Transnet to begin transporting non-essential cargo during lockdown
INTERNATIONAL - South Africa’s logistics firm Transnet said on Friday it would will start moving non-essential goods during a nationwide lockdown after previously reducing transport services and non-essential cargo operations.
“It has now been formally declared that transportation (including handling) of all cargo from ports of entry to their intended destination is no longer prohibited,” the state-owned logistics firm told Reuters via email.
The 21-day nationwide lockdown came into force at midnight on Thursday and largely confines people to their homes except for specific outings such as to buy food or for health emergencies.
Last week, South Africa’s logistics firm Transnet said it would reduce transport services and non-essential cargo operations during a nationwide lockdown that began at midnight on Thursday to contain the coronavirus.
The state-owned company said shipments of metals and minerals would depend on demand and government approval. It was unclear if these exports would be affected.
The transport of coal to state-run utility Eskom’s power stations would continue, Transnet said.
Transnet operates nearly three quarters of the African rail network, the bulk of which is in South Africa.
It said it had decided to close all automotive terminals and multi-purpose terminals at the ports of East London, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth and Maydon Wharf in Durban.
“Transnet has taken a decision to reduce staff in some of the terminals with the exception of operations for Agri-bulk products namely; soya bean meal, fertiliser and woodchips, which will be serviced on single berths operation at East-London, Richards Bay and Durban Agri terminals,” Transnet said in a statement.
REUTERS / BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE