Responsibility for maritime security in South Africa is too fragmented. That will be the message from MMAGS Consulting CE Rear Admiral (ret) Rolf Hauter to defenceWeb’s maritime security conference in Cape Town next month.
Hauter will urge that maritime security should be viewed holistically and reviewed urgently.
Currently some 14 national departments and agencies are responsible for maritime security without any central organ to coordinate their endeavours.
Hauter will urge that it is passed time to establish an organisation that will blend all public and private maritime security activities nationally into a comprehensive and integrated whole that will address all aspects of maritime security, which he defines as a “state wherein a country`s maritime assets and practices are protected, conserved and enhanced.”
defenceWeb`s Maritime Security Africa 2009 conference takes place from October 13 at the Radisson Hotel at the Waterfront in Cape Town. The event that will last until the 15th is an in-depth look at maritime surveillance, safety and security issues from a pan-African perspective.
Maritime security experts say caution that while piracy has become a serious menace in the Gulf of Aden and the eastern half of the Indian Ocean as far south as the Seychelles in the last two years; this is not the sum of the African maritime safety and security challenge.
Atlas Elektronik littoral warfare expert Thomas Kunze says the most probable challenge for navies nowadays are operations and conflicts in the littorals.
In his presentation he plans to explain that these operations are totally different to those in blue waters because of limited mobility in shallow water as well as the threat from the coast, from the air and from mines and other objects in the water.
“Littoral operations for maritime security require joining the sensor and effector capabilities from OPV, mine warfare units and unmanned vehicles – above and below the water – to be able to answer the different threats and to be effective,” he says.
“Maritime security is not blue water operations with long range sensors and weapons. Instead it requires complicated and dangerous actions with a systems of different naval forces in confined waters against a mostly unknown and unpredictable enemy.”
For more on this and related maritime security topics, consider attending defenceWeb`s Maritime Security Africa 2009 conference October 13 to 15 at the Radisson Hotel at the Waterfront in Cape Town.
Pic: The SA Navy Maritime Reaction Squadron, optimised for martitime security tasks