Yachties! Welcome to SA!

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Cape Town
    Thanked: 1514

    Default Yachties! Welcome to SA!

    Well done to the 3 sailors who pursued this Smooth sailing!

    Excellent initiative, and although a small industry, combined with CT's latest economic drive for the development of the boat-building industry here, will considerably boost seafaring and harbour economics.


    Published by Betha Madhomu on April 27, 2021

    The City of Cape Town in partnership with the V&A Waterfront, has launched South Africa’s first and only Ocean Economy-focused Strategic Business Partner (SBP), Blue Cape.
    In a statement, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management James Vos said this comes after years of planning and weathering a global pandemic storm.
    “Since taking over the Enterprise and Investment Department, I set my sights on new and emerging sectors that will transform, broaden and diversify the economic geography of our city. As such, I prioritised SBPs – special purpose municipality-funded vehicles whose function is to drive job creation and skills development in high growth tradable sectors. And so it made sense for me to look towards the seas for such opportunities,” said Vos.
    He said Cape Town’s prime position as a trade route was unmatched “only by the boatbuilding skills of our people who can custom build these oceanic wonders with world-class artisanal craftsmanship”.

    (We may even all need some brushing up on Port and Starboard soon!-........know a crusty grumpy dry sea-dog,?.....anyone....?)

    BlueCape, an initiative by the V&A Waterfront and the City of Cape Town, plans to capitalise on South Africa’s natural coastal beauty and provide support to businesses and investors in the growing ocean economy.

    First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
    One may be tempted to dismiss the burgeoning sport of kite-boarding as a pastime of the wealthy, but it’s the fastest-growing sport in the world, is enjoyed by the likes of Richard Branson and Barack Obama – and South Africa is uniquely positioned to benefit.

    The combination of wind, beach and waves means the strip of coast between Blouberg and Milnerton in Cape Town is the busiest kite-boarding beach in the world.
    The sport generates more than R480-million a year.


    (Better that in our harbours, than some huge ugly belching powerships clogging the waterways and despoiling the environment.)

    Hope to join the Yachties myself one day.


    The establishment of the Ocean Sailing Association of Southern Africa (Osasa), with the government’s blessing, is a sign that something of the Freedom Day ethic still exists.

    First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
    “Do pink noses like you ever see people like me cruising around the world on a yacht?” The question was asked with warmth by the Department of Transport official of the Ocean Cruising Club official. To be able to ask – and answer – such a racially charged question, without offence, reflects the degree of understanding reached between these two parties. So much so that a new organisation – the Ocean Sailing Association of Southern Africa (Osasa) – has been established with the government’s blessing. It will act as the liaison body working with the government on behalf of the offshore and coastal cruising communities.
    It didn’t start like that. But, before I get to the story, the context:
    Thirty-one years after Nelson Mandela was released from jail and 27 years after our democratic elections, this past Freedom Day should have been a celebration. Instead, we are jaded.
    Many people dwelt on problems, wasted opportunities and what could have been. Democracy feels like an illusion; the will of the people is ignored and abused by politicians for private gain. Corruption is systemic, the education system – intended to lift people out of poverty – is doing the reverse, and service delivery is insulting.
    Unsurprisingly, South Africans are tetchy with one another and distrust is the order of the day – just look at our mines and labour relations. It is easy to buy into the narrative that this is South Africa today and the future looks worse. But go a little deeper and it’s possible to find extraordinary things happening. And, usually, there is an extraordinary individual or three involved.
    And now for the story. Last year, under the lockdown, SA authorities denied entry to cruising yachts, as did many other countries and islands. But this was a problem because SA is a “corridor country” and plays a vital role in enabling a passage between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans without the yachts having to sail through the Red Sea – which means sailing up the east coast, past Somalia, where piracy is rife. Seeing the problem, three South African cruisers (people who travel on yachts), Peter Sherlock, John Franklin and Jenny Crickmore-Thompson, lobbied the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Transport for the movement of incoming small craft (as they insist on calling cruising yachts).
    The worst of petty bureaucracy, officialdom and small power trips seemed to rise up. It took four months of intense negotiation, lots of phone calls, WhatsApp and email messages, and several physical meetings with the various department heads and the National Covid Command Council before the government finally allowed cruisers to enter a South African harbour – but only as a port of refuge, to refuel, reprovision and effect the most basic of repairs. The travellers (who had been isolated at sea for at least two weeks) could not disembark or enter the country officially. So it was some help, but not enough.
    But just as there are officials who seem to delight in stonewalling, so there are officials who are enlightened and hard-working. The breakthrough came when the deputy director of Home Affairs and the deputy director of Transport asked for a meeting. And this is where the magic happened.
    Crickmore-Thompson and Franklin spent “an amazing afternoon” with the officials, explaining what a “yachtie” was, why people sailed around the world, how they could live aboard for months, even years, at a time, what their needs and requirements were, and the immense value they bring to SA: an ordinary family on an ordinary yacht with no major repairs can spend R350,000 on minor repairs, refuelling and travel in SA.
    Multiply that by 200 (the number of yachts we welcome in an ordinary year) and it is a good income for the country’s many harbours and the small businesses associated with them. The officials, who had no feeling for the sea or concept of sailing, and in fact had a fairly strong dislike of the water, came away with a new understanding of a small but important component of SA’s maritime economy. One of the officials even signalled her intention to sign up for the Cape2Rio yacht race!
    And so Marine Notice 50 arrived, a directive from the government allowing all foreign small craft to come in, as part of a humanitarian project, for a limited period from 9 November to 15 December and to enter the country as tourists. The floodgates opened. The directive has been extended and SA has since welcomed about 80 yachts.
    This relationship will not die as Covid-19 eases. Now with common goals and understanding, it can only grow as Osasa works to encourage local cruising in small vessels along the southern African coast and to popularise southern Africa as a cruising destination of choice, especially with its myriad choices for land travel combined with cruising.
    This is a small story, but it gives me hope that, as a nation, as a diverse people, we can navigate the obstacles to find each other and our common cause. DM168
    Last edited by Patrick L; 2021/05/04 at 07:39 PM.
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski


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