The maritime industry seems to have suddenly woken up and started some vigourous planning for the next couple of weeks. While some events have been a long time in the offing – others seem to have simply sprung up on the calendar.
Last week the National Department of Transport (NDoT) surprised maritime stakeholders with an invitation to a Maritime Bosberaad in Pretoria. Hosted jointly by the NDoT, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the Ports Regulator – it seems that the last minute invitation may have influenced the actual attendance register on the day.
It’s a pity really since the Minister of Transport was due to provide the keynote address. Sadly, with only a day’s notice, I did not make it up to Pretoria and will have to rely on the industry for some feedback. I would be especially interested to know what the ANC Youth League’s contribution amounted to.
Then the rather active and community-spirited maritime sectors in Durban took the initiative to host a Maritime Conference on the MSC Sinfonia. Featuring a rather modest price-tag of only R5000 (all inclusive), this certainly sounds as if a real effort was made to make it as inclusive as possible.
HEAD’S UP FOR THE HIGH SEAS
We’ve been watching the establishment of the Global Ocean Commission since its launch last month and were particularly interested to learn that, not only is Trevor Manuel a Co-chair of the Commission, but South Africa (Cape Town) is hosting their inaugural meeting.
Some follow-up revealed that they would be in Cape Town this week, but that media would not be accommodated at any sessions and nothing had been planned to include us. So – once again it was with surprise that an invitation to a press briefing landed in our inbox late yesterday requesting our presence at a briefing this morning.
The lack of availability of the local press eventually saw this moved to a later date – and one that will take into account the work undertaken during this week by the international heads scheduled to participate.
BREAKING THE CONTACT FAST
Heavily criticised for not engaging enough with the top levels of the fishing industry, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, is scheduled to share breakfast with CEO’s from this sector tomorrow morning.
I will attend the press briefing DAFF has scheduled following this gathering to hear first hand how the relationship has been strengthened.
CEMENTING THE MARITIME BRICS AGENDA
I must admit I have been waiting for a long time for the local South African maritime industry to start talking meaningfully around this topic and am pleased that the initiative has been taken to break-away from next week’s BRICS sessions in this regard.
With a full calendar and a host of public holidays to contend with, organisers elected to host this on a Sunday and I hope that the date does not deter too many stakeholders.
Once again the Minister of Transport, Ben Dikobe Martins, is on the schedule and panel discussions should provide for a lively platform if they are accurately populated.
MEETING TO DISCUSS AFRICAN MARITIME ECONOMY
The African maritime agenda is key to most conferences and events this year and the Nautical Institute (Southern African Branch) is meeting in association with a number of other key local professional associations to discuss this.
So with an Easter breather between this event and the BRICS sessions; the maritime industry will reassemble in Cape Town to debate the challenges facing the African Maritime economy.
R&R ON THE GOLF COURSE
After all these cerebral outings, however, some sectors of the maritime industry are blocking out a Friday to chase a little white ball around in Stellenbosch. We’ll be there to sponsor one of the holes, take a few photos and relax with you after a hectic couple of weeks.
GET YOUR EVENT ON THE RADAR
So if you are planning anything else in the maritime industry – put it on our radar and we’ll make sure that it becomes more than just a blip