Maritime learners qualify as Day Skippers | Western Cape Education Department
Maritime learners qualify as Day Skippers

Maritime learners qualify as Day Skippers

22 August 2022

Nine maritime learners - three females and six males - from the Lawhill Maritime Centre at Simon’s Town School have become the school’s first learners to qualify as SAMSA-accredited E-Class Day Skippers.

This industry-recognised, national qualification gives Nqobile Kuzwayo (Grade 12) Siphosethu Libalele (Grade12), Thobeka Mavundla (Grade 11), Anele May (Grade 12), Afikamathemba Mbaso (Grade 11), Xolisa Miggels (Grade 12), Sylvino October (Grade 12), Alwande Sithole (Grade 12) and Juvandre Williams (Grade 12) their license to command a sailing or motor vessel of 9 metres and under.

“We congratulate our learners on this excellent achievement, and I commend Lawhill Maritime Centre for making this fantastic opportunity available to their learners”, said Provincial Minister for Education David Maynier.

“An accredited, recognised qualification creates a clear pathway to work for our learners, and they have worked hard to take advantage of this opportunity”

The achievement has been made possible by the support of one of the Lawhill maritime programme’s most active funders, the General Botha Old Boy’s Bursary Association Fund (GBOBA BF), which has for more than 10 years invested extensively in the development of young aspiring sailors.

The fund provides financial support and mentorship to Grade 10 to Grade 12 learners from predominantly Durban and Cape Town who participate in Simon’s Town School’s three-year maritime education programme.

The programme aims to prepare learners for careers in the industry, either ashore or at sea, and is the only one in Africa to offer learners three maritime subjects (Maritime Economics, Nautical Science and Marine Science).

Maritime learners qualify as Day Skippers2

These maritime subjects are fully accredited and form part of the National Senior Certificate. They are taken in conjunction with Mathematics, Physical Sciences, two languages and Life Orientation.

The Lawhill maritime programme has for the past 27 years earned a reputation for academic excellence. Last year, Enkosi Ntame from Port Shepstone in Kwazulu Natal, achieved 9 distinctions in his final matric exams.

The GBOBA BF’s motor and sailing programme is a structured programme accredited by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).  Sailing instruction is provided by qualified Ships Masters with extensive experience gained on large vessels in the commercial marine, navy or on yachts.

To qualify as a SAMSA-certified Class E Day Skipper, the nine learners were required to complete their Pre-Sea Training with the NSRI, gain between 10 and 16 months of sea-time, pass the NSRI ‘’BravoBravo’’ (theoretical training) course and undergo intense mentorship.

The qualification of these Day Skippers is made even more remarkable by the fact that their training was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the limitation of rough seas which restricted training on certain weekends.

Anele May, a Grade 12 student and one of the newly qualified Skippers said: “I can only thank God for all the blessings He has given me. I am so happy with this achievement and want to encourage other young South Africans to consider a career in the maritime industry.

The award-winning Lawhill maritime programme has, since its inception in 1995, helped young South Africans of all races pursue worthwhile careers in the maritime industry.   Grade 9s who are interested in joining the maritime programme in 2023 are urged to apply for entry and bursaries on

Maritime learners qualify as Day Skippers3
Maritime learners qualify as Day Skippers4