Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 15 April 2019

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Matumba by Keith Betts

Matumba sailing from Durban.   Picture by Keith Betts

The bulk carrier MATUMBA (IMO 9330082) sails from Durban on one of the rare days last week when it wasn’t either raining or grey and overcast. The 53,591-dwt bulk carrier carries a name that could be South African – Matumba being a small village in Limpopo province, or possibly having something to do with the world of Pan-African music …. or probably neither, as photographer Mr Betts points out. The bulker was built in 2005 and is owned by Greek interests and managed by Meadway Shipping & Trading Inc of Athens, Greece. These pictures are by Keith Betts

This picture is by Keith Betts


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Livestock carrier EKEVATION sailing from Durban after taking bunkers. Picture by Trevor JOnes, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Elevation.   Picture: Trevor Jones

A slightly unusual caller at Durban recently was this livestock carrier named ELEVATION (IMO 7407324) which arrived to take bunkers and supplies. The 24,811-gt Lebanese-owned and managed vessel was built in 1976 and flies the Lebanese flag. It may be said the livestock carriers are somewhere near the bottom of the popularity lists of ships that sail on the wide oceans, with animal rights movements determined to see the end of their use. The only port in South Africa that sees this type of vessel on a regular basis is East London where the Dutch livestock carrier MURRAY EXPRESS (IMO 9103960, 3,160-gt) calls several times a year to load cattle for Mauritius. The above picture is by Trevor Jones


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The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) says it welcomes the decision by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) to accept all types of approved exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) for use in its territorial waters.

exhaust emissions, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

In an IMO 2020 advisory notice (see Marine Notice No. 8 of 2019) issued in March to shipowners, operators, master mariners and bunker suppliers, SAMSA says the use of open-loop, closed-loop or hybrid systems are accepted until further notice “as an equivalent arrangement under Regulation 4 of MARPOL Annex VI for compliance with the sulphur limit [which] is currently based on the criteria stipulated in the 2015 Guidelines for Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (resolution MEPC.259(68))”.

All ships fitted with EGCS can continue to burn high-sulphur bunker fuel

The decision means that all ships fitted with EGCS can continue to…


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The 500 metre long, 360 ton pipes – one of which broke loose during adverse weather conditions and had to be retrieved by Subtech with the aid of TNPA tugs and pilots. Picture: TNPA andfeatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The 500 metre long, 360 ton pipes – one of which broke loose during adverse weather conditions and had to be retrieved by Subtech, afterwards aided into port by TNPA tugs and pilots. Picture: TNPA

The marine operations team at the Port of Richards Bay recently went to the aid of a passing tug and tow, the MTS VANGUARD which had lost one of eight 500-metre long pipes that it was towing along the South Africa coast.

MTS Vanguard and tow were en route from Carolina in the United States to Kuwait in the Persian Gulf.

The pipes, each weighing 360 tons, were being towed using a specialised towing bridle, when one pipe broke loose during adverse weather conditions.

TNPA Port Control received a request from Marine Technical Services (MTS) on Wednesday, 3 April 2019, requesting an emergency diversion to the Port of Richards Bay.

MTS Vanguard arrived at port limits with the pipes in tow on Sunday, 7 April 2019, where she was brought safely into port by a TNPA marine pilot with the assistance of two TNPA tugs, IPHOTHWE and UKHOZI.

Subtech's Durban-based tug Ndongeni which recovered the loose 500 metre long pipe. Picture: Ken Malcolm, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Subtech’s Durban-based tug Ndongeni which recovered the loose 500 metre long pipe. Picture: Ken Malcolm

Subtech Group was contracted by MTS to assist with the recovery and tow of the snapped pipe (approximately 500 nautical miles east of Richards Bay), which was brought alongside the Repair Berth, Small Craft Harbour using their tug NDONGENI (IMO 8200888) on 9 April 2019. The entrance and berthing was made with the assistance of the two TNPA tugs and three pilots.

The whole operation took six hours and the pipes were all secured along the Repair Berth by Tuesday 9 April.

I would like to thank the team consisting of three well experienced pilots and marine operations personnel for ensuring TNPA fulfilled its responsibility to respond to operational emergencies, particularly with this incident being the first of its kind at the port,”” said Nompumelelo Mkhize, Deputy Harbour Master.

Manoeuvring the errant 500m pipe into the harbour at Richards Bay. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Manoeuvring the seven 500m pipes into the harbour at Richards Bay with the aid of NPA harbour tugs (pictured). Picture: TNPA

“Due to the size of the pipes, the port’s navigational buoys at the Small Craft Harbour had to be repositioned to ensure the successful tow and ‘berthing’ of the pipes at the Repair Berth,” said Morgan Castle, Marine Superintendent at Subtech Group. “We are extremely grateful for the assistance from TNPA.”

On inspection by Subtech Group, it was discovered that the entire towing bridle sourced from Holland needs to be replaced before the MTS Vanguard can continue on her journey with her cargo.

The crew on board the MTS Vanguard has been at sea for three months since leaving Carolina and their journey is expected to take another 7 to 8 weeks to reach Kuwait. When the MTS Vanguard tug needs to refuel, another tug boat is required to hold the pipes at outer anchorage.

The MTS Vanguard is expected to continue with her journey and cargo within the next 10 days.


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Queen Victoria at her berth in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday 11 April 2019, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Queen Victoria at her berth in Port Elizabeth yesterday

Cunard’s 90,049-gt cruise ship QUEEN VICTORIA called yesterday (Thursday) at Port Elizabeth, being the penultimate cruise ship visit to the port before the end of the 2018/19 cruise season.

The large and impressive-looking ship berthed at Berth 101 in the port at 04h00 – an earlier than expected arrival.

“The port always looks forward to welcoming the Cunard Line cruise ships, this time being the prestigious MS Queen Victoria,” said Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Harbour Master at PE, Captain Brynn Adamson.

“The cruise season continues to provide a big boost for Nelson Mandela Bay’s economy, allowing tourists on stopovers to access tourism, leisure and wildlife experiences in and around our Metro. We’re delighted that PE continues to receive its fair share of cruise ships as more cruise line companies show confidence in our city,” he said.

Also on hand to welcome the arrival of the ship was Councillor Queenie Pink, MMC for Economic Development and Tourism at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. “TNPA, jointly with the city and other stakeholders, continue ongoing engagements to ensure that we are collectively able to entice more and more cruise liners to visit our friendly city over the coming cruise seasons,” she said.

TNPA and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality representatives were welcomed on board the vessel for a ‘meet and greet’ and plaque handover with the vessel’s captain, Captain Tomas Connery and his crew.

The MS Queen Victoria’s cruise is a 107 night voyage over six continents including stops in San Francisco, Sydney and Hong Kong. Her next stop after departing from the Bay is Cape Town. Queen Victoria’s facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom and a theatre.

The ship

Tonnage: 90,049 gt
Length: 294 m (965 ft)
Beam: 32.3 m (106 ft)
Draught: 8 m (26 ft)
Decks: 16 total
* 12 accessible to passengers
Installed power: 4 × MaK 12VM43C
2 × MaK 8M43C
64,000 kW (combined)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
Two ABB Azipods (2 × 17.6 MW)
Three ABB bow thrusters (3 × 2,200 kW)
Speed: 23.7 knots (43.9 km/h; 27.3 mph)
Capacity: 2,092 passengers lower berths, 2,547 maximum and 900 crew

Captain Brynn Adamson (right) hands over a plaque to the captain of the vessel, Captain Tomas Connery
Captain Brynn Adamson (right), harbourmaster at PE hands over a plaque to the captain of the vessel Queen Victoria, Captain Tomas Connery, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


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At a function held at the Nissan automotive plant at Rosslyn outside Pretoria, South Africa yesterday (Wednesday 10 April), the Japanese manufacturer announced a R3 billion (US$ 215m) reinvestment in its existing plant.

The investment will see Nissan produce its new Navara pick-up van for the local as well as international market.

Nissan Navara, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Nissan Navara

Jobs and local content

Nissan, which has been in the country over the last 56 years, will add a further 1,200 full-time jobs across the value chain with the start of production of the new Navara in 2020.

“We see Africa as [a place] we can…


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RBM mining operation at Richards Bay. Picture: RBM, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
RBM mining operation at Richards Bay.    Picture: RBM

South Africa’s Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe says the government welcomes the announcement by global mining company, Rio Tinto, of the US$463 million investment in the expansion of its Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) operation in South Africa.

RBM currently operates four mines in the Zulti North lease area, a mineral separation plant and smelting facility a little to the north of the port.

Rio Tinto announced this week approval of a $463 million investment in the further development of its Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) operation in South Africa through the construction of the Zulti South project.

The company said the investment will sustain RBM’s current capacity and extend its mine life.

RBM currently operates four mines in the Zulti North lease area, a mineral separation plant and smelting facility. The Zulti North orebody grade is declining, hence the Zulti South mine is required to maintain the output of high-margin zircon and rutile, and provide sufficient ore to support titanium dioxide (TiO2) sales.

The Zulti South mine (Phase 1) will prop-up RBM’s supply of zircon and ilmenite over the life of the mine. Construction is scheduled to start in mid-2019, subject to the granting of all necessary permits, with first commercial production expected in late 2021.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques said the company has a long history in South Africa.

“The investment underscores our commitment for the coming decades and beyond. Zulti South is one of the best undeveloped minerals sand deposits in the industry, and will significantly extend RBM’s position as a world-class, first-quartile asset,” he said.

Mineral Resources Minister Mantashe said the investment in KwaZulu-Natal is an affirmation of South Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination, while also confirming South Africa’s stable and predictable policy and regulatory environment.

“As we intensify efforts to grow South Africa, we welcome investment injections such as this one, which bear testament to our efforts at turning this sector and economy around, for the benefit of our people,” Mantashe said.


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Burnt house after terrorists came in the night, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Burnt house after terrorists came in the night

Mozambique’s defence and security forces have captured a group of the armed terrorists who have been attacking villages in northern Cabo Delgado province near where oil and gas exploration is taking place.

The announcement was made by Mozambique’s President Nyusi who revealed that a special forces group of the Mozambique Armed Forces had carried out the raid in Macomia district in Cabo Delgado.

It involved “two assaults” before the terrorist camp was…


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As the mopping up and returning of services to normal at Beira and surrounding district takes place, one of the ‘miracles’ is how the port was able to reopen two days after the cyclone struck the Mozambique coast near the port city.

Because the port authorities and stakeholders realised they were in for “the big one” and prepared in advance (48 hours), much potential damage was avoided or minimised.

A 12 minute video gives the facts of this ‘miracle’ – available by way of YouTube. Click on the video below.



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It was reported by the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) on 9 April that the organisation continues to grow steadily in the Asia Pacific region – enhancing its presence in key shipping markets including those of Malaysia, Indonesia and the People’s Republic of China.

The classification society had earlier received authorisation as Recognised Organisation (RO) from the…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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CMA CGM banner appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

CMA CGM has successfully completed its public tender offer to acquire CEVA Logistics, a transaction the French company says confirms its position as a leading worldwide transport and logistics group.

As a result of the close of the public tender offer that was launched on 12 February 2019, the CMA CGM Group will now hold 97.89% of the outstanding shares and voting rights of CEVA on settlement of the tendered CEVA shares scheduled for 16 April 2019.

As previously indicated, CMA CGM plans to…

Operational initiatives to drive CEVA’s return to profit

Banner of CEVA Logistics, now a part of CMA CGM, as featrured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“The implementation of CEVA’s new strategic plan, prepared jointly with CMA CGM, and the close cooperation between the teams of the two companies is going to drive an improvement in CEVA’s financial performance.

“This consolidation will enable the deployment of a coordinated set of structural initiatives, such as:


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Scene at Beira Airport. Picture: Supplied, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Scene at Beira Airport. Picture: Supplied

An average of 200 aircraft now take off or land daily at Beira International Airport, including helicopters, commercial aircraft and freighters with capacity to transport other aircraft, vehicles, tractors and heavy machinery.

In the aftermath of the deadly Cyclone Idai, Beira Airport has become a draw for countless families who go there on walks to watch the unusual amount of aircraft traffic, almost all of which are involved in one way or another with the relief aid programme.

For a short interlude from maritime,watch the video below (Portuguese language). [2:24]

Source: TVM / Club of Mozambique


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South African Air Force Oryx helicopter on the tarmac at Beira Airport after another rescue mission in Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
South African Air Force Oryx helicopter on the tarmac at Beira Airport after another rescue mission in Mozambique

As international aid began to arrive in cyclone struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), which was one of the first responders, continued its relief efforts in flood-ravaged Malawi and Mozambique.

Cyclone Idai, which made landfall across areas in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, left a trail of death, destruction, and total displacements of communities.

Having been deployed on 16 March by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to support flood relief efforts with the United Nations, joint inter-departmental, inter-agency and other multinational organisations in Mozambique and Malawi, the SANDF undertook search and rescue missions in support of other humanitarian agencies.

Using aircraft of the SA Air Force, the SANDF also engaged in multilateral efforts to provide lifesaving and sustenance supplies to areas cut-off by the devastating cyclone.

“The SANDF was critical to all agencies operating in the area in that it provided air-lifts to assist in most low-lying areas, including Beira in Mozambique, which saw entire villages submerged under water, with death toll rising and many people unaccounted for,” the SANDF said in a statement.

The early responses included the following:

• Friday, 15 March: When the SANDF was called upon to assist in support of the humanitarian efforts in both Malawi and Mozambique, which were facing serious floods, a light aircraft of the South African Air Force – with a team of specialists on board – was dispatched to these areas to conduct assessments to assist on the ground for humanitarian purposes.

• Saturday, 16 March: Following a successful assessment in both countries, the assessment team deemed it safe to first deploy a team of 10 military health practitioners with search and rescue air assets to Malawi as weather conditions were not as dire as other areas. Consequently, two military aircraft — Oryx medium utility helicopter and CASA-212 Light Aircraft — were pledged and despatched to Malawi.

• Sunday, 17 March: With persistent storm, rains and wind in Mozambique, the SANDF managed to land the first team in Beira to commence with groundwork in preparation for other humanitarian relief organs to make their way to the area.

* Two Oryx medium utility helicopters were deployed and are still operating in the area;

* One Agusta-A109 helicopter for search and rescue;

* CASA-212 personnel and equipment carrier light aircraft; and

* PC-12 reconnaissance light aircraft.

• Monday, 18 March to Saturday, 23 March: A total of 82 personnel were deployed to Mozambique on different dates, ranging from health practitioners, cargo carriers, air crews and health specialists such as doctors, psychologists and environmentalists.

Subsequently, two heavy cargo aircraft were dispatched to both Malawi and Mozambique to deliver medical supplies, meals and other equipment to support these humanitarian efforts.

As a result of these deployments, the SANDF is responsible for having rescued hundreds of people, assisting in critical medical conditions, airlifting other medical facilities and transporting many tons of cargo. In addition large numbers of people were assisted and taken to places of safety in support of the activities of other agencies.

The SANDF teams were deployed to those acutely inaccessible areas of Malawi such as Chapinga, Chinkwangwa, Zomba District in Makina, and Phalombwe in Phaloni. (source:


Twelve of the Rescue SA team that were among the first in Beira to provide aid and rescue, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Twelve of the Rescue SA team that were among the first in Beira to provide aid and rescue

The very first group of rescuers to reach Beira, even as the cyclone raged partly overhead, was the volunteer group Rescue South Africa, consisting of 16 medical and emergency workers who have since been recognised by the United Nations for its unstinting response in travelling at great risk by road to Beira and then undertaking numerous rescue efforts and saving many lives.

The team included Rescue SA members Ian Scher, Travis Trower and Klass Prinsloo, Conor Hardnady, Abrie Senekal and Gerhard Louw from the University of Johannesburg, SAPS search and rescue team members Francois Pretorius and Romal de Ros, IPSS medics Paul Herbst, Ceron Medows, Shane Rode, Armand Herbst and Daniel Lobjoit, ER24’S Marcel Nordin and Brian Allchin as well as Keanan Reynolds from the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

They all received letters of commendation from the UN.

On arrival in Beira, shortly before the last road was cut by the storm, the team set up base at the city’s airport from where they set out rescuing thousands of trapped people on rooftops and in trees.

“It was devastating to see that many people starving out there for 36 hours, having to make that decision of who to take and who to leave is always a difficult one,” said DUT’s Keanan Reynolds.

Even setting up camp in Beira was a logistical nightmare because many of the roads and the access point to people who needed help had been destroyed by the cyclone. “We had obviously done the training but to be exposed to something to that scale was insane,” he told the Johannesburg newspaper, Times Live.

Rescue South Africa is a rescue organisation that responds to sudden-onset disasters nationally and internationally.

In its letter of commendation Sebastian Rhodes-Stampa, the deputy humanitarian coordinator in Mozambique said: “I have rarely seen such courage and dedication by a non-governmental organisation. Their actions saved lives.”

Rescue South Africa was on site for ten days before returning to South Africa and back to their ‘normal’ jobs.


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Durban port cruise and car terminals. Picture: Russel Cleaver
Durban port cruise and car terminals. Picture: Russel Cleaver


Collaboration in the interest of economic growth in Africa is taking a further step forward this week with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) welcoming delegates from the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on a knowledge sharing visit to the Ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

The NSC, which was recently mandated to take up a new role of Economic Regulator in Nigeria, will, among other functions, serve as an agent of economic development by promoting equity of access to opportunities within the transport industry.

The delegation of senior managers arrived in Durban on Monday, 8 April for a tour of the port before arriving at the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence, where they are participating in a three-day workshop on the role of the Port Regulator.

This will be followed by a visit to the Ports of Port Elizabeth and Ngqura on Thursday, 11 April, and Cape Town on Friday, 12 April, to gain first-hand experience of the ports in action and consolidate learnings from the workshop.

Included on the agenda are numerous presentations covering capacity, legislation and regulatory policies, port performance score card, private sector participation in ports, port market analysis, environmental performance and impacts of climate change, the Transnet of tomorrow, pricing strategy and tariffs.

Other topics include development of international trade and the evolving role of ports, future trends in policy, technology and regulations, global port management structures and ownership models, as well as other legal and regulatory developments affecting ports.

“The visit reflects Nigeria’s confidence in South Africa and in TNPA as a leading ports authority on the continent. It also confirms both countries’ commitment to partnering in the interests of ensuring Africa takes her rightful place in the global economy,” said Moshe Motlohi, TNPA’s General Manager: External Relations and Corporate Affairs.

“The visit gives us the opportunity to build a strategic relationship with the NSC and offers us the opportunity to identify areas within which the NMB Ports can partner and collaborate with the Nigerian Ports to grow trade in a safe, efficient, responsible and sustainable manner,”said Rajesh Dana, Port Manager at the Port of Port Elizabeth.

“This partnership will ensure that we utilise our world class ports as a catalyst for economic growth and thereby position Africa to take up her rightful place in the global economy,” he added.

The delegation will end their visit with a tour of the Port of Cape Town.

“Visits like this give us an opportunity to partner with other countries in Africa as together we strive to deliver world-class port services in order to attract growing volumes of international trade. We look forward to developing the relationship with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council further,” said Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, Cape Town Port Manager.


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Silver Whisper at Lyttelton, New Zealand. Picture by Alan Calvert, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Silver Whisper at Lyttelton, New Zealand. The ship called recently at Dar es Salaam where there is an announcement about a cruise terminal to be built.  Picture by Alan Calvert

Tanzania announced last week that it intends building a cruise terminal at the port of Dar es Salaam.

This, it said, is in response to the increasing number of cruise ships calling at the Tanzanian port.

The announcement was made by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Nature Resources and Tourism,…


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Mossel Bay Port Manager Shadrack Tshikalange; TNPA GM: Corporate Affairs & External Relations Moshe Motlohi; Gert Ludick of TNPA; Executive Deputy Mayor - Mossel Bay Municipality, Cllr Dirk Kotze; TNPA COO / Acting CE Nozipho Mdawe; Municipal Manager - Mossel Bay Municipality, Adv Thys Giliomee; CEO of Afrishore, Shirley Schmidt; Port of Mossel Bay Customer Relationship & Corporate Affairs Manager Sithembiso Soyaya; Port of Mossel Bay Acting Senior Operation Manager, Vuyokazi Sabani; Port of Mossel Bay Acting Property Manager, Errol Baartman and PetroSA Operations Manager Michael Nene, appeaing in article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mossel Bay Port Manager Shadrack Tshikalange; TNPA GM: Corporate Affairs & External Relations Moshe Motlohi; Gert Ludick of TNPA; Executive Deputy Mayor – Mossel Bay Municipality, Cllr Dirk Kotze; TNPA COO / Acting CE Nozipho Mdawe; Municipal Manager – Mossel Bay Municipality, Adv Thys Giliomee; CEO of Afrishore, Shirley Schmidt; Port of Mossel Bay Customer Relationship & Corporate Affairs Manager Sithembiso Soyaya; Port of Mossel Bay Acting Senior Operation Manager, Vuyokazi Sabani; Port of Mossel Bay Acting Property Manager, Errol Baartman and PetroSA Operations Manager Michael Nene

Port stakeholders prepare readiness plan for further offshore gas exploration

An engagement session between Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) leadership and representatives from the Mossel Bay Municipality, PetroSA and AfriShore was held recently (29 March 2019) at the municipal offices.

The meeting, which was attended by TNPA Acting Chief Executive, Nozipho Mdawe and General Manager of Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Moshe Motholi, served as a follow up to…


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USCG cutter Northland. Picture: Wikipedia and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
USCG cutter Northland. Picture: Wikipedia

Conditions of entry on ships calling at 12 African countries have been imposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

The sanctions apply to specific ports or terminals and not necessarily to all ports and terminals in each country, it should be noted.

As an example, Nigeria is listed for sanctions but there are a large number of exceptions, including terminals such as the Tin Can Island Container Terminal and APM (Apapa) Terminal.

The sanctions being applied are intended “to protect the United States from vessels arriving from countries that have been found to have deficient anti-terrorism port measures in place.” They apply to any vessel that visited a port in the…


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Image: Feserta
Image: Feserta

Truckers caught up while queuing at the Kasumbelesa Border Post between the DRC and Zambia have been placed under siege by angry protesters who have complaints to make against local government.

Mike Fitzmaurice, CEO of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta) reported that “The locals (in the DRC) are protesting against local government, but are using the opportunity to attack and extort money out of the foreign drivers parked in the queue at the border post with threats of burning the driver in his truck.

“A lot of damage has been done to trucks and a lot of money extorted from drivers, as they carry United States dollars to pay for tolls and services in the DRC. The locals know this, which is why the trucks are being targeted.”

Quoted on the Fesarta website, a driver reported: “We are in queue at Kasumbelesa, public are in conflict with police. Now they are running up and down in between trucks stoning trucks.”

A second driver stated: “After stoning they demanded money they wanted to burn the truck and me inside I gave them $150.” A third said that as he was writing this message there were gun shots everywhere in Kasumbelesa. He said the safety of the drivers was at stake.

A short while later another driver reported that: “Soldiers are now in control over the entire border, they are busy arresting the main leaders and protesters,” while another reported that unfortunately a lot of damage to trucks had occurred and money extorted.

However, within a short while a driver said that he was parked in the queue some distance from the border but when the patrol goes in another direction, thugs remain attacking drivers,”they are even using catapaults,” he said.

Fitzmaurice described the situation as “…a totally unacceptable situation and the North South Corridor has become a target for lawlessness and criminal activities with the government’s and law enforcement agencies unable to or unwilling to control the situation.”

The length of the queue of trucks waiting to go through the border post on the DRC side is not known but on the Zambian side the trucks stretch back for over 70 kilometres, reaching back to the town of Chambishi.   source: Fesarta

Video clip taken earlier in another area (Machipanda) showing long truck queues (Acknowledgments Fesarta) [1:37]


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Yasmine Wilson, Associate-designate at Norton Rose Fulbright



By Yasmine Wilson
Associate Designate
Norton Rose Fulbright


New amendments to MARPOL Annex VI see stricter control measures imposed on fuel suppliers and increased regulatory certainty on the implementation of the 2020 cap

On 1 January 2020, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) global cap on sulphur content in fuel will come into force. The cap requires all ships to burn fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5%, or to be equipped with a scrubber that reduces the vessel’s sulphur emissions to 0.5%. 70,000 vessels will be effected by the cap and ship owners need to be preparing now to comply with the Regulations or face harsh penalties, come 2020. Bunker suppliers and monitoring authorities also need to ensure they can deliver the required fuel and monitor ship owners’ compliance.

The IMO’s sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) recently held their 6th meeting to prepare for the implementation of the cap. At this meeting the PPR 6 developed and finalised certain Guidelines on MARPOL Annex VI which give clarity on important issues under Annex VI. PPR 6 also drafted and approved certain amendments to Annex VI.

PPR 6 follows the Maritime Environment Protection Committee meeting which took place in October 2018 (MEPC 73) and which adopted and implemented the HSFO (high sulphur fuel oil) carriage ban that applies to all vessels except for those fitted with scrubbers, and which will enter into force on 1 March 2020. MEPC 73 also approved the IMO’s non-mandatory guideline on the development of a Ship Implementation Plan (SIP) to facilitate the consistent implementation of the 0.5% sulphur limit across all 97% of the global fleet that will be subject to the fuel oil sulphur limitation.

PPR6 Outcomes

1.Identification of types of fuel samples

PPR 6 gave clarity on fuel oil samples and has identified three different types samples: a delivered sample taken at the time of bunker deliver (aka “MARPOL sample”); an in-use oil sample taken from designated fuel oil sampling points; and onboard fuel oil samples taken from fuel oil storage tanks storing oil not currently in use by the vessel but on board it (such as oil in service tanks).

2.Amendment to Annex VI regarding on-board fuel sampling

PPR6 also went further to prepare a draft amendment to MARPOL Annex VI that mandates on-board sampling of fuel oil not in use by the ship in order ensure that the HFO carriage ban is effectively enforced when this regulation comes into force in March 2020. This draft amendment also includes suggestions on guidelines that the IMO will need to develop to regulate onboard sampling of fuel oil carried by vessels. The IMO will need to publish these guidelines before this amendment comes into force mid-2021.

3.Finalisation of the 2019 Guidelines on Consistent Implementation of the 0.5% Sulphur Limit (“2019 Guidelines”)

PPR 6 finalised the 2019 Guidelines which cover: the impact on fuel / machinery systems; sulphur content testing and verification; control measures by Port States; control on fuel oil suppliers; and FONAR (Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report).
Importantly, PPR 6 agreed to include a provision in the 2019 Guidelines which empowers Port State Control (PSC) to prevent non-compliant ships from sailing until measures have been taken to achieve compliance (such as de-bunkering all non-compliant fuel oil) and which establishes PSC reporting procedures for ships found to be non-compliant.
PPR 6 also deleted a draft guideline dealing with non-compliant vessels being permitted a single voyage to the nearest bunkering facility provided that the destination port authority grants the vessel permission.
PPR6 approved a new FONAR template which now gives attention to operational constraints.
PPR 6 also approved a new provision which recommends that authorities should, if deemed necessary, take a sample and test fuel oil from bunker barges or shore bunker barges in the same manner that delivered fuel oils are tested. This development is a important one for the shipping industry as it is imposes stricter quality control on the part of fuel oil suppliers.
MEPC 74 will adopt and publicly release the 2019 Guidelines at their next meeting in May 2019.

4.Amendment to Annex VI regarding verification procedures for fuel samples

PPR6 approved amendments to Annex VI dealing with fuel verification procedures for fuel oil samples. These amendments will ensure effective testing and compliance verification procedures for statutory fuel oil samples.

5.Action against fuel suppliers by PSC

In response to incidences of fuel contamination, a draft joint PSC-MEPC Circular was developed urging parties to Annex VI to ensure that their authorities take appropriate action against fuel oil suppliers that have been found to deliver fuel oil that does not comply with what is stated on the bunker delivery note. This circular is in response to incidences of fuel contamination.

6.Amendment to regulation dealing with sampling points

PPR6 approved a new paragraph of Regulation 14 of Annex VI which mandates that sampling points must be fitted so that representative samples may be taken. Importantly, ships constructed before the enforcement of the global cap must be fitted with sampling points no later than the first renewal survey within twelve months or more after the enforcement of the Regulations in 2020.

7.Disposal of non-compliant fuel

PPR6 recognised that the issue of disposal of remaining non-compliant fuel on board is a complex one as ship owners want certainty and PSC want to maintain a degree of discretion over any action that they take. To deal with these complexities, interested parties are invited to submit counter proposals on this issue to MEPC 74.

8.Guidelines for PSC

PPR6 finalised the draft Guidelines for PSC under Annex VI for submission to MEPC 74 for approval and public release. These Guidelines introduce a reporting requirement by the master or an officer in charge of the bunker operation to a ship’s flag administration where the ship’s representative sample is non-compliant. This reporting requirement in the Guidelines is not mandated by Annex VI, but these reporting procedures should nonetheless be followed if a non-compliance incidence occurs.

9.Amendment to the Guidelines on Scrubbers

Draft amendments to the EGCS Guidelines (Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems, aka scrubbers) were drafted in response to PPR6 recognising the need to update the 2015 Guidelines. PPR 6 will recommend to MEPC 74 to agree that a study funded by the IMO be conducted which investigates the impact that the draft amendments to the EGCS guidelines may have on the marine environment.

10.Exemption for HFO used in emergency equipment

Lastly PPR6 clarified that the carriage ban on HFO also applies to fuel oil used in emergency equipment such as emergency generators, fire pumps, life boats, etc, and developed a unified interpretation to this effect. Further, vessels entering Emission Control Area (ECA) zones have to also operate emergency equipment with ECA-compliant fuel. However, this position will not apply to any emissions necessary to secure the safety of a ship or for saving life at sea.


The marine transport industry can look forward to the much needed clarity that the various Guidelines drafted and approved by PPR 6, will provide. These Guidelines will assist the industry in better understanding what the future will look like once the amendments to Annex VI come into force. Specifically, the Guidelines will give better clarity on what restrictions and penalties will be imposed not only on shipowners, but on marine fuel suppliers, to ensure compliance. Marine fuel suppliers and shipowners, alike, will need to start seeing fuel sampling procedures by PSC’s as a new part of life. With the 2020-deadling looming large, shipowners are encouraged to be getting their vessel’s ready to comply with the cap, if they have not already done so.


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Kenya and neighbouring states' proposed SGR routes, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Kenya and neighbouring states’ proposed SGR routes

In yesterday’s Maritime News we reported on Kenya raising a loan in China to build the standard gauge railway (SGR) section from Naivasha to the Lake Victoria port of Kisumu.

Despite the overwhelming cost of building the railway from the port at Mombasa and equipping it with rolling stock and locomotives, Kenya has remained resolute in pushing ahead with the project with the intention of completing the SGR as far as the Uganda border.

The overall project faced a stumbling block when Uganda appeared to be having second thoughts on whether it too would cooperate by building a SGR from the capital Kampala to the Kenyan border, let alone extending the railway to Uganda’s border with Rwanda and further sections linking with the Eastern DRC in the east and possibly South Sudan to the north.

A further concern for Kenya must have been…


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Commander CTF 150 visits Seychelles and welcomes increased Canadian contribution to the Task Force

Left to right: LCdr Tiffany Ticky, Cdr Matt Plaschka, Col Clifford Roseline, SPDF Chief of Defence Forces, Cmdre Darren Garnier, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Poupponeau, Commander of the Seychelles Air Force, Lt(N) Joseph Horobetz, Lt(N) Linda Coleman, which featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Left to right: LCdr Tiffany Ticky, Cdr Matt Plaschka, Col Clifford Roseline, SPDF Chief of Defence Forces, Cmdre Darren Garnier, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Poupponeau, Commander of the Seychelles Air Force, Lt(N) Joseph Horobetz, Lt(N) Linda Coleman.

Commodore Darren Garnier, Royal Canadian Navy, Commander Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, visited the Seychelles from 27 to 31 March, 2019. This was his last regional engagement as Commander of CTF 150.

The visit to the Seychelles was two-fold. Firstly, to conduct Key Leadership Engagements with members of the Seychelles People’s Defence Force (SPDF) and the second to welcome the additional assets from the Canadian Armed Forces to the CTF 150 area of operations.

The continued contribution of assets to CMF is extremely valuable in maintaining maritime security throughout the region, where illicit activities including the smuggling of illegal narcotics, is taking place.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora conducts a fly past over HMCS REGINA, and NRU ASTERIX in the Seychelles on 31 March 2019, which featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora conducts a fly past over HMCS REGINA, and NRU ASTERIX in the Seychelles on 31 March 2019

During his visit the Commodore met Colonel Clifford Roseline, SPDF Chief of Defence Forces, Colonel Simon Dine, Commander of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Poupponeau, Commander of the Seychelles Air Force, and Lieutenant-Colonel Leslie Benoiton, Director of the National Information Sharing Coordination Center (NISCC).

Seychelles is an important Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) member. With a keen regional focus on all areas of the CMF mission including counter-terrorism and counter-piracy, they revealed that for the Seychelles the narcotics nexus to the funding of terrorist activity is a top priority for their Defence Forces.

As an island nation, the Seychelles fully understands the critical role that missions, such as maritime surveillance, can play to their own, as well as the CMF’s broader maritime security mandate.

“It was an honour to be in the Seychelles representing CMF and to meet with the Seychelles People’s Defence Force as we continue to strengthen our partnership,” Commodore Garnier stated. “I would like to thank the SPDF for their superb hospitality, and continued cooperation with CMF in regional maritime security.”

The Commodore also visited Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, accompanied by Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix, and a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora as they arrived in the Seychelles on 29 March.

HMCS Regina, along with its embarked CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, and NRU Asterix will work in concert with several other coalition ships to patrol the waters of the northern Arabian Sea and the east coast of Africa, and the CP-140 Aurora will be employed to conduct concurrent maritime surveillance missions.

All of these efforts are in support of CTF 150’s mandate to counter terrorism ensuring maritime security by enabling the free-flow of international trade and commerce in some of the world’s busiest and most challenging waterways.

Commodore Garnier added: “Our combined Canadian-Australian CTF 150 Task Force welcomes the arrival of HMCS Regina, NRU Asterix, and the Royal Canadian Air Force to our area of operations. Our team is ready to lead the assets under our command in promoting stability in the region by deterring and denying terrorists use of the high seas from illicit activity that fund terrorism activities.”

Commodore Garnier and his Task Force change CTF 150 command to the Pakistan Navy on Thursday, 11 April 2019. HMCS Regina will remain under CTF 150 command until early June, 2019. source: Combined Maritime Forces


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Graphic from SAMSA meeting held in Durban March 2019

Agrees to support the intention to introduce new levies to boost the Maritime Fund

Positioning two emergency towing vessels (ETVs) – one more than at present – at strategic locations along South Africa’s coastline, and centralising technologies for monitoring of South Africa’s oceans at the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), are among consensus views shared at the SA Maritime Risk Workshop held in Durban recently.

SAMSA (SA Maritime Safety Authority) reports that as crucial was a unanimous decision by industry for new levies to boost and consolidate the country’s maritime fund administered by SAMSA as the main financial resource for addressing and improving maritime risk related issues.

These were among about a dozen issues enumerated for discussion and decision during a SAMSA organised two-day South Africa Maritime Risk Workshop held in Durban, involving about 70 delegates from the public and private sector with direct interest in the country’s maritime sector.

The purpose of the workshop, according to SAMSA, was to provide opportunity for the country’s maritime sector to focus on the state of the country’s maritime risks and come up with workable solutions to ensure safety and security in the sector.

Issues for discussion ranged from an overview of the country’s maritime risk profile involving case studies, the country’s legislative framework and institutional responsibilities, third parties dependencies, to maritime domain awareness, pollution monitoring and combating, the country’s response capability as well as funding.

Several presenters, all experts in their respective fields both in the private and public sectors of the maritime sector, led the discussions. The outcomes would be compiled into a consensus view report for submission to the SAMSA Board of Directors for further action.

In the final analysis, about a half dozen or so issues were enumerated for consensus decisions to enable the fast-tracking of implementation. The list included:

* South Africa’s tooling capacity to vessels emergency response,
* Aerial capability for oceans monitoring,
* Advanced technologies for day to day monitoring and management of vessel traffic and related matters such as oceans pollution, as well as their central location,
* Oil combating capability as regards its institutional location,
* A precise definition of the country’s state of readiness spelling out exactly what oceans emergency situations the country should be ready for, and indicators thereof
* Institutional arrangements: relating to enhancement of cooperation and collaboration among various key role-players in the sector,
* Legislation: but particularly with regards to ensuring that all relevant legislation to management of the country’s maritime sector is up to date along with related regulations.
* Funding, with regards to precisely the positioning of the Maritime Fund as envisaged in the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy (CMTP)
* Maritime security imperatives as falling within the Maritime Security Advisory Committee.

On the second and final day of the workshop, delegates expressed agreement with a suggestion that two Emergency Towing Vessels would be sufficient for the country’s oceans area – this based on a feasibility study conducted on behalf of the Department of Transport and presented by Mr Brian Blackbeard of the Atlantis Consulting group.

According to Mr Blackbeard, operational requirements of an ETV primarily involve preventing marine pollution at sea and secondary to which are; protecting life and property at sea, detecting, reporting, investigating and combating marine pollution at sea, as well as salvaging wrecked, stranded or abandoned ships at sea.

Read the rest of this report-back on the SAMSA website blog by CLICKING HERE

Watch also the closing remarks of the workshop by DoT Acting Deputy Director General for the Maritime Transport, Mr Dumisani Ntuli [4:38]


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China's Silk Road includes Africa ports, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
China’s Silk Road includes Africa ports

Mozambican, Angolan and Sao Tome and Pri­ncipe ports linked to the China Belt and Road initiative

The ports of Mozambique, Angola and Sao Tome and Principe will be linked to the Chinese Belt and Road initiative, which will have a central hub in East Africa, wrote researcher Paul Nantulya.

Reported by Macauhub, Nantulya said in a study for the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies that East Africa, as ‘central hub’ in the Chinese strategy, will be linked by ‘planned and/or operating ports, pipelines, railways and power stations built and financed by Chinese companies and lenders.’

The importance of the region is highlighted by…

See related article below


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Kenya SGR in action, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

According to a report by Media Max, Kenya is among countries angling to reap big from the second Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) forum in Beijing, which is being held in Beijing, China later this month.

The report said that during this forum meeting Kenya will sign a Sh368 billion loan to facilitate the construction of the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) linking Naivasha to Kisumu.

The event will bring together more than 40 foreign governments and representatives from more than 100 countries with President Uhuru Kenyatta expected…

See related article above.


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Example of a typical Rigid Inflatable Boat - this one of the RNLI in the UK, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news, picture Wikipedia Commons
Example of a typical Rigid Inflatable Boat – this one of the RNLI in the UK. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

The Western Cape’s emerging export companies have identified possible business opportunities in Brazil and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) which can be explored to grow their businesses.

The two businesses – Bayside Marine and Lantern Engineering which have 100% black ownership- are showcasing their products and services at the Latin American Defence and Security Exhibition (LAAD) underway Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Bayside Marine’s Director Timothy Jacobs outlined his company’s line of services as comprising steel repairs, fabrication, hull repairs, structural and general repairs.

“We also provide mechanical services and have since resolved to also provide boatbuilding as part of increasing our diverse services portfolio. Currently, we have two types of vessels that we built, namely, the Rigid Inflatable Boat and the…


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Loading relief goods for Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Loading relief goods for Mozambique

Over the past couple of weeks a leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has chartered aircraft to fly a total of almost 500 tons of humanitarian aid, as well as almost 100 doctors, into disaster-struck Mozambique so far.

This is in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai which swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe a little more than three weeks ago. It left at least 700 people dead and three million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Air Charter Service has worked tirelessly since then in conjunction with various aid agencies and governments, flying in a variety of cargo, including cholera vaccines, water treatments, mosquito nets and tarpaulins.

Dan Morgan-Evans of Air CXharter Service, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dan Morgan-Evans

“We even had one flight that was transporting an entire field hospital to the region, including X-ray machines and 4×4 vehicles,” said Dan Morgan-Evans, Group Director of Cargo at ACS. “In total so far we have chartered aircraft for just over 480 tons of equipment, on a variety of aircraft, ranging from Antonov 12s and Ilyushin 76s, to Boeing 747-400s and Boeing 777s, with more to come in the next few days.

“Our offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa have all been involved in the relief effort. As well as the huge amount of cargo, we also had a Boeing 737 transporting 80 doctors to Beira in Mozambique over the weekend.”

More details about Air Charter Service can be found at


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We regret to having learned of the passing on Wednesday 3 April 2019 of Mr Dallas Sutton, formerly of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) until his retirement some years ago. Dallas was a fiercely loyal MSC man always in the midst of the organising of events at MSC head office in Durban, full of humour and liaising often with the media and a gentleman with whom it was always a pleasure and honour to know.

Dallas was married to Faye, who he met when both were serving on board the Union Castle ships when that company operated its weekly passenger service between the UK and South Africa. After they came ashore it was to settle in Durban where Dallas joined MSC for the remainder of his career.

To Faye Sutton and their daughter Samantha (after whom the container ship MSC SAMANTHA was named), we extend our deepest condolences as well as gratitude for having been enriched by knowing their husband and father.

The funeral will take place next Friday 12 April at the Roman Catholic Church, 2 Newport Ave, Glenashley, Durban at 11h00.


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Durban Chamber of Commerc & Industry banner, displayed in article published in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry was commended recently by the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala for its accredited service to members and organised business through the issuing of Certificates of Origin (COO).

This followed concerns raised and directed at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) about the rising practice of fraudulent COOs being issued in South Africa and used to extort importers of their funds.

The Durban Chamber, a SACCI member, has a background in the history of issuing COOs and trade certifications going back decades as a SARS authorised and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) accredited issuer of COOs and trade certification.

“A COO is an important international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country,” said Palesa Phili, Durban Chamber CEO.

“It also serves as an official declaration by the exporter adding credibility to their product or service and the export/import process. Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining the duty that will be applied or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all,” Phili said.

Zikalala said that Certificates of Origin help to promote KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as a tried and tested export destination for certain goods and products.

“As the department continues to clamp down on illegal business operations that threaten economic growth in our province, we commend the Durban Chamber of Commerce as our private sector partner for ensuring that important instruments of trade such as COOs are issued with the highest level of quality, implementing transparent and accountable verification procedures and in accordance with international best practices,” the MEC said.

Zikalala added that export and trade play a crucial role in promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth for KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as a whole. “They contribute to GDP growth and also drive industrialisation, manufacturing, technology adoption and much needed infrastructure upgrades”.

The Durban Chamber is the biggest issuer of COOs in South Africa and a member of SACCI which is a national body mandated by the Department of Trade and Industry. As custodian and accreditation body for issuing chambers, SACCI interacts with government bodies such as the South African Revenue Service’s Customs department and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

SACCI’s CEO, Alan Mukoki, said recently that SACCI has been put under pressure by Department of Trade & Industry to tighten controls over the issuing of certificates. He said this applies also to non-compliant issuing chambers and that SACCI intends to open a criminal case against the people engaged in such illicit activity.


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Yacht wrecked on Durban South Breakwater. Picture: NSRI Durban Station 5, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Yacht wrecked on Durban South Breakwater. Picture: NSRI Durban Station 5

The Durban NSRI Station 5 (National Sea Rescue Institute) was called out on Thursday afternoon shortly before 2 pm after the Port of Durban Transnet National Ports Authority issued a report of a yacht having gone aground on the sea side of the South Breakwater.

According to a report from Andre Fletcher, NSRI Durban station 5 commander, the yacht had a crew of five people, three females and two males.

He said the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II and Megan II were launched, while Police Sea Borderline dispatched a Police Boat and TNPA officials, TNPA Fire and Rescue Services and TNPA Security were dispatched in addition to a TNPA tug boat and a TNPA pilot boat responding.

In addition Netcare 911 ambulance services were dispatched to stand-by at the NSRI Durban rescue base which is close to the harbour entrance.

On arrival on the scene the rescuers found all five crew had managed to abandon the yacht and get onto the dolosse along the side of the breakwater.

Two NSRI rescue swimmers were sent ashore where they assisted one female who had gotten herself trapped in amongst the dolosse. Once she was freed and the remaining four crew accounted for and found safe it was found they had suffered only minor injuries.

The crew of the yacht are all locals who advised they had sailed to Richards Bay and were returning to Durban when their yacht went aground.

They departed from the scene in a TNPA vehicle to be collected by family members the TNPA Millennium Tower on the Bluff headland.

As of Thursday evening the yacht remains wrecked on the South Breakwater awaiting salvage.


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Tribunal orders Djibouti to pay fine of US$385 million plus interest

Doraleh container terminal and port, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Doraleh container terminal and port

Doraleh Container Terminal SA (DCT), a Djibouti port operator owned 33.34% by DP World Group, and 66.66% by Port de Djibouti S.A., an entity of the Republic of Djibouti, has been successful in the London Court of International Arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Djibouti.

The Tribunal has found that by developing new container port opportunities with China Merchants Holdings International Co Limited (China Merchants), a Hong-Kong based port operator, Djibouti has breached DCT’s rights under its 2006 Concession Agreement to develop a container terminal at Doraleh, in Djibouti, specifically, its exclusivity over all container handling facilities in the territory of Djibouti.

The Tribunal ordered Djibouti to pay DCT $385 million plus interest for…


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Durban port on a fair weather day, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture courtesy TPT
Durban port on a fair weather day, picture: TPT

Port stakeholders have been advised by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the port of Durban to expect severe adverse weather tonight as from 19h00.

The message sent out this afternoon reads:

“Please be advised that the Port Of Durban is expected to experience severe adverse weather, with winds gusting up to 50 knots South Westerly and swells over 4 metres. Please advise all vessels in Port and at Durban anchorage to put out extra moorings, have engines on short notice and standby on channe l9 and 16. Periodic updates will follow on the night shift.”

Postcript:  In the end the weather didn’t prove too severe altthough the SW ‘Buster’ did come through as expected, bringing strong winds followed by rain and rough seas.


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First shipment comprises 1,000 Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor models destined for markets in Europe. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
First shipment comprises 1,000 Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor models destined for markets in Europe. Picture: TNPA

The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is expanding its vehicle export operations by adopting a multi-port strategy with the first shipment of 1,000 locally assembled Ford Rangers and Ford Ranger Raptors from Port Elizabeth to markets in Europe.

Currently, all of Ford’s incoming and outbound vehicles are processed through Durban Harbour’s Roll On Roll Off (RORO) Terminal, which is the country’s primary import and export hub for most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), importers and distributors.

“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for the Ford Ranger around the world, and have invested over R3-billion in the recent expansion of our production capacity in our South African operations to fulfil these orders,” said Ockert Berry, VP Operations, Ford Middle East and Africa.

“Together with Transnet, we evaluated how a multi-port strategy could benefit both parties by improving the use of current assets, reducing costs, avoiding the ongoing congestion in the Durban Terminal and utilising other ports for imports and exports,” Berry stated.

To facilitate this process, Ford has broadened its outbound logistics portfolio to support the multi-port strategy for Port Elizabeth, and will be shipping vehicles twice per month to various receiving ports in Europe.

First shipment comprises 1,000 Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor models destined for markets in Europe. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Ford Rangers, which are produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, are being transported to Port Elizabeth using Transnet Freight Rail infrastructure. Traditionally, Port Elizabeth-based vehicle manufacturers transport units to Gauteng by rail, and these rail assets return empty. Ford will now be using the return leg to move export vehicles from Silverton to Port Elizabeth for shipping to selected markets around the world.

“This will assist us in making the shipping and delivery from South Africa more cost effective, efficient and faster,” Berry added.

Rajesh Dana, Port Manager, Port of Port Elizabeth said that Transnet National Ports Authority is extremely excited at the launch vehicle volumes that Ford Motor Company will be processing through the port.

“The high number of these launch volumes further provides the Transnet operating divisions the opportunity to ensure that our OEM partners experience world-class facilitation through our port,”Dana said. “Of further importance is the role that this operation will play in the long-term strategy of the port becoming an Automotive Hub.”

The Transnet integrated logistics solutions across three of the operating divisions, to accommodate the Ford Motor Company launch exports units, allows for optimisation of strategic infrastructure, moving of cargo from road to rail and improving the efficiency of export logistics.

“Not only will this project result in increased export volumes through the Port of Port Elizabeth, but it will also allow for value-added logistic services within the port,” Dana added. “This will allow us to showcase our world-class automotive industry port services and allow the port to take a step closer in becoming a premier automotive hub for South Africa.”


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Education & Training Harbour Infrastructure & Shipping

Trainee Tug Masters at Port of Ngqura (left to right) Ntombizonke Khayisa, Olwethu Mzimeli, Makabongwe Sibandile, Anda Mzinyathi, Lulamile Mnyila, Bongi Nomqhuphu and Awonke Notshulwana, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Trainee Tug Masters (left to right) Ntombizonke Khayisa, Olwethu Mzimeli, Makabongwe Sibandile, Anda Mzinyathi, Lulamile Mnyila, Bongi Nomqhuphu and Awonke Notshulwana

The Port of Ngqura in South Africa’s Eastern Cape announced the intake of seven marine cadets recently.

They represent a group of ten cadets, out of a national port pipeline of 31, who have just completed their required academic and sea borne training before being employed by the port for three years to complete their Tug Master training.

The other three of the ten cadets are being employed by the Port of Richards Bay as…


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Turkish Straits courtesy of ICS, used with press release on conference April 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Speaking in Istanbul, Simon Bennett, Deputy Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) warned today (Wednesday 3 April 2019) that avoiding overcapacity and unsustainably low freight rates is still a major challenge ten years after the massive downturn of 2008.

Mr Bennett said: “In that time shipping companies needed to show restraint when ordering new ships, to prevent stifling recovery. Yet the dark clouds of protectionism and slowing growth in key economies mean that…


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Richards Bay tug UZAVOLO. Picture by Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Richards Bay tug UZAVOLO is for sale by auction.    Picture by Trevor Jones

Transnet has this year placed a number of its harbour fleet of older tugs and workboats on sale by way of auctions held in February and March.

It is understood that most of the vessels on offer remain unsold at this time but this is subject to confirmation as is the outcome for much of this report.

Among the tugs that were on offer is RB3 UZAVOLO, the former R.H. Tarpey, a Voith Schneider propelled tug built in 1974 at the James Brown & Hamer Shipyard in Durban.

Another harbour vessel is the Saldanha-based tug MARCUS, built in 1976 which is also a Voith Schneider diesel tug. It is believed this vessel was sold though confirmation is required.

Likewise at Saldanha the 1977-built tug MEEUW was on offer, yet another of the Voith Schneider vessels.

At Port Elizabeth the former Cape Town diesel tug SHIRAZ (ex Ben Schoeman), Voith Schneider propulsion and built in 1980 was on offer but apparently remains unsold.

Among the smaller vessels on the auction was the Saldanha-based single-engined diesel harbour launch SYSIE, which appears to have been sold.

A report in a railway-related newsletter disclosed that a harbour dredger at Durban was for sale, as are two abandoned fishing craft at Mossel Bay, three harbour pilot boats at Saldanha and Cape Town (see above) plus the four harbour tugs that we list here.

The auctioneer involved is/was GoDove Auctioneers.

If any readers can confirm or clarify any of the above or others that we have left out it would be appreciated. Email such info to


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Contship Oak. Picture courtesy: ShipSpotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Contship Oak. Picture courtesy: ShipSpotting

The Liberian-flagged container ship CONTSHIP OAK (IMO 9373917) has come under attack by armed pirates who boarded the vessel while the ship was at anchor in the outer anchorage of Douala in Cameroon, position 03 53N 009 30E.

The vessel had arrived earlier and on 30 March was waiting to dock on the following day when the pirates boarded the vessel.

Little information has been…


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Carol Holness Senior Associate Norton Rose Fulbright


By Carol Holness
Senior Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa



The first few months of 2019 has already seen three major container ship fires. The most recent fire, on board the Grande America, has resulted in the sinking of the roll-on/roll-off container ship in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France, the loss of her cargo and oil pollution from the 2200 metric tonnes of fuel on board.

Why are fires on container ships like the Grande America so frequent and devastating? Firstly, cargo is packed into containers before it reaches the shipowner or carrier who are reliant on the shipper’s declaration regarding the container’s contents. Most container ship fires are cargo (rather than engine room) fires and many occur as a result of the misdeclaration or inadequate packing of hazardous cargo. Secondly, it can be difficult for crew to contain a fire which starts in one of several thousand containers in a stack in a vessel’s hold.

The shipping industry is well aware of the dangers of fires at sea and hazardous cargo and has taken some steps in response to container ship fires. Several P&I Clubs have issued guidance notes for the carriage of dangerous goods. And, following the two week blaze on board the Maersk Honam in 2018, Maersk changed its cargo storage guidelines to prohibit the storage of dangerous cargo near the crew’s accommodation or the engine room and has implemented random container checks in North America. We will have to wait and see how effective these measures are in improving safety at sea.

A major vessel fire results in massive losses to many of the parties involved in the voyage. Cargo owners and their insurers bear the risk of damage to their cargo and claims by shipowners for general average and salvage contributions. Shipowners face damage to their ship and huge expenses to tow the vessel to a port of refuge, fire-fighting operations, oil pollution cleanup costs and potential claims by cargo owners. Carriers may have to transship cargo to its final place of destination where the vessel is unable to continue or where the shipowner terminates the voyage. There is also the very real risk to the safety of the vessel’s crew.

Establishing the cause of a fire can take several months with many experts appointed by the respective parties. There may be protracted litigation and it is not uncommon for an average adjustment (which sets out each party’s proportional general average contribution) to take years to be issued.

Under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, which are the liability regimes covering most ocean-going cargo, a shipowner has a defence to cargo claims unless the cargo owner can show that the vessel was unseaworthy at the commencement of the voyage and that this caused the loss. The shipowner must then prove that the loss did not occur as a result of a lack of due diligence on the part of the shipowner. For example, a shipowner’s failure to train the crew, to have an adequate safety management system in place or fire-fighting equipment on board the vessel may result in the vessel being deemed unseaworthy and show a lack of due diligence on the part of the shipowner.

Where the fire is caused by a misdeclaration of hazardous cargo, the shipowner and cargo owners may have a claim against the owner of the guilty cargo. However, in practice, such claims are often worthless as parties who misdeclare cargo often do so to obtain lower freight rates and will disappear overnight when a major fire occurs.

The owners of the Grande America have indicated that they do not believe the fire to have been caused by misdeclared cargo.

Even when the nature of cargo is properly declared, a cargo owner may still be liable to the shipowner and other cargo owners. For example, in a 2018 judgment relating to the fire on board the MSC Flaminia, the US courts apportioned blame between the cargo owner (for shipping hazardous cargo during warmer months) and the non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) for failing to inform the ocean carrier, MSC, of the dangers of heat exposure to the particular cargo.

Fires at sea pose a serious commercial and safety risk and more steps need to be taken to fight this threat or it is inevitable that we will experience further major container ship fires before the end of 2019.


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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.



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