Weekly Press Review – 28 August 2017

The sale of Maersk oil and gas assets to Total made headlines this week. Total agreed to buy the oil and gas unit AP Moller-Maersk, paying Maersk with $4.95 billion (R65.03 billion) of its own shares and assuming $2.5bn of the company’s debt.

The board at Grindrod is investigating the possibility of a separate offshore listing process.

According to the press, Mike Hankinson, executive chairman of Grindrod said, “The Grindrod board has for many years reiterated the intention to separate the shipping business from the balance of the group, as it does not believe that the value of the shipping business is fairly reflected in the Grindrod share price.”

The company has said that it has appointed South African and foreign advisers to assist and it is expected that the listing process will be concluded within the first half of next year.

Despite Sasol announcing a 15 percent fall in headline earnings, Sasol shares traded in positive territory this week.

According the press, the stock moved 1.58 percent up in early trade with the shares settling 0,57 percent up at R392.80 at the close of the JSE on Friday.

Sea Harvest, the fishing division of Brimstone, is working towards the purchasing of a freezer ship valued at $15.5 million.

According to the press, Felix Ratheb, executive head of Sea Harvest, says the vessel is a necessity to ensure optimal use of the fleet.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) says that it is making progress in the fight against abalone poaching after two separate arrests last week and the confiscation of abalone worth approximately R13 million.

According to the press, the department says, “The protection of Marine Living Resources, including abalone, is one of the priorities of the department.”

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Weekly Press Review – 23 January 2017

Grindrod Asset Management this week announced plans for a deal that would culminate in Infinitus Holdings gaining a 76 percent stake in Grindrod.

According to the press Infinitus is focused on high-growth businesses in the consumer, industrial and financial services sector.

Through its subsidiary GFS Holdings, Grindrod will exchange its entire Grindrod Asset Management for Infinitus shares.

GFS managing director, David Polkinghorne, said, “Grindrod is changing the way it holds its interest. This is an important step to free up the business to develop its own identity as Bridge Fund Managers pursue sensible growth opportunities while retaining its loyal client base. Grindrod will continue to support the business in every way.”

Also making headlines this week is the news that Transnet has initiated an investigation into complaints regarding the management of the training programme at its Marine School of Excellence.

According to a statement by Transnet executive head, Siyabonga Gama, the complaints are focused mainly on the issues of access to practical training and the duration of the programme.

Transnet has made a R7.7 billion investment in training over the next decade and with hopes to expand the maritime training academy.

Weekly Press Review – 26 February 2016

This week marked the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi. According to the press over 200 people attended a service at the SA Mendi Memorial in Atteridgeville earlier this week to commemorate the event.

On 21 February 1917 the SS Mendi collided with another vessel, the SS Daro, and sank with 646 South African Labour Corps on board. Most of the victims were black South African troops. It was a major loss of life for the South African military, as well as one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century.

Also in the news this week is the announcement that Grindrod has pulled out of the planned multi-billion rand Saldanha crude oil terminal.

Grindrod chief executive Alan Olivier said, “ Clearly the market conditions, with the fall in commodity prices and curtailment of capital projects in the mining sector, has certainly put pressure on a lot of the projects we were looking at.

“But we always said we would not proceed with capital projects unless we had the underlying volume support to be able to justify these projects.”

The arrival of the French frigate Le Nivose has made headlines this week. The vessel will be at the V&A Waterfront until mid-March and is open to the public.

Le Nivose has been patrolling the French southern and Antarctic territories, combating piracy, illegal fishing and trafficking, with the aim of increasing maritime security in the area.

World Maritime Day

Today is World Maritime Day today. This day, set aside for the last week of September each year, offers a day to reflect on how the maritime industry has influenced our lives over the past year and also offers an opportunity for organisations, companies and individuals to actively do something to acknowledge the people involved in an industry that so many take for granted.

This year South Africa is recognising the day with various events around the country. Transport Deputy Minister, Honourable Sindisiwe Chikunga will host the World Maritime Day Career Expo and Exhibition in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. The celebrations are being held under the theme: “Sustainable Development: International Maritime Organisation’s contribution beyond Rio+20.”
The event is being attended by school children from previously disadvantaged communities who will be given the chance to display their knowledge of the maritime sector through educational displays and exhibitions.

Schools around the Northern Cape will participate in a competition involving: ship designing, essay writing, drama and art competition.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Environmental Affairs, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), Grindrod Shipping Company, Smit Amandla Marine and various other key maritime stakeholders will engage with the learners, providing information surrounding various activities within the maritime industry.

The day will be closed with a gala dinner.

The South Africa Navy is also acknowledging the day and participating in the celebrations.

World Maritime Day in South Africa also serves as a platform to create awareness around the career opportunities available within the maritime industry. It’s just a bit of a pity that the industry seems to rely on the usual suspects (see the list above) to promote their sector. Where is everyone else? We should all be involved in these initiatives.

Make a note in your diaries because in September 2014 Maritime Review will challenge the entire industry to come to the party!