Since the new safety laws concerning sea and inland watercraft were implemented in 2009, all vessels now fall under the regulation of the South African Marine Safety Authority (SAMSA).
With the implementation of the new regulations, all vessels greater than 15 hp require a minimum category R skipper’s ticket. To use a vessel on inland waters such as dams and rivers, a minimum of
category R skipper’s ticket is needed.
The vessel or craft being used on the water needs a minimum of a 30% buoyancy certificate issued by a SAMSA appointed agent. All skippers of motor vessels of more than 15 hp and sailing vessels of
nine metres and more in length must be certificated.
A certificate of fitness (COF) is required for the craft and a certificate of competence (COC) is mandatory for the skipper. Once a skipper has obtained the COC through a SAMSA agent, it does not need to be renewed annually.
The COC can be upgraded to a higher certificate if desired. The boat’s certificate of fitness does need to be renewed on an annual basis. Regulations are enforced by SAMSA agents at boating clubs and launch sites.
Even jetskis that are over three metres in length require the necessary safety equipment as set out by SAMSA.