Aflê en aflaaikoste van skeepsvaart in die Durbanse hawe
De Beer, Johannes Frans
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Although the Bay of Natal had been sighted by Vasco da Gama in 1497 it was not until Lieutenant Farewell and Henry Francis Fynn obtained a document from Shaka giving them possession of the bay that the harbour was developed. The early years of the harbour can be seen as a struggle against the sand-bar over the entrance of the harbour. This problem was overcome by the building of two break-waters as well as the dredging of the sand-bar. Through the years Durban harbour developed from a discharge port to a shipping port. Today Durban harbour is the biggest harbour in the country and handles approximately 40 per cent of all goods handled at all the harbours of South Africa. With the development of the harbour came massive development in the shipping industry. Ships developed from sail boats carrying all kinds of cargo to massive modern ships designed to carry a specific type of cargo. The South African harbours are controlled by the South African Railways Administration and are governed by the Railways and Harbours Control and Management (Consolidation) Act, 1957 (Act no. 70 of 1957). A brief description of the main discharging cost of ships in the Durban harbour is as follows: Port dues - All ships are liable for the payment of port dues at each port of call when entering the limits of the harbour. A prescribed rate is applied for each metric ton of the gross register tonnage of the ship depending on the duration of the stay of the ship in the port. Light dues - Light dues are payable by all ships at the first port of call for each voyage for the whole coast of the Republic of South Africa and South West Africa. Light dues are charged at a prescribed rate for each metric ton of the gross register tonnage of the ship. Tug charges - All ships making use of this service have to pay a charge calculated at a half hourly rate with a minimum charge as for one hour for the duration of the service. In addition to the charges maintained for tugs rendering assistance and/or attendance to ships entering or leaving the harbour, ships are also liable for the payment of charges for the conveyance of a pilot to or from the outer anchorage as well as for the services performed by the berthing staff to berth the ship at its allocated berth. In addition, charges are also maintained for the running of the ship's lines. Crane charges - Ships are compelled to use the cranes provided by the Administration and charges are calculated on a hourly basis from the time cranes are ordered or from the time they are allocated to the ship, which ever is the later. The minimum period for which crane hire is payable is two running hours. Labour charges - An hourly charge per gang for the period the ship is involved with cargo handling operation is maintained. When cargo is worked outside working hours, a different charge per gang is payable for the period that cargo is worked outside the prescribed port working hours. Special equipment charges - Such charges are payable by the ships for the period these facilities are occupied and charges are maintained for 24-hour periods on the gross register tonnage of a ship. In addition, charges are also made for the supply of fresh and salt water, compressed air and for the hire of equipment used for the repair and painting of ships. Above mentioned costs are divided into five groups onto the ships account. The groups are: port dues, light dues, marine costs, cranes and labour. Marine cost includes the costs of tugs, pilotage, berthing cost, running of the ships lines, special equipment charges, water and other services.