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Maritime Studies

The Department of Maritime Studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) has its origins in 1886, when HMS Thames and her sister ships Forth, Mersey and Severn, the first modern cruisers of the British Royal Navy, were launched.

Thomas Benjamin Frederick David, an English businessman, acquired the HMS Thames, and donated it to the Union of South Africa in May 1921. The vessel was renamed South African Training Ship (SATS): General Botha, after the first premier of the Union, General Louis Botha, who had died in 1919. It was Davis’ wish that the SATS: General Botha should be utilised for training cadets at sea. After the SATS: General Botha decommissioned on 13 May 1947, cadet training was temporarily transferred to Red Hill, Simon’s Town, before the training establishment moved to the South African Naval College: General Botha, in Gordon’s Bay, in April 1948.

In 1961 the department of Defence handed over the Great Mouille Point Battery (Granger Bay), on the seaward side of Beach Road, to the department of Education, Arts and Science. The site was earmarked for the construction of a “stone frigate”, for the training of white youths for both the SA Navy and the Merchant Navy, in accordance with Section76 of the Merchant Shipping Act. The training establishment, known as the South African Merchant Navy Academy (SAMNA): General Botha and designed by Cape Town architect Neville Louw, was occupied on 30 March 1966.

During the 1980’s economic constraints, due to among others, sanctions imposed on South Africa and the technology explosion, caused a decline in shipboard crews and enrolments at SAMNA: General Botha and in 1990 it merged with the then Cape Technikon and various diplomas and degree programmes were established.

On 1 January 2005 the Cape Technikon and the Peninsula Technikon merged to become the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. This site is now known as the Granger Bay Campus of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

The Granger Bay Campus is also host to the Survival Centre – a practical training centre where sea-going students receive their training. The Survival Centre also offers a wide variety of short-courses.

The Survival Centre is fully equipped with three totally enclosed lifeboats, two open lifeboats, a rigid capsule, two fast rescue craft, a heated 12 x 7m pool, a dunker for underwater escape training, a range of different life rafts, life jackets, immersion suits, EPIRBs, SARTs, videos, and much more.

Students who complete their training in Martime Studies can be employed as Navigators by the Merchant Navy. The tasks include navigating duties, supervising cargo operations in ports and maintaining the safety equipment. This qualification is recognised internationally and provides the opportunity for young South Africans to sail as a Navigating Officer, and ultimately Ship’s Master, world wide.

Students who complete their studies in Maritime Engineering can be employed as marine engineers by the Merchant Navy. Tasks include Marine Engineering watchkeeping duties, programmed maintenance of the marine engineer propulsion plant and its auxiliary equipment. This qualification is recognised internationally and provides the opportunity for young South Africans to sail as an Engineering Officer, and ultimately Chief Engineer Officer, world wide.

Contact us

Tel: +27 21 440 5752
Fax: +27 21 440 5759
maritimeinfo@cput.ac.za for Maritime Studies and Maritime Engineering
survivor@cput.ac.za for the Survival Centre
The Department of Maritime Studies
Beach Road, Mouille Point, Cape Town
PO Box 652
Cape Town
8000