South Africa’s eight commercial ports were recognised for maintaining compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code during the Department of Transport’s sixth Annual Maritime Transport Security Indaba on Monday, 18 November in Simon’s Town.
For a third consecutive time the Port of Richards Bay scored highest for upholding this global maritime regulation for the safety and security of ships, ports, cargo and crew. The Port of Port Elizabeth placed second and Durban took third place.
The ISPS Code was implemented in 2004 by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). It is a comprehensive set of measurements for international security prescribing responsibilities to the government authority, port authority, shipping companies and seafarers. It ensures that preventative measures can be taken in the event that a threat is determined.
ISPS requires that the port authority provides assurance that all the facilities are protected from any kind of threats which might arise from both land and water. The assessment and review of the port security plan becomes an essential and integral part of developing, updating and implementing the plan.
TNPA’s Executive Manager for Port Security, Ernest Sigasa, said: “We are extremely proud that all South African ports continue to meet the prescribed security standards to be awarded the internationally recognised ISPS Code certificate. This informs visiting ships that our ports’ security is of the required standard, ensuring they conduct business in a safe and secure environment.”
He said all ports underwent a vigorous audit process over the past year and the certification and audit is conducted every five years by the Department of Transport.
“Any port that does not meet the stringent targets and strict regulations governed by the International Maritime Organisation would not be allowed to operate or to permit any international trade through their facilities,” he said.
TNPA works closely with government agencies, shipping companies, terminal operators, seafarers and the entire port community to ensure that its ports uphold the ISPS Code and protect the safety and security of all those who enter its ports. The port authority has various programmes in place to entrench a safety and security culture, including ISO certification programmes, safety talks and symposiums, the ZERO HARM initiative which aims to reduce disabling injuries in the ports, as well as general learnings from incidents that might have occurred in the past.
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