Commander Tsietsi Mokhele

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

South African Maritime Safety Authority


Since taking over as Chief Executive Officer at SAMSA, he has led the process of the transformation and repositioning of South Africa's maritime industry into a key economic and strategic sector in line with government's own aspirations and programmes. SAMSA under his leadership is currently driving policy and strategic initiatives to make South Africa a leading maritime nation and an International Maritime Center, with a focus on building a national merchant fleet, coastal shipping service, port based industrial and multi-modal transport capacity and using shipping platforms to create jobs and integrate South Africa and the African regional and continental transport network for increased trade. 

Specific policy initiatives currently being driven by SAMSA in partnership with other government departments, agencies and industry are:

  • The development of the Maritime Transport 
    Policy (completed)
  • The development of a shipping tax policy - Tonnage Tax 
    (near complete)
  • The development of a National Marine Merchant Fleet
  • The development of a policy and system of Coastal Shipping
  • The development and implementation of National Maritime Skills Plan and Jobs
  • The improvement of South Africa's strategic maritime 
    security capacity
  • The development of the National Maritime 
    (Economic) Cluster

He served in the South African Navy after obtaining his Ship Command Qualifications in the then Soviet Union. He led the Naval Integration Process as a Co-Chairperson within the South African Transitional Executive Council (TEC) structures, the body charged within managing the country's transition to democracy in 1994, on secondment from of the African National Congress.

Prior to his appointment as the CEO of SAMSA he served as the Executive Manager at the National Ports Authority (NPA) and head of NPA Marine Business of the South African Ports. He led the successful turnaround strategy to transform and modernize the NPA Marine Business into an effective and competitive service. Under his direct leadership, black people and women were introduced, trained and employed in technical and managerial roles in the ports' marine businesses and various national maritime career awareness programmes launched. 

Mr Mokhele is a well exposed Mariner who holds a BSC degree in Ship Navigation and Command from the Caspian Higher Naval College, Soviet Union, Board Leadership qualification from GIBS, Port and Terminal Management Certificate from Holland and completing a course work towards the Master of Management degree in Public Policy with the school of Public and Development Management at Wits University.

Besides the academic and professional qualifications obtained at various domestic and international institutions, Mr Mokhele had participated at international forums such as the International Association of Ports and Harbours, International Maritime Organisation, and Tug and Salvage Conference. Under his leadership, South Africa won the bid and hosted the conference of the International Harbour-Masters Association for the first time in Africa.