French frigate Nivôse made port call in Durban
On the occasion of the port call in Durban made by the French frigate Nivôse, the Ambassador of France Elisabeth Barbier highlighted the cooperation existing between France and South Africa. She met with several officials and visited PISA (Parachutes Industry of Southern Africa) branch of Zodiac Aerospace in Durban. The port call was also the opportunity for the French authorities to meet with Durban’s mayor and first magistrate and to invite local partners and the French community in Durban to attend a cocktail on board of the frigate.
The frigate “Nivôse”
Based in La Réunion, « Le Nivôse » is a surveillance frigate of an overall length of 93.5 meters and breadth of 14 meters, able to displace 2950 tons. The crew is composed of 97 sailors of which 12 officers, 61 petty officers and 21 seamen.
It fulfils a specified range of operational need, patrolling overseas maritime areas under French sovereignty and in the deep sea to protect France’s interests. Equipped with quality equipment including an on-board Eurocopter Panther helicopter, the “Nivôse” has an optimal capacity of detection and an armament allowing consolidating the French presence overseas.
This way the vessel carries out several different tasks such as the surveillance of maritime area, fighting the plague of piracy, port visits and joint maritime exercises such as OXIDE.
A bilateral cooperation agreement links France and South Africa regarding the coordination of maritime search and rescue in their respective areas of responsibility in the Indian Ocean.
The basis of the agreement is clear: the complementarity of rescue actions between French and South African structures is a necessity especially regarding the structural weaknesses of some coastal states in the area as well as the vastness of the areas to be covered. In this context, a regular exchange between stakeholders is essential.
On regular basis, South Africa and France scheduled appointments in Mozambique for naval exercises. On September 2013, the last edition of the exercise « OXIDE 2013 » took place off the coast of Maputo and gathered numerous and diverse ways and means.
Strengthening the relationship between South Africa and Reunion Island
Four hours from Johannesburg, Reunion Island is an exceptional destination in the Indian Ocean, right at the heart of the Southern hemisphere. The island has been a French département since 1946 and combines the exoticism of a distant land with the high-quality and security associated with French territories. It is known all over the world for its rich and diverse landscapes. Its breathtaking natural settings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010. There are endless activities on offer to turn your holiday getaway into a series of unique adventures. Reunion Island is one of the few destinations which can satisfy every kind of tourist.
Visit of PISA (Parachutes Industry of Southern Africa)
On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, H.E. Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier and the Honorary Consul in Durban, Mr. Marc SCHMITT, visited Parachutes Industry of Southern Africa (PISA), a company that produces parachutes. PISA is a subsidiary of Zodiac Aerospace and part of a mutually beneficial partnership between France and South Africa that benefits from the transfer of technology and production from France to the Durban area, creates employment in South Africa and allows Zodiac Aerospace to provide a solid anchor in Southern Africa.
Visit of the Naval Base in Durban (BND)
The Naval Base in Durban, trimmed back in 2002 following restrictions and budget cuts initiated in 1994, is currently rising again towards 2016. H.E. Elisabeth Barbier, Ambassador of France, Mr. Raymond Quereilhac, Consul of France in Johannesburg, Defence Attaché, Captain Jean-Claude Barrere and Commander Jean-Baptiste Soubrier, commander of Nivôse, which made a port call in Durban, visited the base in order to assess what opportunities it can open on defense cooperation.