Pinky Zungu, 33, made news headlines and history,
with her appointment as Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) first black female Deputy Harbour
Master – Nautical for the Port of Durban. It is an appointment that is the perfect fit, given her fascination with ships.
“I love ships … they fascinate me. I love the sea and I happen to have an office that looks out onto the whole port,
so I can see the ships coming in and out of the port … I am in the right place,” she says.
Zungu explains that she is in charge of navigational safety.
She works closely with dredging services to ensure that the Port of Durban is deep enough for ships to navigate the port safely.
“As manager I have the marine pilots under my wing Making waves in the maritime.
I am also in charge of the pollution department, which ensures that our port is clean from all types of pollution”,
says Zungu. The marine pilots include a number of young black women.
Her other responsibilities include incident management,
ensuring vessels carrying dangerous goods comply with control measures, Making waves in the maritime
and ensuring the safety of the port. Investing in a future Her dream of becoming a pilot was out of her parents’ financial reach so she chose to pursue a career in the maritime industry.
The maritime sector entails activities on all vessels used at sea and associated with land-based services. Routes include oceans, coasts, seas, lakes, rivers and channels.
The TNPA selected Zungu as a development candidate in 2001. She started her career with a two-year diploma in maritime studies at Durban University of Technology (DUT) when she realised that by working on ships she could travel the world.
“ Transnet gave me a bursary when my parents could not afford to pay for my fees at DUT, so Transnet gave me a chance and invested in me.
I hope I have given them the best of myself from the day I started working here. “I went to sea through Unicorn shipping for my cadetship.
I went on to do my exams with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) and I obtained my Class III Deck Officer ticket in 2005.”
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