The issue of South Africa’s ship register was back in the press this week. According to a report by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), South Africa’s ship register is largely regarded as “uncompetitive”, resulting in not a single merchant ship being listed. “This means that South Africa’s economy and its security of trade are dependent on ships owned and regulated in foreign countries.”
According to the newspaper reports, the issue relates to South African companies choosing to flag their vessels in foreign jurisdictions.
SAMSA believes that If we want to see the South African maritime economy truly boom, we need to find a way to offer ship owners incentives to flag their vessels in South Africa. We believe the issue is not so black and white and will pursue this debate further in the magazine.
On a less serious note, but still maritime related, a large male fur seal caused some minor traffic congestion after wandering from the dunes to find some warmth on the tar of Baden Powell drive in Muizenberg.
The SPCA was called and Wildlife Unit manager Brett Glasby responded to the call. “When I got there, the male seal was still lying in the middle of the road and traffic officials were diverting traffic around it. I just used a beach towel to herd him over the dunes until the road was out of sight and he could see the ocean again.”
Looks like South Africa’s Big 5 could have a little competition from our maritime mammals.