and in the future as one global Christian organisation with a passion for shared ministry,” he said.

Today the Society provides a free service for the wellbeing of seafarers who visit the ports annually irrespective of their nationality, gender, culture and faith. These services are as much in demand now as they have been during the last 140 years, and now includes trauma counselling for survivors of piracy attacks and disasters at sea.

The Sailors’ Society of Southern Africa, from its humble beginnings, has ‘lived’ through two world wars serving seafarers. The Society is a dynamic organisation using modern technology and developing techniques to assist seafarers in the fast developing and turbulent times we now find ourselves in and still maintaining its tenet of ‘being good Samaritans to those who go out on the oceans’.

by Yvonne de Kock


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RFA Tidespring arrives Portsmouth, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

RFA Tidespring. Photographs UK MoD Crown copyright 2017 ©, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
RFA Tidespring. Photographs UK MoD Crown copyright 2017 ©

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new tanker RFA Tidespring has sailed into Portsmouth ahead of her dedication ceremony on 27 November. This was reported by the Ministry of Defence on 16 November.

The 39,000 tonne (displacement) tanker will be brought into service with the RFA – the civilian-manned fleet of support vessels which provide fuel, food and stores for Royal Navy warships all over the world. The RFA is a civilian-manned fleet owned by the Ministry of Defence and is the largest UK employer of British merchant seamen.

Tidespring and her three…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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some of the Zululand school learners who will benefit from the use of the computers, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
some of the learners who will benefit from the use of the computers

During November 2017, Transnet handed over 50 desktop computers and 10 laptops in an official handover ceremony that took place at the Madoda Hall in Empangeni.

The computers that were donated in partnership with one of Transnet’s suppliers, Dunlop Industrial Africa, have been distributed and installed with all relevant programmes to nine identified schools in the King Cetshwayo District of KZN. This empowering initiative was undertaken by TPT to provide the previously disadvantaged learners attending the identified schools with the tools needed to succeed in today’s technologically dependent world.

Transnet worked closely with all five tribal authorities in the area to select the beneficiary schools which include Qhamuka High School, Somopho Primary School, Macekane Primary School, Mandlanzini Primary School, Maqwabe Primary School, Manzimpofu Primary School, Uyengo High School, Sbonokuhle High School and Zibone Primary School.

“We are proud to be part of an initiative that will undoubtedly ignite a passion for learning at these identified public schools. These computers are a much needed asset to the schools’ computer labs hence we have encouraged the students to take advantage of these new resources to excel in their studies. They will also acquire general computer skills which will undoubtedly put them in good stead for the future,” said Thandi Sabelo, TPT Executive Manager for Supply Chain Management.

“Dunlop Industrial Africa is one of the contractors for Transnet Port Terminals who provided the supply and delivery of conveyor belts at our terminals. Through a Supplier Development contractual agreement in place between TPT and the contractor, a percentage of the total contractual value goes towards community upliftment. As a direct result of Dunlop’s contractual agreement with us, we were able to partner with them to fulfil this particular CSI initiative. Transnet and its Operating Divisions are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of members of the community in which we operate, and this is the perfect demonstration of such commitment,” she said.

During the formal proceedings, Dunlop Industrial Africa’s Managing Director, Mbuso Thabethe, spoke highly of their interactions with Transnet including the Supplier Development programme and was so blown away by the impact these computers will have on the schools and community in the area, that amidst cheers and great applause he committed a further 50 desktops and 10 laptops from Dunlop to be contributed to the CSI initiative coordinated by TPT.

Mr David Chonco, Department of Education District Director, expressed his sincere gratitude by saying, “As a District, we are so very grateful to Transnet. This donation is not only one of much needed educational resources for our students and teachers, but it also gives us hope that the spirit of Ubuntu is alive and well in our community. Our sincerest thanks also to the Transnet Port Terminals team who visited us and selected our schools to receive these donated computers – we are truly honoured and proud and will ensure our students appreciate and capitalise on the immense opportunities that this will create for them.”

This particular handover follows on from a number of other supplier and business development initiatives carried out by Transnet Port Terminals.

Earlier on this year, TPT concluded a SMME Development programme in conjunction with Economic Development Tourism & Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and the Coastal TVET College in Hammarsdale that provided a boost of more than R2 million to youth owned rural Co-operatives in KwaZulu-Natal. This was through the supply of barbed-wire and toilet paper manufacturing machines that enabled nine youth owned rural Co-operatives to thrive through the financial and business support provided.

A number of other SMME focused programmes have been rolled out by TPT across the country in 2017 in an effort to support local communities and contribute to the economic growth of the various regions’ and country’s economy.


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.


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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.


Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.



Amber II, IMO 9604031. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Amber II, IMO 9604031 at Durban. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Amber II, IMO 9604031. Picture: Keith Betts

The products tanker AMBER II arrived in port at Durban earlier in November for a berth at Island View. Built in 2012 at the Wenzhou Xinwanyu Ship Industry shipyard in Yueqing, China, the 6763-dwt tanker is owned and managed by Coral Shipping, an Athens, Greece shipping company, and is flagged in the Marshall Islands. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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