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Rufus Lekala

Vice President

International Harbour Masters' Association

HQ Phone:  (250) 627-8980

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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

International Harbour Masters' Association

Prince Rupert Port Authority 200-215 Cow Bay Road

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, V8J 1A2

Canada

Company Description

The IHMA represents over 40 nations and extends throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Australasia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia. Membership consists primarily, but not exclusively, of Harbour Masters from ports large and small, publicly and ...more

Find other employees at this company (15)

Web References(19 Total References)


ExCo & council - The IHMA

Captain Rufus Lekala
Captain Rufus Lekala IHMA Vice President


The Messenger

Captain Rufus Lekala makes history again
Captain Rufus Lekala may have been born inland, but his destiny, he later discovered, lay at sea. When Lekala started driving a taxi in Mamelodi after finishing his schooling, it was because he needed to make ends meet. But he spotted the opportunity to apply to the former Portnet for a bursary, and that led him down a path far beyond his expectations. As chief harbor master, Lekala will be responsible for strategic thinking about maritime projects. He will participate in determining SA maritime policy, implementing international best practice and liaising between Transnet and the department of transport, the International Maritime Association and the International Lighthouse Association. Lekala is the son of a widowed domestic worker. Lekala obtained a national diploma in maritime studies from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and also underwent in-service training at Safmarine, which gave him an SA Maritime Safety Authority-accredited certificate to complement his diploma. He then became an assistant tugmaster with Transnet, piloting small tugboats to guide ships through the harbor. Later, he was promoted to tugmaster and soon became a marine pilot, which requires boarding incoming vessels to assist captains to guide their ships into port. With that range of skills, Lekala was made harbor master of the port of East London. SA's ports, under the management of Transnet's National Ports Authority, have been hampered by high costs and inefficiency, a weakness Lekala will be called upon to rectify . The danger that the ports may lose competitive advantage against Maputo and Walvis Bay is another important factor Transnet will have to be mindful of. To deepen his understanding of maritime law, he intends to further his studies. He will pursue a bachelor of law degree at the University of KwaZulu Natal. Lekala is the deputy president of the International Harbor Master Association. He is married to a marine pilot and has two children.


International Harbourmaster Association

Capt. Rufus Lekala
Harbour Master Durban, South Africa Vice President


From taxi driver to South African and world maritime history-maker! - Careerplanet - Career Discover Centre

Appointed as the first black harbour master in South Africa and the youngest in the world in 2002, Captain Rufus Lekala has now made maritime history again after becoming the first black chief harbour master in the country and the youngest in the world to hold such a position.
Lekala matriculated at Vlakfontein High School in Mamelodi, Pretoria, in 1990, and hoped to study further, but could not afford it. "After matric I had no money to study, so I drove taxis for five years in Pretoria. It wasn\'t for me," said Lekala. While driving taxis, he earned an average of R1 000 a month. Lekala's big break came in 1996 when he heard that Portnet was offering bursaries for studies in the maritime sector. "I applied, not expecting a landlubber like me to be selected. I knew nothing about the sea. It wasn\'t part of my culture, but I was desperate and when you want to make something of yourself, you\'ll take any opportunity that arrives," he said. Getting the bursary enabled Lekala to do maritime studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and, after completing the course in 1998, he began climbing the ladder. He started by doing in-service training and then became a tugmaster, manoeuvring vessels in and out of port. His next appointment was as marine pilot. Stationed at the East London port in 2002, he became the youngest harbour master in the world and the first black one. This harbour has about 35 vessels going through it a month. He was then transferred to Cape Town, which handles over 300 vessels. Lekala progressed to running the 500-vessel-a-month port of Durban, the second largest in Africa after Port Said in Egypt. "You need people skills in this work as you're at the front line of the company and you need to be analytical. Most of my job is dealing with other people\'s problems and I must remain neutral, not taking sides," he said. Lekala is now responsible for 12 people: eight harbour masters, three operations managers and a personal assistant. He lives by the philosophy that "nothing is impossible in life", and believes a person should lead by consensus. Lekala the family man In 2002 Lekala married Mathilda Mopayi, a marine pilot who also works for Transnet. Lekala says his late sister Dorothy Phetla, businessman Richard Maponya and Transnet mentor, Captain Edward Bremner are his biggest influences, professionally and personally. Lekala is the vice-president of the International Harbour Masters Association and an honorary member of the Natal, Point and Bluff yacht clubs. Rufus Lekala, chief harbour master in South Africa and the youngest in the world, said: "These women have put us on the map once more and should be very proud of their achievements." Winning the trust of sceptical captains


Leadership - Africa The Good News

From taxi driver to South African and world maritime history-maker - this is how Captain Rufus Lekala's life story would read if it were written today.
Appointed as the first black harbour master in South Africa and the youngest in the world in 2002, Lekala has now made maritime history again after becoming the first black chief harbour master in the country and the youngest in the world to hold such a position. Lekala is also responsible for cohesion between the Department of Transport, Transnet, the International Maritime Association and the International Lighthouse Association. Lekala matriculated at Vlakfontein High School in Mamelodi, Pretoria, in 1990, and hoped to study further, but could not afford it. It wasn't for me," said Lekala. Lekala progressed to running the 500-vessel-a-month port of Durban, the second largest in Africa after Port Said in Egypt. Lekala is now responsible for 12 people: eight harbour masters, three operations managers and a personal assistant. He lives by the philosophy that "nothing is impossible in life", and believes a person should lead by consensus. Lekala the family man In 2002 Lekala married Mathilda Mopayi, a marine pilot who also works for Transnet. Lekala says his late sister Dorothy Phetla, businessman Richard Maponya and Transnet mentor, Captain Edward Bremner are his biggest influences, professionally and personally. Lekala is the vice-president of the International Harbour Masters Association and an honorary member of the Natal, Point and Bluff yacht clubs.


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