Weekly Press Review – 5 December 2016

The SA Agulhas II embarked on her latest voyage this week. According to the press a group of 10 local scientists and researchers will spend 14 months doing scientific research for South Africa on the white continent, Antarctica.

According to Department of Environmental Affairs spokesperson Zolile Nqayi, “The team will be doing various types of research, including on weather, oceanography and marine animals such as sea birds.  One of the new interesting projects they will work on is doing remote digital surveillance on penguins, in which they track penguins and how they travel for feeding.”

The research is aimed at providing information regarding the effects of climate change.

PetroSA remains in the headlines this week with a call by the DA for PetroSA bosses to pay back their annual bonuses.

According to the press 10 of the company’s top managers, responsible for Project Ikwhezi, received a total bonus of approximately R17.3 million, while regular workers received nothing; and the company registered a deficit of R14.5 bn. Trade union Numsa is insisting that workers are paid some kind of bonus immediately, and also calling for an immediate forensic audit of the company.

A mix-up at Cape Town’s main harbour dry dock left a 67m supply vessel, the Go Regulus, perched on the wrong blocks this week. According to the press the resultant damage has led to a probe by harbour operator Transnet.

According to global ship repair company EBH the mix-up occurred due to dry-dock workers apparently “misinterpreting designs”.

EBH South Africa shipyard manager Deon Chetty said, “ The Go Regulus has sustained limited damage to the hull. This was due to the inadvertent misinterpretation of drawings submitted. However, in the spirit of its lengthy association – as well as co-operation and goodwill – EBH SA is working closely with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to resolve the matter as speedily as possible.”

Unconfirmed reports suggest that another vessel may also have been damaged due to the docking designs being swapped.

TNPA has previously highlighted massive investment in port infrastructure under Operation Phakisa.

Weekly Press Review – 19 February 2016

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has made headlines this week with the announcement of the introduction of a R800 million state-of-the-art system aimed at boosting security at South African ports.

“The National Ports Act 12 of 2005, and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code of 2004 dictate that we, as a port authority, implement measures to assist in detecting security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents that may affect ships or port facilities used in international trade,” said Richard Vallihu, chief executive at TNPA.

The new control room, based at the port of Durban, was activated last week. The CCTV system gives a bird’s-eye view of the port security system and is integrated between all port sites.

“CCTV is but one aspect of our broader integrated technological security system, which encompasses technology, skills and systems,” said Vallihu.

TNPA said that the hi-tech security system would add to the position of South African ports becoming “smart people ports”.

The story of a rescued blind penguin has also made headlines this week. A four-month old penguin was discovered on a beach in Glentana and taken to a local vet, Dr Frans de Graaf, in Hartenbos, where it was discovered that he had been born without eyes.

The frightened bird was taken to the Penguin Rehabilitation Centre (SAPREC) in Mossel Bay where he was closely monitored by Dr de Graaf. He is slowly responding to his new environment and already recognises voices and joins in the swimming time in the pool.

According to Carol Walton, founder of SAPREC, it would appear that the penguin’s parents cared for him for a period of about three months, but after that he was left to his own devices. How he managed to stay alive is a mystery.

The little blind penguin will remain a permanent resident at SAPREC. He will not be able to return to the wild. He has been christened Stevie Wonder.