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TNPA > Our Ports > Cape Town > Functions

Cape Town: Function

Radio/port control

The calling frequency for Cape Town Radio (callsign ZSC) is Channel 16 VHF with remote stations based at Alexander Bay, Port Nolloth, Hondeklipbaai, Doringbaai, Elandsbaai, Saldanha Bay, Milnerton, Constantiaberg, Hermanus, Pearly Beach, Struisbaai and Albertinia. Morse code on 500 kHz is also monitored at Cape Town as is Radio Telephone on 2182 kHz. Channel 421 is used as a supplementary Call and answer system when 2182 is being used for distress.

The following High Frequency (HF) channels are used by Cape Town Radio:
Channel ZSC Ship
421 4417 4125
821 8779 8255
1221 13137 12290
1621 17302 16420

and on DIGITAL SELECTIVE CALLING (DSC) Cape Town Radio monitors DSC channels on 4207.5, 6312.0, 8414.5, 12577.0 and 16804.5 kHz. Radio telephone distress and safety traffic is conducted on 4125 kHz, 6215 kHz, 8291 kHz, 12290 kHz and 16420 kHz both ways subsequent to a DSC alert. The port authorities require ETA's 72 hours before.


Area to the north-east and east of pilot boarding station (Fairway buoy) in depth 20 - 25 m. During the winter months, April to September, north and north-west winds are frequent and as there is no safe anchorage in the bay, it should only be used by vessels prepared to proceed to sea at short notice on the approach of bad weather.


Navigation warnings are available from Cape Town Radio/ZSC. Automatic radio telex (ATOR) in FEC mode at
 0930 and 1700 utc, frequencies 4214, 6322, 8428.5, 12698 and 17164 kHz.

Radio telephone at 0918 and 1718 utc, frequencies 4435, 8719 kHz and the following VHF channels:
Alexander Bay 04 Milnerton 25
Port Nolloth 01 Constantiaberg 26
Hondeklipbaai 25 Hermanus 04
Doringbaai 87 Pearly Beach 85
Elandsbaai 23 Struisbaai 84
Saldanha Bay 27 Albertinia 86

Ballast requirements

Vessels should be sufficiently ballasted to navigate safely within the harbour.


  • Form DA1 - Report inwards/outwards for ships
  • Form DA3 - Certificate of clearance for ships
  • Form DA4 - Transire, for destination in RSA
  • Form DA5 - List of sealable goods on board ship
  • Ship’s crew list (6 copies)
Post Office Certificate of departure; post office clearance certificate. Port Health Maritime declaration of health, crew list with last vaccination dates, de-rat certificate. Port Authority
  • Departure notification
  • Ship’s manifest
  • Shipmaster’s report
  • Declaration of health
  • Set vaccination list
  • De-rat certificate
  • 2 in-transit passenger lists
  • 2 crew lists
  • Crew sealable goods
  • 4 landing passenger lists
  • Crew declarations
  • Inventory of slop chest
  • Arrival/departure record
  • Livestock form
  • Ship’s mail declaration
  • Report of arrival (to pilot)
  • Leaving certificate
  • Clearance certificate
  • Certificate of medical officer
  • Light dues certificate
Register and set of ship’s certificates (used by agent)


Pilotage is compulsory. One hour advance notice to be given to Port Captain through VHF radio, call sign “port operations” on channel 16. Pilot ladders must comply with SOLAS regulations. All vessels with a freeboard in excess of nine meters must have an accommodation ladder rigged in conjunction with the pilot ladder. Man ropes must be provided. The pilot boarding area is located off the Fairway Buoy and the ships master should phone for instructions from the pilot before boarding. Pilot taken aboard at position: main breakwater bearing 155 ° (T) x 1,6 miles.

Assistance (e.g. tugs)

The port operates four Voith Schneider propelled tugs , each with a bollard pull of 41 tonnes. Tugs join vessel approximately 0,25 miles from harbour entrance. All tugs are fitted for fire- fighting and salvage. Standby tugs are compulsory for tankers discharging crude. There is also a smaller tug, a conventional, twin-screw with an 11 ton bollard pull and three diesel launches of 10 km speeds and 3,5 ton bollard pull, to assist with running lines and the movements of smaller craft such as 55 m fishing vessels. A floating crane of 200 tonne capacity is available for heavy lifting services around the port. The maximum reach is 24 m at 125 tons. Work outside normal hours can be undertaken by special arrangement with the Port Captain and at overtime rates.