ICS South Africa Newsletter – Vol 2 No. 2

Passing exams is demanding

It is the part of the year when we are all gearing up for Exam registrations and preparations.

Preparing for examinations is demanding and in order for students to achieve the best possible results, this preparation should be well under way.  It won’t be long now and you will be receiving many ‘Good Luck’ wishes.

It seems that there may be something to superstition and good luck charms, so here are a few for you to try if you are not as confident as you should be; looking at the new moon over your right shoulder; knocking on wood; avoiding cracks on the sidewalk; carrying an acorn in your pocket or keeping your fingers crossed.

Whatever your lucky ritual is, believe in your own abilities and I hope that these exams brings you the success you deserve.

Lastly, as always, we would be pleased to receive any comments from you on the content and style of our Newsletter and any suggestions on future topics that you would like to see included.

Good Luck to our students during the April Examinations!

Natasha Vaughan FICS

Examinations 2014

ICS Head Office has been inundated with student enquiries ahead of exam registration which closed on 14 February and extended their office hours to accommodate the additional work load.

More than 2000 students have registered this year to sit 5250 exams, which is a record number and exceeding last years numbers!

Prep South Africa Branch, 21-23 Februar y– by Lance Schneider

On the 21st February, students and tutors made their annual pilgrimage to Kamberg in the hills of the Drakensburg for the ICSSA Prep Weekend.

This annual event is eagerly anticipated by the students, as it presents them with a unique chance to meet face to face with the tutors and gain valuable information and clarity prior to their exams in April.

After being served lunch on Friday, no time was spared as lectures and presentations by the tutors began.  The schedule that was followed gave little room for students to become distracted by the spectacular surrounds that the venue has to offer.  By Saturday afternoon, the students fatigue could be clearly seen as the taxing lecture schedule took its toll.  The tired looks soon disappeared by the time the last lecture come to an end, as the students realized that it was time for some extra mural activity.

Having been briefed on Friday evening, the students were aware that they would be engaging in a treasure hunt, final details of which would be given to them at the start line.  The students were divided into 7 teams.  Each team was given a map of the resort and their first clue.  Selecting the correct answer and following the locations on the map, teams would be directed to the next clue, which had been placed earlier in the day, by a tireless tutor (the tutor in question was credited for a marathon on completion).  The clues formed part of a voyage calculation, each question correctly answered would complete a step of the voyage calculation.  Once all clues were collected and thus all correct answers obtained, the student would be able to answer the final question and thus find the hidden treasure.

After 40 minutes of treasure hunting, two exhausted teams rushed over the finishing line.  After scrutiny of the answers and the ‘photo finish’, the winning team was declared. Well done to B52.

The activities were not done yet.  After dinner the students gathered for a Shipping Quiz.  All questions were based on the content of the various courses being covered over the weekend.  The prepared students were easily identified as they whizzed through the questions.  After a tense battle, the eventual winners were team Senlance.

Having had their minds filled with knowledge and been given a good workout, the stage was set for some free time, which saw students and tutors enjoy each other’s company over a few cold ones.

The weekend was rounded up with Sunday Morning lectures and the group Photograph.  The Photograph was not without excitement and the students and tutors battled for position.  Not forgetting the back row who were precariously perched on a narrow railing.

Special thanks to the sponsors of the prizes for the Treasure Hunt and quiz.  Thanks to K-Line South Africa, ICS SA and Afriguide Logistics. View the photos from the event here.

Prep East Africa Branch, 10-14 February

In an endeavor to strengthen the relationships between ICS Branches, not only did we have two international tutors attend our local Prep, but we were invited to send a Tutor to the Prep in Mombasa.

Alison Millar kindly agreed to assist and represented the ICS SA Branch at this event.

The Prep was held over 4 days with the numbers of students varying for different sessions and subjects.  Numbers ranged from 9 to over 100 per session, depending on whether the subject pertained to Foundation Diploma or Qualifying Exams.

Alison led the session on the Economics of Maritime Transport and International Trade and also assisted with other sessions that Tony Mason, from the UK, led.  Tony led the sessions on Liner Trades, Shipping Business, Logistics and Multimodal Transport with other tutors from East Africa Branch also being present to assist where needed.

The format used in the lectures differed by subject with student discussions encouraged.  Reviewing passed exam papers was also a great success.

There were also networking opportunities and time to share ideas between students and tutors.

We look forward to welcoming the East Africa Branch to South Africa again and would be very happy contributing where possible to their Exam preparation again in 2015.

The outstanding hospitality extended to Alison during her stay should be mentioned with special thanks to Mercy, Robert and Silvester for taking care of all the arrangements.

Awards Ceremony at Sithengile Secondary School – Senzo Nxumalo

On the 12 February, the SA Branch Chairman, Natasha Vaughan and Education Officer, Senzo Nxumalo visited Sithengile Secondary School for an Awards Ceremony held in honour of last years’ Jo Tankers Bursary recipients who had successfully passed their Understanding Shipping Course.

Sithengile Secondary School is situation in an impoverished community in Cleremont, KZN and is one of the many high schools that the ICS provides assistance to.  Every year Jo Tankers, with the support of the ICS, sponsors about 10 bursaries to deserving students at the school.

A further 11 bursaries were sponsored again this year, with 5 of those going to Grade 11’s and 6 going to Grade 12’s.  This year the Grade 11’s have the option to do the course over 2 years completing in Grade 12.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jeremy Skeen and Jo Tankers for their continued support and commitment to changing the lives of the learners in Sithengile Secondary School.

Great Fish River Point Lighthouse – Tim Hastie

My recent and first visit to the Great Fish River Point Lighthouse in the Eastern Cape whilst on holiday in December 2013 has prompted me to share this with fellow landlubbers and members.

There are just too many interesting facts and history about these important navigational aids to seafarers for this news item – which are still used today despite the advent of modern satellite GPS.

The first lighthouse in recorded history was erected on the Island of Pharos, near to the busy Graeco-Egyptian port of Alexandria in the 14th century.  The first South African lighthouse was commissioned on the 12th April 1824 at Green Point, Cape Town.

The setting of the Great Fish Point Lighthouse and the view of the coast has to be one of the finest in South Africa and there is excellent accommodation available for a few nights stay.

The Great Fish Point Lighthouse is situated near the mouth of the Great Fish River a mere 25km from Port Alfred.

The construction of the lighthouse was delayed and was only lit on 1 July 1898.  The 9 metre octagonal masonry tower is painted in vertical black and white stripes, is situated 76 metres above sea level and is approximately 800 metres from the shoreline.  The light flashes once every 10 seconds and has an approximate candle power of 5 000 000 candelas with a range of 32 sea miles.

The cost of building was GBP10 000.

There are 48 lighthouses along the South African Coast and many of them with interesting names, history and amazing locations.

This, together with 6 beacons, assist the seafarers around our coast to this day and are maintained by the Lighthouse Services division of Transnet National Port Authorites.

Guests from London

The Institute has instigated a policy that senior staff members from Head Office should visit all Branches on a regular basis.  It was therefore with great pleasure that we are able to receive David Barrett, ICS Education Manager, and John Harlett, ICS Financial manager for two brief days in Durban in January.

Both were highly impressed with the level of Branch activities and complimented the Branch Chairman and committee on their achievements, in both the field of education and the management of branch finances, during the past year.

The financial reports received from the Branch were exemplary, and submitted on time in accordance with the Governance Handbook.

The number of Understanding Shipping Course had surpassed all records in the past year.

David and John joined the committee at the monthly meeting, which was held at the ENS offices in Umhlanga, and updated the attendees on latest developments at the Head Office in London

This was also an opportunity to discuss global strategy with our International Chairman, Richard Brook-Hart.

February Luncheon – Africa rising:

Uniform legislation, locally owned fleets and a cabotage regime, Pipedream or possibility

We were very privileged to have had the pleasure of Malcolm Hartwell, from Norton Rose Fulbright, as our guest speaker at this months’ Luncheon.

Malcolm specializes in admiralty shipping, international trade, marine insurance and all aspects of maritime casualties, in particular investigating the maritime aspects of cases involving salvage, collissions, grounding, flooding, fires and cargo claims.

Malcolm spent ten years at sea serving mainly on general cargo, bulk, refrigerated and container vessels on worldwide trades.  He obtained his Master Mariner’s Foreign Going Certificate of Competency before reading for his law degree at the University of Witwatersrand.  He is currently the only Master Mariner in South Africa who is a director at a law firm.

It is encouraging to hear that 17 of the top 20 fastest growing economies are in Africa and that there is massive potential for growth which has been recognized by Africa’s trading partners.

Malcolm suggested that Africa’s economies are booming and that ours is the continent where global economy is going to invest trillions of dollars in the coming decades.

The topic was a very interesting one for our SA membership and students and was well received with almost 50 guests at the Royal Natal Yacht Club.