OCEANA cadets graduated at a special ceremony on September 21, 2006. Guests celebrated the success of these latest graduates in the MV Desert Diamond South Africanisation initiative.

THIRTEEN formerly unemployed graduates are among the first batch of South Africans to qualify for top jobs in the commercial fishing industry.

The cadets, aged between 20 and 30 and including one woman from Guguletu, are from Kuruman, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, Paarl and Port Elizabeth.

The trainees graduated at a special dinner held by the Oceana Group on September 21, 2006.

Oceana CEO Andrew Marshall said that in 2003 Oceana invested R77 million in MV Desert Diamond and South Africa’s horse mackerel industry. This was in line with Government’s policy to promote investment by local rights holders and President Thabo Mbeki’s New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).

“The graduation of our cadets is proof of our commitment to the Deputy President’s Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition,” said Marshall.

JIPSA calls for companies to accelerate the economic growth of the country through aggressive skills training programmes to alleviate poverty and unemployment by 2014. Focus is on providing opportunity to unemployed graduates to acquire the necessary skills to enter the labour-market for the long-term benefit of industry and the economy.

Marshall continued, “I believe that, in line with JIPSA, we have made significant progress. As unemployed recruits in March, our 13 cadets are now qualified and will be employed as engineering, electrical and deck officers in the maritime industry.”

Since Oceana launched it’s South Africanisation programme in 2003, R3 million has been spent on skills training to transfer expertise from the foreign crew to South African citizens. The programme began with 25 youngsters, including females, and the company now employs 74 recruits, all from previously disadvantaged communities.

Last year, Oceana won the Department of Transport’s National Maritime Achievers’ Award in the category of best locally owned maritime business enterprise for the South Africanisation programme. Desert Diamond Fishing obtained the SAMSA Certificate of Accreditation for accelerated training programmes for deck ratings.

In June 2006 MV Desert Diamond relinquished its Panama registration and in early July set sail under the South African flag. Oceana spent R8.8 million on the refit and reflagging of the vessel. Spend of this magnitude generated considerable commercial and employment opportunities for local industry.

For further information please contact: Mbuyi Mtsheketshe, Oceana Group Limited

Tel: +27 21 –410 1400 Fax: +27 21 -419 5979 e-mail:

Caption: (l-r) Victor Muhlberg-TETA, Bongani Ndzombane, Andrew Marshall-CEO Oceana Group, Sisanda Mbanga.