DURBAN – eThekwini mayor, James Nxumalo, was paid a courtesy call by members of the SA Navy on 14 June 2016 at the Mayor’s Parlour, City Hall, where he gave them his blessing to host the World Hydrography Day celebrations in Durban from 14-19 June 2016.
According to Commander Greyling van den Berg from the SA Navy, the courtesy call is a tradition observed by the navy worldwide where officers meet with the leadership of the City they are visiting to let them know about the purpose of their stay and exchange gifts.
Van den Berg said Hydrography is a very important aspect of their work. He said it is the art and science of mapping the ocean floor, considering that 80 percent of the world’s trade moves across the oceans and more than 90 percent of South Africa’s imports and exports are transported by sea.
“Therefore, it is vital for us from time to time to conduct such surveys to ensure the safety of ships coming to Durban. This is also to guarantee that ships can safely sail without any danger of running aground,” he added.
Several City officials and industry captains received first-hand knowledge on what hydrography is all about during a sea trip on-board the SAS PROTEA – a ship that is is specifically designed to fulfil both hydrographic and oceanographic research.
On Friday, 17 June 2016, the SA Navy will hand over stationery, a computer projector, a screen and a stove to Home Economics learners and will install a water basin in the Arts classroom as part of their Corporate Social Investment Project at Umlazi High School.
The SA Navy sailors are already helping to re-paint the school. The Municipality, in partnership with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have come on board and donated several items to be handed over to the school. In addition, there will be a Navy Band Concert at City Hall on Friday from 7pm. Also expected to perform at the concert is the renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir.
During 18-19 June, the SA Navy ships SAS PROTEA and SAS ISAAC DYOBHA will be opened to the public from 9am to 4pm as part of the Port Festival at the N-Shed area. There will also be diving displays, career exhibition and several SA Navy precision drill displays. Nxumalo assured the SA Navy team that all the activities will go according to plan. The Municipality, said Nxumalo, values and appreciates what the organisation is doing for the City and country.