Jakarta. The government plans to open a guesthouse in Cape Town this year to cater to Indonesian seafarers, the directorate of citizen protection and legal aid at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a report published on Thursday (01/02).
An estimated 3,000 Indonesian seafarers transit Cape Town annually, the ministry said.
There were around 8,800 Indonesian sailors working abroad at the end of October last year, according to the ministry's e-protection system.
Around 8.8 percent of them work on ships that pass the southernmost point of the African continent and dock at Cape Town, the ministry said.
The ministry dealt with 2,198 cases involving sailors between 2014 and 2017, with 1,192 having been resolved and the remainder still ongoing, the report said.
The main problem sailors face relates to labor disputes, such as salaries and working hours.
Most problems encountered by Indonesian crewmembers working in the Africa region involve physical abuse, either as victims or perpetrators, the report said.
The ministry said the government has been cooperating with bodies such as the International Labor Organization and International Maritime Organization, to protect Indonesian sailors abroad.
Cape Town is one of the nearest transit ports to Antarctica, the South Atlantic and the southern part of the Indian Ocean, especially for fishing vessels, many of which employ Indonesian sailors.
"Right now, the Foreign Ministry, along with the Indonesian Embassy in Cape Town, has been preparing a guesthouse for Indonesian seamen that will provide an Indonesian atmosphere," the report said.