President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday called on the private sector to partner with the government to increase investment in port and rail infrastructure at the Port of Durban. Photo: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday called on the private sector to partner with the government to increase investment in port and rail infrastructure at the Port of Durban. Photo: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Ramaphosa calls on private sector to invest in Port of Durban

By Siphelele Dludla Time of article published Apr 20, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday called on the private sector to partner with the government to increase investment in port and rail infrastructure at the Port of Durban.

In his weekly newsletter yesterday, Ramaphosa said that the expansion of infrastructure at the Port of Durban would require R100 billion in new investment over the next decade.

He said the investment would be required to expand the port's capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to more than 11 million units a year.

“Altogether, the expansion of infrastructure at the port will require R100bn in new investment over the next decade and more,” Ramaphosa said.

“This will completely transform the port, expanding its capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to more than 11 million units.”

Ramaphosa said these ambitious plans would require greater private sector participation and investment, and would improve the efficiency of container handling.

“Partnerships with the private sector are crucial to bring new investment, technology and expertise to port operations and to modernise equipment and infrastructure,” he said.

“Transnet is planning, for example, to advertise a concession later this year to build and operate the new Point Terminal.”

Ramaphosa last week led an oversight visit to the port to assess progress made since 2019 in enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of the facility.

Shipping companies have been complaining about truck congestion and waiting times, ship berthing delays and anchorage times, poor maintenance of equipment and generally low productivity at the port.

This comes as Transnet's National Ports Authority is preparing to relocate its head office from Durban to the Port of Ngqura in Gqeberha in a bid to save R25 million a year from lease agreements.

Transnet's head office status was jointly held by Durban and Johannesburg.

The provincial government, the business community and workers' unions in Durban have slammed this proposed move by Transnet, as they were concerned over the future plans of the port.

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