What is a Maritime Maestro?

Maritime Maestros have salt in their veins. They are committed to the industry in a way that goes beyond the scope of a 9 to 5 job description. They give passionately and devote their energies to develop the future of the industry as a whole. They lead the industry and often pioneer new paths – they are Maritime Maestros.

Two years ago we recognised Okke Grapow as a Maritime Maestro at the 2012/13 SAMSA Maritime Industry Awards. He was living out his maritime family heritage that had been passed down to him from his father and subsequently onto his own children. His dedication to offer himself beyond the confines of a 9 to 5 servant to the industry certainly benefitted the development of the South African maritime industry – and today he continues to inspire others.

This year we are once again appealing to the industry to get out of their comfort zones and to start to recognise the impact that their peers, colleagues and even competitors are making in the industry. Nominations are open for the 2014/15 SAMSA Maritime Industry Awards. Read more about the various categories and start nominating today!



CSI Maritime

CSI, which incidentally has nothing to do with investigating crime scenes, has become an integral part of doing business and many maritime companies have well-entrenched strategies for identifying as well as supporting social upliftment. From education to supporting orphans or places of refuge and even environmental projects – there are no shortages of Corporate Social Investment initiatives requiring funding.

Massive corporates usually get the applause for their CSI strategies, but both big and small businesses are identifying worthwhile causes and investing money, time and skills in helping others.

Recently, however, the topic has become fodder for anecdotal dinner conversation as outraged people comment on intended legislation aimed at weighting incentives for companies participating in welfare-related projects. The general consensus seems to be that companies will be forced to abandon many of the causes they currently support as they chase incentives provided by supporting projects with 100 percent Black beneficiaries because anything else “just wont count”.

For me it’s a bit of a bizarre argument. To say that putting your hand out to help “just wont count” is wholly ridiculous. That the entire motivation for helping a cause should be attached to financial or tax incentives somewhat taints the intention. And let’s be fair – the weighting of incentives does not remove all tax breaks; but rather puts emphasis on projects that the government feels will perhaps impact positively on addressing their prioritised goals such as unemployment.

I acknowledge that, based on our own priorities to address different injustices, it may seem unfair to some to weight these tax incentives, but if you want to support a cause and really feel passionate about it – get on and support it because it will definitely “count” to those who benefit.

We, together with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), aim to recognise companies within the maritime fold at this year’s Maritime Industry Awards who give credence to the ethos of Corporate Social Investment. The award category aims to recognise a company’s commitment reaching outside of their corporate structures to lend a hand. Special emphasis will be placed on the company’s ability to involve their own staff members and instill a sense of charity that goes beyond handing over big cheques and issuing press releases.

The SAMSA Maritime Industry Awards, to be held in Cape Town on the 20 April 2013, are open to companies or organisations with a majority South African shareholding or with proven investment in the South African industry that includes an operating office; employment of South African citizens as well as investment in training and infrastructure. Individuals can also be nominated in any of the nine categories.

For more information about the SAMSA Maritime Industry Awards or to nominate a company or individual, please follow the link below:


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What is a Maritime Maestro?

Since I started knocking about in the maritime industry some 17 years ago I have come across a few very extraordinary people. Sadly some of these have passed on, but fortunately a number still remain in the industry and continue to inspire us. They are passionate about all things maritime and unashamedly promote aspects of the industry outside of the typical nine-to-five window many of us allocate for work. They demand exacting standards from themselves and inspire others to notch up achievements they did not believe were possible.

These people are largely unrecognised, but this year’s SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) Maritime Industry Awards seeks to shine the spotlight on them and give them their due at an awards dinner scheduled for 20 April 2013 at the Look Out in Cape Town.

I know of a number of Maritime Maestros that deserve this recognition and hope that many of us in the industry will take the time to nominate these inspiring individuals. It’s an easy process, but needs to be done by the end of this month so do not delay.

For more information on the SAMSA Maritime Industry Awards and the nomination process, please follow the link below:


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