In just a few months, the first ever Dredging School in Africa will be launched at the Maritime School of Excellence, Durban.
The announcement was made by Nonkululeko Sishi, Chief Human Resources Officer at Transnet, during the recent launch of the IHC Dredging Simulator in Durban.
Ms Nonkululeko Sishi said: “In January 2017, we will be launching the first ever Dredging School in Africa. The dredging School will strengthen the collaboration between the Maritime School of Excellence (MSoE), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), and IHC Holland BV (IHC).”
“The high tech and capital-intensive equipment used within the complex working process of the dredging industry demands all parties working within that industry to make sure their personnel has the specific knowledge of the equipment they work on, to ensure safe and effective operations,” she continued. “The effect of training can be enormous because training helps to improve the effectiveness of the way equipment is being operated; the return on investment of a training program is huge in terms of economic and skills development.”
“In the whole world there are only a few dredging schools on University or College level. The only countries where such schools exists are; The Netherlands, China and the USA. Hence, this Dredging School will thus have a unique position worldwide and especially in Africa,” said Ms Nonkululeko Sishi.
According to her, TNPA and world renowned Training Institute for Dredging (TID) will join forces and set up a dredging school in South Africa. With both local expertise and expertise from TID, the dredging school will support the development of dredging knowledge for TNPA and South Africa.
“The training of facilitators will contribute to the transfer of associated skills and knowledge transfer to support a sustainable regional supply base which will ultimately lead to improved capability, efficiency and regional capacity in South Africa,” added Ms Nonkululeko Sishi.
She continued by saying that the Dredging School is established to address critical skills for the following function: Marine Hydrography Surveyors, Dredge Masters, Chief Master Engineers, Dredging Managers and Naval Architects.
“The School will also cover other skill/(s) for Geomorphological training on the basic knowledge of hydraulics (erosion, transportation and sedimentation), basic knowledge of hydrology (discharge variations, floods) and the basics of sediment transport as well as changes as result of human intervention (deepening, breakwaters, widening) of a channel in order to improve their knowledge of the sedimentation and hydrodynamics in ports,” concluded Ms Nonkululeko Sishi.
It is anticipated that over a three year period 50 students will graduate from the dredging school.