Maritime careers to meet ports’ needs

2019-04-04 06:01
=From the left are Trainee Tug Masters Ntombizonke Khayisa, Olwethu Mzimeli, Makabongwe Sibandile, Anda Mzinyathi, Lulamile Mnyila, Bongi Nomqhuphu and Awonke Notshulwana. Photo:SUPPLIED

=From the left are Trainee Tug Masters Ntombizonke Khayisa, Olwethu Mzimeli, Makabongwe Sibandile, Anda Mzinyathi, Lulamile Mnyila, Bongi Nomqhuphu and Awonke Notshulwana. Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE Port of Ngqura is proudly making a significant contribution to the development of critical skills required by the South African port system, with the intake of seven marine cadets recently.

They represent a group of 10 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 10 cadets are being employed by the Port of Richards Bay as Trainee Tug Masters. A total of 21 cadets are still in the process of completing their cadetship at academic institutions or at sea.

Developing a pipeline of skills

“Through this programme we are not only preparing youth for maritime careers to meet the needs of the ports, but we are also uplifting surrounding communities. We have various interventions in place to attract and develop these highly skilled young people,” said Siphokazi Maqetuka, HR Manager of the Port of Ngqura.

“It begins at previously disadvantaged high schools where we offer bursaries to deserving matriculants at adopted schools nationally.”

Ploughing back into the Eastern Cape

The seven trainees, now gaining workplace experience in the Port of Ngqura, were initially recruited from schools in the Eastern Cape.

They have now come back to their home port after being away, completing their academic studies and sea-time experience elsewhere. They represent five males and two females and have been employed from November 2018 for three years.

Tug Master training

“The Tug Master Trainees are trained to handle and manoeuvre tugboats within port limits and in rare cases they will do coastal voyages between ports. The training also include the managing of crew and ensuring that tug maintenance is done effectively,” said Sibusiso Dlamini, Tug Master in the Port of Ngqura.

“None of our strategic plans can succeed without having the appropriate pipeline of maritime skills, knowledge and experience in place. At the heart of this programme is the need to continuously improve the operational efficiency of our ports, to remain globally competitive and offering our customers quality service.” - REPORTER

The Marine Cadet Programme

Students interested in the Marine Cadet Programme are required to pass pure Maths, Physical Science and English in Grade 12. Maritime Studies (Navigation) and Marine Engineering can be studied at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Durban University of Technology (DUT) or Nelson Mandela University (NMU).

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