South African International Maritime Institute Empowers Young Black Women

The South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) has launched a new maritime education bursary aimed at empowering young black women keen on maritime studies.

Named “The Sindiswa Carol ‘Tu’ Nhlumayo Merit Bursary” the education bursary is open for young black women wanting to pursue a qualification at a South African university to develop their career opportunities in the maritime sector.

According to SAMSA, as head of the Centre for Maritime Excellence at the institution, the late Nhlumayo played a pioneering role in putting maritime skills development on the map in South Africa, in particular by empowering women in the sector, and championed the establishment of SAIMI.

The Sindiswa Carol ‘Tu’ Nhlumayo Merit Bursary is offered for maritime, marine or related studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level at any tertiary institution in South Africa. The bursary is open to South African black women (African, Coloured and Indian) under the age of 35 years.

In 2013, Nhlumayo was a recipient of the Oliver Top Empowerment Award for Best Female Public Servant. At the time of her death in 2016 at the age of 45, she was enrolled for a PhD in Maritime Affairs at the World Maritime University in Sweden.

Recipients of the Sindiswa Carol ‘Tu’ Nhlumayo Merit Bursary will have the full cost of their tuition fees and textbooks covered. They will also be afforded opportunities to attend SAIMI conferences and other maritime-related events, as well as participate in organised bodies supporting women in maritime and science.

The bursary is available for a wide variety of maritime-related study fields including Marine Engineering, Oceanography, Logistics, Shipping, Ocean Governance, Environmental Law, Geological Sciences, Zoology and Marine Ecology to name just a few.

SAIMI Project Manager Odwa Mtati said the bursary is aimed to preserve the legacy of the late Nhlumayo by encouraging women’s meaningful contribution to the maritime sector, and particularly to bolster the participation of young black women.

“Her role was pivotal in the promotion of women’s participation in the maritime sector,” said Mtati.

During her time at SAMSA, Nhlumayo initiated the National Cadet Programme that enables South African seafaring students to obtain the professional qualification for careers in the global shipping industry.

“She also played a critical role in establishing SAIMI, and the bursary scheme in her name honours her contribution to growing South Africa’s skills capacity in the oceans economy,” added Mtati.

Sobantu Tilayi, the SAMSA Chief Operations Officer urged women to embrace this initiative in Nhlumayo’s honour.

“We thank SAIMI for acknowledging the legacy and role that Sindiswa played in the human capacity building of the South African maritime industry,” he said.

The South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI), the country’s newest institution entrusted with among things; the country’s national cadet training programme, is behind the initiative announced two months ago.