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Dredging simulator an African first

Written by Thandeka Ngobese

Transport Month

The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has launched Africa’s first dredging simulator at the Port of Durban.
Simulation Training Manager Musa Ngubane (left) with simulation facilitators Thami Khanyile and Vika Njoko demonstrating how the dredging simulator works.The dredging simulator, which cost R29 million, will be based at the Maritime School of Excellence in Durban. The simulator mimics the control panel of an actual dredging vessel, complete with environment simulation of weather conditions, sea states and types of soil being dredged.

The simulator should provide practice that will ultimately reduce accidents and even loss of life.

More than 50 youth stand to benefit from this launch and the simulator will help hone critical technical skills needed for pipe operators, dredge masters and dredging managers.

TNPA Chief Executive Officer Richard Vallihu said the Maritime School of Excellence will train at least 50 young people over a three-year period.

The dredging school will become one of the four schools worldwide that trains people in all aspects of dredging. The training is expected to start in January 2017. After the learnership, trainees will specialise in one of the following marine and ports vocations: Marine Hydrography Surveyors, Dredge Masters, Chief Master Engineers, Dredging Managers and Naval Architects.

Vallihu said the facility will help TNPA to support ports in Southern Africa to develop maritime skills and grow their economies.

A number of regional ports are ramping up plans to expand port capacity, which will require major dredging projects. “We would like to be in a position to provide human capacity for that,” he said.

One of Transnet’s simulation facilitators, Thami Khanyile, said Transnet gives equal opportunities to every South African. “Young people should grab opportunities like this because they are very rare to find,” he said.

Learnership will be advertised in all regional newspapers.

More information is available on: www.transnet.net or call 031 361 2346.

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