Maritime officers association welcomed

The ministry of works and transport is very positive about the association for Namibian maritime officers and shipping.

16 June 2019 | Ministries

Willem Goeieman; Executive director: MWT; It is our hope that Namosa will change the lives of all Namibian seafarers, irrespective of their ranking.”

Walvis Bay - Otis Finck

Ministry of works and transport executive director Willem Goeieman has commended the Namibian Maritime Officers and Shipping Association (Namosa) for responding positively to the plight of Namibian seafarers.

In a speech presented on his behalf by the acting director of maritime affairs, Patrick Silishebo, at the launch of Namosa in Walvis Bay, Goeieman said the ministry views the establishment of the association as a step in the right direction and progress.

“You’ve come up with a brilliant initiative and the association comes at the right time. It is our hope that Namosa will change the lives of all Namibian seafarers, irrespective of their ranking.”

He said he was well aware of accusations by seafarers that the department of maritime affairs (DMA) was giving Namibian job opportunities to foreigners through the approval of endorsements and dispensation.

“This is not the case. The directorate does not grant job opportunities to anyone but evaluates the competency of foreign maritime certificates. The issue of Namibian seafarers not getting job opportunities lies somewhere else.”

It was suggested that the composition of the committee which establishes who should be granted work permits needs to be looked at collectively.

“We maybe need a person who represents the interest of seafarers and can advise on the evaluation process, because this arrangement is absent. That is why we still find foreign cooks on our vessels today.”

Goeieman advised Namosa members to familiarise themselves with all applicable instruments in the maritime domain and to remain true to their aganda.

He also called on the association to educate and advise its members to refrain from unwanted behaviour while on board of vessels.

He said that the DMA is tasked with ensuring the safety of life and property at sea and the country’s maritime security.

“Other core functions involve preventing and combating marine pollution by ships and promoting national maritime interests. The DMA carries out ship surveys and inspections to ensure compliance. It also reviews and drafts maritime policies.”

Goeieman said inspections will be intensified to ensure business operations are conducted in a safe environment.

“We are reviewing and drafting new maritime laws and regulations to respond to a number of challenges. The process to ensure an autonomous maritime authority is realised, is also ongoing. A bill has been drafted and tabled before a cabinet committee. Inputs will be incorporated into the document which will then be handed over to the legal drafters. The bill will be finalised and presented to cabinet for tabling. Significant work has been done on the Maritime Shipping Bill also and which was finalised.”

He said the establishment of an electronic database to register all Namibian seafarers and vessels was unfortunately grounded.

“The process to capture details electronically is being revived.”

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