Maritime Training opportunities on board third SA registered vessel

The multipurpose platform supply and support vessel Greatship Manisha – operating out of the port of Mossel Bay – became the third ship to be registered on the South African Ships Registry. The vessel was registered on the 14th March 2017.

It is the first ship to be registered by the Cape Town-based Marine Crew Services (MCS) which has chartered the vessel as part of its two-year contract with petroleum company PetroSA.

Two South Africans have been serving on the vessel – which was previously registered in Singapore – and the move to the South African Ships Register will lead to a further seven South African seafarers joining the vessel upon registration.

MCS aimed to eventually have a 100% local crew complement aboard the 4 600-deadweight tonne (DWT) vessel, said company CEO Daniel Ngubane. Provision had been made to take six South African trainee cadets on board once the ship had been officially recognised as a maritime training vessel by the South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA), he added.
Ngubane pointed out that MCS had, for the past 14 years, successfully trained and placed close to 900 South Africans — ranging from officers to cadets – on local and international vessels.

He said the company also provided bursaries to Lawhill Maritime Centre graduates ( for enrollment in tertiary maritime studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

According to him, the local registration of the Greatship Manisha offers opportunities for young South Africans who have completed their theoretical training to obtain the required practical experience at sea that completes their international qualification.

Rufus Lekala suspended

South Africa’s Chief Harbour Master has suspended.
No reasons have been given at this stage.

The following as an extract from Brand South Africa’s article:
“From taxi driver to South African and world maritime history-maker – this is how Captain Rufus Lekala’s life story would read if it were written today.

Appointed as the first black harbour master in South Africa and the youngest in the world in 2002, Lekala has now made maritime history again after becoming the first black chief harbour master in the country and the youngest in the world to hold such a position.

The 41-year-old father of two took up the position on 1 June 2011.

A chief harbour master is responsible for strategising maritime projects and dealing with policy-making.

Lekala is also responsible for cohesion between the Department of Transport, Transnet, the International Maritime Association and the International Lighthouse Association.”

BMC attends VDES conference in Cape Town

We recently attended the VDES (VHF Data Exchange System) conference in the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West near Cape Town, South Africa. The event was organised by Stone Three Venture technology.

It was very gratifying the founder of BMC, Captain Keith Burchell, was publicly recognised as one of the founders of the AIS technology.

To quote from the handout:
“VDES is seen as an effective and efficient use of radio spectrum, building on the capabilities of AIS and addressing the increasing requirements for data through the system”

Presentations on the way forward for VDES were given by a variety of speakers, with John Hirst of Senro UK hosting the event.

Apart from the guy next to me having a kip after lunch, the attendees were participatory and this new communication technology has a lot of support in the shipping community.

Compliance issues were discussed at length and this is going to pose a challenge for the international community.

A very informative conference and we look forward to being part of the future of Maritime communications.

Macuse gets the go-ahead in Mozambique

Macauhub reports that the Portuguese construction group Mota-Engil has been hired to build a rail-road between Moatize in Tete province Mozambique, and Macuse on the Zambezia province coast in Mozambique, where a deep-water port will be built for the export of coal.

The announcement was made by the president of the Zambezi Integrated Development Corridor (Codiza) in conversation with Radio Mozambique.

According to Abdul Carino, the international tender attracted six bids, and all that was left to do was sign the contract for the company to start work, “as the cost of the work was set at US$2.3 billion.”

Carino was speaking in Quelimane, the capital of the Mozambiquan provincce, Zambezia.

Mozambican news agency AIM reported that interest in the project came from China, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal and South Korea.

The line between Moatize and the port of Macuse, located north of Quelimane, will be about 500 kilometres long.