Minister Carlisle Makes Statement on Miroshga Disaster
Statement by Robin Carlisle, Minister of Transport and Public Works
On the afternoon of Saturday 13 October, the small passenger liner “Miroshga”, operating out of Hout Bay, proceeded to sea with a skipper, three crew members and 35 passengers on board. While at sea, a sequence of events transpired, resulting in the vessel being capsized and two lives being lost.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has very speedily come forward with a report on the incident. In its report on the incident, SAMSA found there to have been various defects on the vessel. According to this report, there was clear negligence in that the vessel was unseaworthy. The operators knew this and the captain (skipper) was in fact not properly certified to operate this passenger vessel.
I have forwarded the SAMSA report to the relevant authorities for further action.
This tragic incident must be seen against the gross neglect by National Government of small harbours over the past 20 years. There has been virtually no management, regulation, inspection, security or investment. The result of which has been that these harbours, instead of generating wealth and employment, are usually centres of intense poverty, characterised by crime and violence.
What is worse is that while National Government fails to manage the harbours effectively, they equally refuse to allow local or provincial authorities to take the helm in this regard.
When harbours are neglected in this disgraceful way, we should not be surprised that such horrific incidents occur, nor should we expect the Miroshga disaster will be the last.