Security Measures in Place
BYLINE: BABALO NDENZE
THE intensifying ship hijackings by pirates off the Horn of Africa could have a ripple effect and create more problems for the maritime transport sector, Cape Town's harbour master has warned.
Meanwhile, major shipping companies are taking extra precautionary measures to avoid the increasing ship hijackings, where crew members are kidnapped by pirates who then demand ransom money.
Cape Town harbour master Ravi Naicker said no ships avoiding the Gulf of Aden had notified him yet that they would be stopping in Cape Town for fuel supplies.
"Most of the cargo is not destined for SA. They would bunker for fuel. It's a bit of downstream activity. I have not been officially informed by any of the shipping lines. We've received no official notification.
"It's not so much the cargo, but the impact is the increase in insurance for the shipping companies. It will also have a negative impact on maritime transport. You will see a reluctance of people wanting to work on ships," said Naicker.
Shipping company Safmarine director for corporate affairs, Fred Jacobs, said: "We have taken security measures. Our container ships are not threatened by the pirates because of the speed at which the vessels travel, so we're safe."
He said Safmarine's parent company, the Moller-Maersk Group, had a comprehensive security plan. …