A commercial diver is a professional who is paid to go underwater to do specific tasks such as construction, retrieval, maintenance, inspection, welding, repairs, deep sea exploration, and photography.
Ratanang Maremane, who is now based at the port in East London, was born and bred in Soweto, South Africa. She is one of the women pioneers in the maritime industry in her career path as a diver for the South African Navy and Transnet.
Maremane is currently employed by Transnet and she is also in her final semester as a Civil Engineering Student at Walter Sisulu University. She wants to merge her commercial diving qualification with the qualification cial Diving School in 2011.
"I wanted to become a fighter pilot so I applied for a learnership programme with the SANDF (South African National Defence Force). After the learnership, I received a contract that instructed me to report to the SA Naval Base in Saldanha Bay.
"I resigned from the SA Navy in 2008 and I worked for the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) from 2009 as a scientific diver.
"Marine life is almost harmless if you don't disturb it, even sharks. I was on record when I got 30 cm close to a two metre baby shark. I wanted to touch it but my instinct overwhelmed me," says Maramane.
"Opportunities are there but the youth, particularly from inland, are not aware of certain career fields. I was not aware that there is such a thing as commercial diving before I joined the SA Navy.
"The dangerous nature of the job is also one of the reasons why there are not enough females in the industry. The other challenge particularly for non-white communities is the fear of water and the superstitions that come with it," says Maramane.local
by Charles Maregere