In this article Mr Napo Ramodibedi was misquoted by the press and he would like to say his “correct comments” via the newsclippings as follows :
My pertinent comments at the BRICS Maritime Forum were as follows:
South Africa has made its ambitions clear regarding the participation of South African shipping companies in ship ownership and the resuscitation of the South African flag.
Equally the African continent has pronounced its ship owning ambitions through for example the African Union Maritime Charter and the Integrated Maritime Strategy.
There are several opportunities to achieve this goal, but paramount would be securing cargo on the back of which such tonnage can be operated and acquired. There are several opportunities to secure such cargo:
- Offshore shipping: Several African countries hold equity and/or are participants in offshore oil and gas exploration taking place off both the East and West coasts of the continent. These entities can and should insist that some of the vessels chartered for offshore oil and gas exploration are owned or operated by local South/African companies;
- A hinderance to the development of South African tonnage is the fact that the majority of bulk cargos out of South Africa are shipped on an FOB basis, leaving the nomination of the carrier to the foreign purchaser, as opposed to the local mine. Whilst engagements with the mines are crucial to understand how South African/African companies can engage more actively in the shipping of these cargos (including the balance CIF cargos sold by the mines; it is equally crucial, in the context of BRICS that South Africa engages its BRICS counterparts who are procuring minerals on an FOB basis from South Africa and negotiate a portion of this trade be carried by South African companies;
- A lot of investment by African countries has gone into transport infrastructure development across the continent in order to ensure more rail and port capacity. These investments cannot be solely for extractive purposes. If African governments want to see their full return on their investments they should ensure the participation of African shipping companies in the shipping of the increased capacity of goods coming in and out of their ports.