Progress towards a national maritime training model
SAIMI is deeply involved in the issue of the future role of the SA Agulhas as the Dedicated Training Vessel for the National Cadet Programme (NCP) and in support of the country’s broader maritime skills development and training needs.
The key challenge is the securing of funding for the operation and maintenance of the vessel. Funding for the training component via the National Skills Fund (NSF) is covered in the current three-year funding cycle.
Following in-principle agreement at the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the use of the government fleet for cadet training (with a view to developing an integrated national model for maritime skills training), options continued to be explored in the period under review:
• Department of Defence/SA Navy: It was agreed that the details of the collaboration needed to be settled, and an MOU between SAIMI and the SA Navy be concluded. The cooperation to include SA Navy participation in the Skills Working Groups, and SAIMI assisting with capacitating lecturers, curriculum development and strengthening capacity at TVET colleges.
• Centralised fleet management is an option to be considered for both integrated management and cost-saving purposes. In the interim the SA Agulhas has been chartered for research purposes by the Indian government, and other charter opportunities are being explored, with a view to these becoming income streams to offset the costs of operating the vessel.
The refitting of two MACS vessels to accommodate up to 10 cadets and a training officer on each vessel has been completed and both are operational, and delivering positive reports re the integration of the training programme into the operations of the vessels.