The tender documents may have been off –putting, but one of South Africa’s most famous all-weather ships went on sale in early July. The SA Agulhas 1, the original Antarctic supply ship, is the process of being disposed of by The South African Maritime Safety Authority. The bid process closed earlier this month, and it is unclear exactly when the Department will award the tender. According to the tender documents the ship was sold on an “as is, where is” basis.

“The vessel served as the primary support vessel for the South African Antarctic mission,” SAMSA said in the tender document. “Upon the vessel’s replacement by the SA Agulhas II, the SAG was acquired by SAMSA for the purpose of providing a dedicated training vessel in order to properly maximise the potential of the emerging blue economy. The vision behind this vessel was to empower South African youth by means of ensuring that cadets emerging for our institutions of higher learning had the opportunity to acquire the required sea time and exposure to enter the international maritime job market.”

“This initiative was in line with SAMSA’s third mandate, that being to promote South Africa’s maritime interests.


However due to changing priorities and financial constraints, the decision was made to dispose of the vessel in line with National Treasury guidelines. That said, SAMSA continues, during the disposal process, to seek socio economic advantage so as to ensure maximum return for both SAMSA and the nation as a whole,” the document says.

News of the SA Agulhas sale coincides with another maritime milestone – the scrapping of the South Africa’s iconic salvage tug SA Amandla.  The vessel is to be withdrawn from service in August and sold for scrap, according to recent media reports.

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.