Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Cape Town)

Maritime Education and Training in Cape Town

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History of MET in Cape Town

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.

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. SAMNA: General Botha merged with the then Cape Technikon  in 1990, 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.

In 2020, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology will be introducing the degree programs of Bachelor of Marine Engineering and Bachelor of Nautical Science; qualifications that will replace the current diploma programmes that are on offer.

(Source: Cape Peninsula University of Technology website)