Implementation of small craft act affected

Financial and capacity shortcomings have affected the full implementation of the Small Craft Act.

So far, 10 of 15 maritime provinces have started implementing the act however, are yet to move onto a position of full implementation due to the setbacks.

Currently, the provinces have established small crafts boards with several actively engaged in the registration and enforcement of the Act.

In a statement, National Maritime Safety Authority, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Paul Unas, said the NMSA has been providing training, administrative support, office refurbishment, Information Technologies, safety equipment and community awareness activities, in 14 provinces.

These include:

  • 600 small craft officials and police trained in administering and enforcing the act;
  • Over 20 community awareness sessions have been conducted;
  • 10,000 small craft safety brochures, posters and booklets distributed.

He added tough measures have also been taken with an operator convicted of a serious offence and imprisoned for five years.

“Implementation of the Small Craft Act is correctly a provincial responsibility as stated by the Minister,” Unas said.

“The maritime provinces have that responsibility under law and for practical purposes, NMSA has a field presence in only six locations outside and therefore is not in a position to implement and enforce the Small Craft Act naturally.”

Unas added each maritime province have different circumstances and needs that require local solutions. Therefore it is appropriate and right that it is the maritime provinces that tailor maritime safety and regulation solutions that are best suited for their communities.

Cedric Patjole