DURBAN – Losses due to the congestion at the Port of Durban is costing the country billions of rand, South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents chief executive Peter Besnard said yesterday, without quantifying the amount.
“The situation is bad, as some companies are struggling. Some are closing down, while others are retrenching as a result of this situation,” said Besnard.
He said that the authorities need to fast track equipment as currently there were not enough straddle carriers in a balanced amount on the ship’s side and on the land.
UKZN-based Maritime Transport and Ports expert Professor Trevor Jones said that the chronic congestion was due to the slow transfer of cargo to the shore and the slow clearing afterwards. He said that the general administration was poorly managed.
But Nomusa Dube-Ncube, the leader of Government Business and MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, said last week that the province had held a series of meetings with the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, Transnet management, the eThekwini municipality, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and stakeholders in the maritime industry.