Sep 29, 2018To mark World Maritime Day on 27 September Transnet National Ports Authority’s Port of East London played host to around 2000 learners from schools across the Eastern Cape. The learners from rural areas such as Umtata, Tsolo and Mount Ayliff explored South Africa’s only river port on tours, during which they gained an inside view of Port of East London sites including the car terminal and grain elevator.East London Port Manager Sharon Sijako said the day was used to foster an early interest in the maritime industry among Eastern Cape youngsters. TNPA presentations showcased the many exciting career opportunities within the industry, while also promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as the key subjects in unlocking these marine and engineering careers.Sijako said: “The International Maritime Organization’s 2018 World Maritime Day was observed under the theme ‘Our Heritage, better shipping for a better future’. This was an opportunity for us to offer young learners, boys and girls, valuable information about the industry and how they can fully grasp the many exciting opportunities available to them to ensure a better future for themselves. It also helps us as the port authority to address the critical skills shortage we have within the industry.”In addition to learning about TNPA career paths, learners were exposed to the infrastructure of a working port, including visiting marine craft and seeing vessel and harbour crews at work.Sijako added: “Thanks to the generous support of John Barry of Southern Cross Cruises who operated boat rides throughout the day, many of the youngsters were introduced to the water for the very first time.”World Maritime Day is an annual global maritime event led by the United Nations’ maritime agency, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The day is used to celebrate and raise awareness about maritime issues by countries that are signatories to the IMO. In 2018 the IMO celebrates 70 years of existence and continues to ensure that people all over the world can benefit from shipping in a manner that meets the needs of the global economy.Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.