The South African Deputy Minister of Transport said the country's maritime industry is open for business and has encouraged partnerships with those prepared to give local seafarers an opportunity to support international trade, Allafrica.com says.
Speaking on board the SA Agulhas 1, which was docked in London, Sindisiwe Chikunga said it makes business sense that "in creating the supply market ... we are influenced by the ever-changing demands of your businesses."
Out of over 1.5 million seafaring jobs available in the world's major fleets, South Africa only contributed 2 500, Chikunga said. But - with the African economy expected to grow by about 7% year on year, most countries on the continent were rebuilding their ports' infrastructure to handle the additional trade required to fuel this high growth.
South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele said that South Africa is producing high calibre cadet officers that should boost the global market. As world markets recover from crisis, "shipping is the answer for a balanced economy and world trade," he said. Dedicated training vessel SA Agulhas departed Cape Town on November 2, travelling to Britain with 62 cadets, 12 of whom are West African, on board, Allafrica.com reports.
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