Ricochet News

Profile: Mbali Khanyile, Marine Technical Manager at Port of Ngqura

Aug 16, 2019
Profile: Mbali Khanyile, Marine Technical Manager at Port of Ngqura

Port Elizabeth - During this Women’s Month, it is the appropriate time to reflect on what Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has achieved in this regard. Today women occupy half (50%) of its top management positions nationally.

Three of its eight commercial ports have female port managers – the ports of East London, Ngqura and Cape Town. Women now fill 36% of all jobs within TNPA, bringing their unique characteristics and feminine touch to the workplace.

One of these women are Mbali Khanyile, Marine Technical Manager in the Port of Ngqura. She is a real people’s person – a characteristic that she regards as her strength.

“What motivates me is being able to inspire people, giving them hope and making them believe in themselves. I want to see someone grow from General Purpose Rating to Tug Master to Marine Pilot. If you believe in people, they do wonders,” Mbali said.

“I listen to my colleagues. The more I move into a position of leadership, the more I realise that I have to be a mouthpiece between my colleagues and top management. I am here to guide and support.”

My responsibilities

“I manage the tug masters, pilot boat masters and berthing masters. I have to ensure that all our craft are fully operational and that we have enough crew for every shift. My typical day entails handling emails, ensuring craft are fully manned, interacting with my Marine colleagues and listening to their issues – trying to resolve it where possible.”

My highlights and challenges

“My challenges include the lack of resources when craft break down. Craft should not be out of commission – it should be operational at all times.”

“My highlight occurred when I joined the Port of Ngqura in March last year. I managed to get all our nine trainee tug masters to go to the Maritime School of Excellence (MSOE) for their Phase 1 training programme. I took it upon myself to compile all the paperwork required by HR on short notice. They were all booked and at MSOE in no time, doing their best.”

The woman behind the manager

Raised in eSkhawini in Richards Bay, Mbali is a qualified Marine Pilot with 12 years’ service at Transnet. She obtained a National Diploma in Maritime Studies at the Durban University of Technology, joined Safmarine as a deck cadet, obtained her Class 3 ticket at SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority), worked as a Trainee Tug Master in the Port of Richards Bay, qualified as a Tug Master and Marine Pilot before moving to PE in 2018, occupying her current position.

She loves travelling on the spur of the moment. Travelling excites her as it allows her “to see how other people live this thing called life…” Her words of advice to young people entering the job market? “Find your passion, do what you love and don’t worry about money - it will follow. Just be yourself – life is too short to be someone else.”

Image: Mbali Khanyile, Marine Technical Manager in the Port of Ngqura.

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