UKZN Strengthens Ties with Captains of the Maritime Industry
Maritime Studies is a niche research area at UKZN. Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, told guests at a dinner hosted by the Unit of Maritime Law and Maritime Studies at the Howard College campus.
Van Jaarsveld said the purpose of the gathering was to proactively engage with key role players and leaders in the maritime economy with the aim of starting a conversation about where and how UKZN could add value and share the University’s vision for advancing maritime research and education.
Welcoming guests, who included executives from all sectors of the maritime economy including cargo owners, ship operators, port operations, shore side service providers, maritime lawyers and policy makers, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Law and Management Studies, Professor John Mubangizi, unpacked the rationale behind the establishment of the Unit of Maritime Law and Maritime Studies which has been housed in the School of Law since 2012.
‘The Unit is located at the doorstep of the largest port-related maritime community in any city in the southern hemisphere and offers a consolidated postgraduate teaching site and research portal for this professional and commercial maritime community,’ said Mubangizi.
He acknowledged that the Unit’s success in teaching and research had been made possible through the support and unwavering commitment from industry stalwarts such as the past president of the Maritime Law Association and Director of Norton Rose Fulbright, Mr Malcolm Hartwell; Supreme Court of Appeal judge, Dr Justice Malcolm Wallis and Professor Trevor Jones, currently the Co-ordinator at the Unit.
Durban Ports Manager, Mr Moshe Motlohi, who was also at the dinner, appealed to UKZN to support Operation Phakisa – a government initiative aimed at fast tracking the delivery of certain priorities outlined in the National Development Plan including capacitating the youth with skills required by the maritime sector.
A call from the Managing Director at Bidvest Bulk Connections, Mr Iain Geldart, to expose students to real practical maritime experience was welcomed by the Dean and Head of the School of Law, Professor Managay Reddi, who reassured the executives of the School’s commitment to researching topics that would make meaningful contributions in the maritime sector.
Dr van Jaarsveld welcomed ideas from the industry and echoed the sentiments made by the CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ms Dumile Cele, that the gathering was just one of many that would be of mutual benefit to the University and the local business community for the development and sustainability of the local economy.