Weekly Press Review – 16 October 2017

This week Armscor confirmed plans to buy a new torpedo system for its Heroine-class submarines to replace the existing ageing stockpile.

According to the press, it is unclear how many new-generation torpedoes will be purchased (at an estimated cost of R60 million each), but news of the acquisition coincides with a military budget crisis, with the navy unable to afford vital offshore patrol vessels. The government has also delayed a massive shipbuilding programme, Projects Hotel and Biro, which would create thousands of jobs.

“The value to the country of a torpedo weapons system is minuscule compared with building a ship,” said one arms industry insider.

Earlier this year naval chiefs confirmed severe operational challenges stemming from a R5 billion cut in military spending across the army, air force and navy.

Despite the fact that two major perlemoen poaching syndicates have recently appeared in local magistrate courts, the business of perlemoen poaching remains rife in the Western Cape.

According to the press the police arrested three individuals in possession with approximately R30,000 of perlemoen this week.  The men will appear in court shortly.

South Africa and Mozambique are developing more gas pipelines in order to meet the increasing demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in both countries.

According to the press, Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Augusto de Sousa Fernando told delegates at the International Gas Co-operation Summit in Durban that demand had increased over the last 13 years. He added that South Africa had an opportunity to benefit from the development of LNG in the future by joining other countries in the region.

As part of National Marine Week WWF-Sassi has reiterated its message that whether we will be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of a meal of fish and chips in the future depends largely on the choices that we, as consumers, make today.

Sassi has compiled a list of the status of various fish. Each year this list is reviewed and species are added, removed or have their status changed, according to various species assessments.

Two Ocean Aquarium communications and sustainability manager, Helen Lockhart said, “Teaming up with SASSI this Marine Month provides a great opportunity to take the sustainable seafood message beyond the Aquarium and to focus on informing and empowering consumers during this month.”

Weekly Press Review – 13 September 2013

Making headlines this week is the news that Mozambique has signed a R2.7 million deal with a French shipyard for six patrol and interceptor ships for its navy, as well as a fleet of fishing boats.

Defense analyst, Helmoed Romer Heitman says this is good news for South Africa as “the more they’ve got the better, the less we have to do.” He added that South Africa and Mozambique run joint operations with each other and SADC partners and described the navy boats to be added to the Mozambique fleet as a good complement for South Africa’s vessels.

In other news,the NSRI was called to assist a fisherman who was pulled overboard after getting his foot tangled in the rope while fishing off St Helena Bay. Dominic Brink was trapped underwater until his colleagues managed to cut the rope and free him. He was treated by NSRI volunteers for a fracture to his femur and symptoms of near drowning. He is presently recovering in hospital.

The end of this story could very easily not have been a happy one, but for Brink’s quick thinking (and acting) colleagues and the quick response of the local NSRI team in the area.