South Africa’s tourism just got a much-needed boost with an exciting new venture.
South Africa’s Arctic research ship, the SA Agulhas 1, will soon welcome visitors wanting to see the frozen continent down under, Antarctica.
This comes after Transport Minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga, attended an on-board ceremony on Tuesday to officially hand over the ship to JS Maritime.
Also present at the event was the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).
“JS Maritime, spurred on by the cordial relations between Germany and South Africa responded to our vision for our training vessel, that wherever she goes she must continue to fly the South African flag both literally and otherwise,” Chikunga said.
“The partnership we have nourished and are undertaking here today, through the repurposing of SA Agulhas 1 will go a very long way towards meeting the dreams of multitudes of young people, the realisation of which is entrusted in the offices we all hold.”
The Seafarer job and Development Programme (SEDP), a new programme designed to improve marine job possibilities for South African seafarers, was also introduced.
SEDP will provide training, mentorship, and job placement aid to qualified seafarers. It will also function as an international collaborative marine research centre to answer the ever-changing demands of the maritime sector.
According to the JS Maritime chief executive, Stefan Bulow, seafarer cadets will be eligible for employment after they complete their training. He stated that tourism and scientific research will also be significant aspects of the repurposed Agulhas 1.
“We want to see sea travellers on board. There are lots of things to be done. We’re not only going to give the ship a future but we’re going to give an old lady a second life,” said Bulow.