Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga is spearheading a campaign for South Africa's re-election on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for the 2023-2024 biennium during the IMO Assembly currently underway in London, United Kingdom.
The Minister arrived in the United Kingdom on Thursday to represent South Africa's aspirations, emphasising the country's dedication to fostering international cooperation and promoting best practices in the maritime industry.
"Our active participation and leadership in the IMO are crucial in shaping a safer, more secure, and environmentally responsible maritime future. As the campaign progresses, South Africa's bid for the IMO Council reflects its vision of being at the forefront of global maritime leadership, echoing its commitment to excellence and international collaboration in the maritime sector," Chikunga said.
The Department of Transport, in collaboration with key maritime entities such as the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), Ports Regulator of South Africa (PRSA), and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, are leading this initiative.
The department said South Africa has an extensive maritime heritage and is deeply committed to the IMO's principles.
"The nation believes that its continued presence on the IMO Council is pivotal for advancing the organization's goals and global maritime standards.
"Situated along the busy Cape route, the country boasts a commendable record in shipping safety, providing assurance to international shipping traffic by managing a comprehensive system of Aids to Navigation, including lighthouses and a sophisticated Marine Hydrographic Service.
"The Regional Search and Rescue Centre located in Cape Town, Emergency Towing Vessel, and Information and Communication Systems stand ready for effective emergency responses in maritime situations," the department said.
As the campaign progresses, South Africa's bid for the IMO Council reflects its vision of being at the forefront of global maritime leadership, echoing its commitment to excellence and international collaboration in the maritime sector.
The IMO, a specialised agency of the United Nations, plays a crucial role in global maritime governance. It sets international standards for shipping safety and environmental performance, thereby shaping the future of sustainable and efficient maritime operations.