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Nelson Mandela Bay ports celebrate World Maritime Day

Sep 26, 2019
Nelson Mandela Bay ports celebrate World Maritime Day

Port Elizabeth -  The Ports of PE and Ngqura,under the custodianship of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), rolled out an array of activities to mark World Maritime Day on Thursday.

Created by the United Nations (UN), via the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), World Maritime Day celebrates the international maritime industry’s contribution towards the world’s economy, especially in shipping.

This year’s theme, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community,” does not only provide TNPA with the opportunity to reflect on women’s contribution in the sector, but also to promote its achievements in terms of gender equality in an industry historically dominated by males.

A new maritime outlook

“The International Transport Workers’ Federation estimates that women represent only 2% of the global maritime workforce,” said TNPA’s Acting Chief Executive, Nozipho Mdawe. “For Transnet, as the largest and most crucial part of the freight logistics chain that delivers goods to each and every South African, women’s development is a priority.”

“Today women occupy 50% of the top management positions nationally within TNPA, three of our eight commercial ports have female port managers and women now fill 36% of all jobs across TNPA, bringing their unique characteristics to the workplace,” she said.

“We are reminded of the important role we play as custodian of the South African port system in preserving and building upon the strong history of shipping in South Africa. Yet at the same time, we are focused on carving out a new maritime future that is more inclusive and accessible to all South Africans. This new maritime outlook includes a strong focus on the development of women and other previously disadvantaged groups,” Mdawe said.

In line with this focus, TNPA’s ports hosted programmes involving key role players in the industry.

The Port of PE

The Port of PE hosted an event at which industry representatives explored topics such as Women in the Bunkering Industry and A Seafaring Career with the South African Navy. Various TNPA women in marine spoke about their vocational experiences in roles previously dominated by males, such as marine safety, marine operations and pilot boat mastery.

Bayworld presented insights into pollution and its effect on marine life, Extreme Projects demonstrated a spillage cleanup and the National Sea Rescue Institute showcased a rescue and flare demonstration.

“As TNPA we believe that we play a vital role in enabling, supporting and growing the maritime sector. We are confident that we are living this year’s theme of empowering women in the maritime sector, especially when reflecting on the percentage of our female workforce,” said Rajesh Dana, Port Manager of the Port of PE.

Amongst guests in attendance at the Port of PE celebrations were Deputy Executive Mayor, Cllr. Buyeye and Managing Director of South African Marine Fuels, Siyamthanda Maya.

The Port of PE hosted learners from Khwezilomso Comprehensive School, Loyiso Senior Secondary School, Cowan High School, eThembeni High School and the Sea Cadets of TS Lanherne. The celebrations concluded with a beautiful water ballet by the Tug Mvezo.

Port of Ngqura

The Port of Nqgura held a business breakfast and round table discussion on challenges facing women in the maritime industry, led by female industry professionals. Local learners were also treated to maritime career presentations and port tours.

“Women bring a unique set of characteristics into the workplace. Although I acknowledge that there is still much to be done to attract more young ladies, I want to commend all the female pioneers who continue to place their mark in our industry,” said Tandi Lebakeng, Port Manager of the Port of Ngqura.

“As part of a maritime nation with 3 900km of coastline, the Nelson Mandela Bay is strategically positioned to realize the goals and objectives of both the IMO and the city – stimulating economic growth and provide much needed jobs to the people of Nelson Mandela Bay,” Lebakeng said.

Image: These young Marine professionals in the Port of Ngqura inspired learners of various schools by sharing their career journeys with them. They are from the left Ntombizodwa Khanyisa (Trainee Tugmaster), Mbali Khanyile (Marine Technical Manager), Anathi Khoza (Tug Master), Olwethu Mzimeli (Trainee Tugmaster), Sandile Gebashe (Pilot) and Yoliswa Tibane (Deputy Harbour Master).

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