TradeInvest Africa (Cape Town)

16 August 2012

Southern Africa: Servicing the Marine Industry in Region

press release

Marine services provider, SMIT Amandla Marine, has a record of accomplishment in Southern Africa that is without comparison. Utilising specialist human and hardware resources, the company is in tune with its clients' needs and tailor-makes solutions to suit individual requirements. This is one of the company's competitive advantages along with its commitments to the ongoing development of its skills' base.

SMIT Amandla Marine was formed in 2005 with the sale of 30% of its operations to black shareholders and an inclusive Employee Trust that benefits more than 450 employees. This means that the people of SMIT Amandla Marine have a stake in the company's sustainability and growth. The company ascribes to the ethos of SHE-Q, which encompasses adherence to strict safety, health, environmental protection and quality guidelines and requirements.

In the seven years since it was formed as a black empowered maritime service provider, SMIT Amandla Marine has made significant strides in developing and attracting new entrants to a career at sea, and working with other industry players to ensure investments made in people realise returns for employees and the company alike. As a market leader, remaining a trusted partner to clients such as PetroSA, De Beers, SAPREF and key South African government departments, is a key ingredient for success.

SMIT Amandla Marine's strategic decision in 2009 to purse opportunities for growth into the region was well founded.

"Mozambique is now one of the most important growth areas for our company. Our first harbour towage contract was secured in September 2010 with CFM. In April 2012, we announced the finalisation of a three-year contract with Vale for specialised marine services out of the Port of Beira, with two-by-one-year exercisable options. This is a significant contract because it is the catalyst for asset investments of some R60-million," says managing director, Paul Maclons.

Consisting of the provision and maintenance of an offshore mooring buoy for Vale's coal transhipment operation, two vessels (a new build 2 000 BHP general purpose tug/ workboat and a 3 000 BHP offshore support workboat), and the technical and contractual management of this key marine logistics export activity, operation is underway with final adjustments currently being effected for commencement. SMIT Amandla Marine will employ 40 South Africans for the contract, and will work closely with both Vale and the Mozambique government on skills transfer as well as training and development for Mozambique nationals, which is an important contractual performance area.

Says Maclons: "The contract is an excellent example of South African expertise and specialised maritime skills being exported to Southern African countries to support capacity building and skills development in the region. We have developed a talent pipeline for our specialist human resource base in South Africa out of necessity; we are in an industry that is niche, and with scarce skills."

Looking toward the company's future in South Africa, the company which operates in a highly specialised sector maintains that supporting both the state and private industry's maritime interests remains a priority.

In 2012, SMIT Amandla Marine retained its South Africa status as a verified Level 3 contributor to broad-based black economic empowerment, and is also now classified as a 'value-adding' supplier. Maclons is pragmatic in his approach towards sustainable change.

"We are in a capital intensive niche sector with high barriers to entry. Very few companies of our size in the Southern African market have been able to achieve what we have. Our empowerment strategy implemented since the company was formed in 2005 has ensured steady and sustainable progress across the board. But there is still much work to be done in terms of aligning the company for the future and we will continue our expansion into the region, together with a focus on African human capital development over the next five years," says Maclons.

Managing director: Paul Maclons

Financial director: Caven Leale

Marketing manager: Clare Gomes

Commercial manager: Dave Murray

Human resources manager: Pumla Jikela

Contact details

Telephone: +27 21 507 5777

Fax: +27 21 507 5885

Website: www.careers@sea.co.za

Email address: smitamandla.cpt AT smit.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/smitamandlamarine

Physical address: 31 Carlisle Street, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town

Postal address: 7405

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