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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The dredger Ilembe off the port of Durban, from an article appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: courtesy TNPA
Ilembe.       Picture: courtesy TNPA

Transnet’s hopper dredger ILEMBE (IMO 9741891) is currently deployed on a contract to distribute sea sand collected at the sand trap on the south side of the port’s South breakwater directly onto the beaches of Durban that have been denuded by erosion caused by severe storms and climate change.

The sand trap is a large hole in the sea bed dredged on a regular basis to catch sand being moved northward on the counter current. Ordinarily this sand would be deposited onto the main Durban beaches – the Golden Mile (in effect it is five miles) but the harbour breakwaters, the South and North Piers, disrupt this flow, resulting in sand building up against the South Pier and if left it spills around into the port entrance channel.

By dredging the sand trap much of the sand in motion falls into this hole or trap from where the dredger in turn removes it either to be deposited in deep water out at sea or into the sand hopper station that is due to be commissioned shortly which will pump the sand along Durban’s beaches replacing that which is lost to storms and wave action.

The current project is an emergency response to the dramatic loss of beach sand on several of the beaches – North Beach lost almost all its wide expanse of golden sand after a series of storms and other beaches were affected to various degrees.

Ilembe is seen here pumping sand from its hopper into an underwater pipe and discharged directly onto North Beach via a floating under-sea pipeline. After several weeks of this concerted action the beach is again fully restored. The same process was applied to the adjacent Dairy Beach and the dredger is now in operation near Battery Beach opposite the Suncoast Casino. You can read more on this topic in yesterday’s edition of Africa PORTS & SHIPS by CLICKING HERE. This picture is courtesy TNPA


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Nozipho Mdawe, new TNPA COO, from a article appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Nozipho Mdawe, new TNPA COO

As Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) settles into the new financial year 2018/19 its focus is on using its strengths to grow and diversify its business and to establish itself as a world class ports authority.

Ms Nozipho Mdawe has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective 21 May 2018. She takes over the role recently vacated by Ms Phyllis Difeto and briefly held in an acting capacity by former Durban Port Manager Mr Moshe Motlohi.

The role of TNPA COO has been expanded and will include: Marine Services, Aviation Services and Pilotage, Continuous Improvement, Port Planning, Lighthouses, SHE & Risk, Security, Emergency Management, Infrastructure, Dredging Services, Ship Repair, Port Control and Port Maintenance.

Ms Mdawe has most recently served as Secretary General of the Port Management Association for Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) in Kenya between July 2015 and April 2018.

Her Transnet career spans 14 years. She began in the Transnet Corporate Office in 2001, where she drove organisational transformation and worked to align the company’s Human Resources development strategies with organisational objectives and strategies.

At Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) she served for three years as a Business Unit Executive before moving to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), first as Area Production Manager for the Gauteng Cluster’s production and operations activities and then as Deputy General Manager for Inland Operations.

She was promoted and served as General Manager: Mineral Mining and Chrome at TFR between March 2012 and 2015, managing a complement of 1285 employees, turnover of R5.7 billion per annum with total volumes that grew from 18.6 million tons in 2013 to 24 million tons in 2014.

She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and is currently in her third year of studies towards a Doctoral Degree through the Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya.


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Moshe Motlohi, from a news report appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Moshe Motlohi

Former Durban Port Manager Mr Moshe Motlohi has been appointed permanently in the newly created role of General Manager: Corporate Affairs and External Relations, based in the Office of the Chief Executive.

The aim of the position is to manage, develop, facilitate and sustain effective stakeholder relations, and to create a single point of contact and engagement for all TNPA external stakeholders to ensure the achievement of TNPA objectives.

TNPA’s key stakeholders include, but are not limited…


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MV Victoria operating on Lake Victoria, appearing in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MV Victoria

The Tanzanian government has allocated 24.5 billion Shillings (approximately US$10.7 million) for the purchase of two new passenger ferries to operate on Lake Victoria and for the repair of five others.

There is a new drive to improve passenger and cargo transport on the lake to coincide with new railway developments in the East African country. Minister of Works, Transport and Communications, Atashasta Nditiye made the announcement…


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Kenyan authorities have laboured throughout yesterday to clear fuel from the wagons that came off the tracks and to re-rail the five wagons on the causeway connecting Mombasa with the mainland, which effectively blocked much of the road traffic to and from the island.

The derailment occurred on Saturday – see our report in yesterday’s Africa PORTS & SHIPS by CLICKING HERE

The accident left thousands of people stranded, including those who had booked to fly from the Moi International Airport and others who had intending to travel to Nairobi on the standard gauge railway train. Passengers have been offered refunds or the option of re-arranging their travel plans.

Meanwhile the port opened its road and gates to the public who were heading for the airport providing they had tickets to show they were passengers.

A spokesman for Kenya Railways said that no petrol had leaked into the sea even though a number of wagons derailed. Firefighters were quickly on hand following the accident and doused the wagons with foam before beginning the task of transferring the fuel to other containers. Once it was felt the danger of fire was over the road was reopened.

The train was part of the old metre gauge system and is not a part of the new standard gauge railway network.



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Sometimes the mere display of an armed guard on board ship is enough to deter pirates, from an article appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sometimes the mere display of an armed guard on board ship is enough to deter pirates

In what appears to be an odd development given the number of acts of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria has reiterated that its laws completely forbid the use of security guards aboard ships sailing in its waters.

It has been amply demonstrated off the coast of Somalia and within the Gulf of Aden and the Red and Arabian Seas that having security guards on board vessels passing through sections of water prone to acts of piracy has been highly effective and can be credited with playing a significant role in reducing the level of piracy on the north-east coast of Africa to almost zero.

Nevertheless, the Nigerian Federal Government says that the Nigerian Constitution forbids the use of armed private guards on ships entering Nigerian territorial waters.

The Nigerian law states also that Nigerian-flagged ships may not make use of armed guards and that applies regardless of where they are operating.

The Nigerian stance is not that much different from that of a number of other countries in, for example, the UK and Europe, who have had to come to terms with the reality resulting in several European states changing the law applying to such rulings. This however only came about after a number of their citizens and ships became the victims of the then rampant piracy off Somalia.

The Nigerian Navy has stepped up its responses to acts of piracy that take place on a regular basis in the Gulf of Guinea, many of them within Nigeria’s territorial waters. The nature of piracy in the Gulf has also changed and the current practice appears to be that of attacking and boarding a ship either at sea or at anchor, stealing money and valuables as can be discovered on the ship and then departing but taking a number of seafarers away with them as hostages and to be ransomed.

The ransoming is now the major reason why the pirates attack ships off the West African coast, with the majority of attacks taking place off the coast of Nigeria. By the time the Nigerian Navy has responded via one of their patrol ships, the pirates have generally disappeared in their fast speedboats.

Until a few years ago many pirate attacks targeted product tankers which saw the ship and crew being taken captive and the tanker taken to another location where the oil or fuel on board would be transhipped to other vessels. The tanker and crew would then be released although on some occasions two or more hostages would be taken away and later ransomed.

The manner of the releasing of seafarers is never disclosed or discussed in public but it is clear that, as was the case with the Somali pirates, an efficient pipeline involving lawyers and bankers in Europe and elsewhere is at work. For as long as ship owners and operators remain prepared to pay the ransoms demanded this practice is likely to continue. This is not to say that the blame lies with the owners, who have the welfare of their crews to consider.

The evidence elsewhere shows that only with a concerted naval presence at sea at all times together with armed security on board ships will the curse of West African piracy go away.


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Shoes collected at the Port of Port Elizabeth for needy choolchildren - from an article appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Port of Port Elizabeth’s latest quarterly Fishing for Charity drive helped to raise 230 pairs of school shoes, thanks to the generosity of participating anglers from in and around Nelson Mandela Bay.

Each participant donated a brand new pair of school shoes as their admission fee for the event, hosted by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA). The shoes were handed over to Mngcunube Primary School in Kwa Nobuhle, Uitenhage, on Friday, 18 May 2018, much to the delight of learners and staff.

The port’s #Fish4Shoes Fishing Day was held on Saturday, 14 April 2018 at the Charl Malan Quay. It followed on from the success of the #ToysForCharity Fishing Day held in December.

These community fishing days are part of TNPA’s People’s Port vision, which includes promoting greater public access and ensuring a vibrant port system, connecting local communities to port activities.


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Bob Sanguinetti, new Cgnaber of Shipping head - from a report appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Commodore Bob Sanguinetti (pictured) has been appointed Chief Executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping.

He was until recently CEO of the Gibraltar Port Authority, where he was credited with delivering significant growth in vessel traffic following a series of wide-reaching initiatives. Previously he had served in the Royal Navy.

Sanguinetti said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this prestigious role at a time when shipping is so central to the political agenda. The UK Chamber team deserve great credit for their work in recent years, and I am determined that we build on the solid foundation created under Guy Platten’s leadership.

“The UK Chamber has a long and proud heritage at…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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A fire has broken out on the Ro-Ro car carrier AUTO BANNER (IMO 8608066) at South Korea’s Port of Incheon.

There are no reports of casualties or injuries and it appears the crew or 28 and…


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A highly skilled Turkish diver from TCG Anamur approaches ordnance and examines it carefully. Mine clearance divers are taught to identify all types of ordnance in low visibility – if necessary by touch. Photo: NATO MARCOM ©, from an article appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A highly skilled Turkish diver from TCG Anamur approaches ordnance and examines it carefully. Mine clearance divers are taught to identify all types of ordnance in low visibility – if necessary by touch. Photo: NATO MARCOM ©

During the multinational exercise Spanish MINEX 18, staff in the Turkish Mine Hunter TCG Anamur discovered historical unexploded ordnance while conducting routine mine countermeasures training.

Anamur is a member of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) which took part in the Spanish exercise in waters off…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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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.



New Zealand coaster Anatoki seen at Lyttelton harbour May 2018, from a news report appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Anatoki.      Picture: Alan Calvert

The small ex Japanese owned coaster ANATOKI (IMO 8864153) seen at Lyttelton discharging urea from Whanganui. After Lyttelton she headed to Timaru to load grain for discharge at Whanganui. The 447-dwt coaster is almost a relic of the past in these days of super-sized ships, and a pleasure to see for that reason alone. She also serves as a reminder of the services that small ships are able to still provide – long may they continue.

Anatoki is just 47 metres long and 8.4 metres wide – that’s not much larger than many of the fishing vessels we see. Her length is in fact a matter of some dispute, amidst claims that she had a new bow built inside the other to ‘shorten’ the vessel. This made a difference as to the number of crew she has to carry, which competitors say is unfair practice, and that she is in fact 51 metres long. Read an article about this in the Nelson Mail of 22 May 2010 THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT. Now who said coastal shipping had lost all its mystery and sense of adventure?

Built in 1992 at the Furumoto Iron Works & Shipbuilding yard in Osakamijima in Japan, the little general cargo ship is owned by Coastal Bulk Shipping, a Christchurch-based company and she operates with a crew of just four. It was with this number of people on board when she ran aground on a sandbank about a kilometre offshore, east of Rangihaeata Head after sailing from the port of Nelson in May 2010 – Anatoki was reported to be well off course at the time of the grounding. Fortunately she was able to be refloated fairly easily and not much the worse for wear but one of her crew was stood down following an enquiry. That story is in the article above as well.

This picture is by Alan Calvert



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