President Cyril Ramaphosa accompanied by Transnet CEO Portia Derby announcing the establishment of the Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA). Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa accompanied by Transnet CEO Portia Derby announcing the establishment of the Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA). Picture: GCIS

President Ramaphosa says State will revamp Port of Cape Town

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jun 23, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - In an effort to repair the damage done by, among others, a recent World Bank report that ranked South Africa’s ports among the the worst in the world, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the establishment of an independent National Ports Authority to revamp the country’s ports.

During a visit to the port of Cape Town, which has faced a litany of administrative and logistical problems, Ramaphosa said: “The weak performance of our ports is the result of structural challenges in our logistics system and operational inefficiencies.”

Ramaphosa recognised Cape Town’s port as a key logistics hub that accounts for a large proportion of South Africa’s agricultural exports and said the government was determined to reverse this decline in the performance of the country’s ports and to position them as world-class facilities to enable economic growth.

He said the establishment of an independent National Ports Authority as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Transnet, with its own board appointed by the Department of Public Enterprises, would mean that revenue generated by South African ports can be invested in port infrastructure and upgrading facilities.

Praising the management of Transnet, Ramaphosa said: “I have been impressed by the dedication and effectiveness of the new management team at Transnet, which has worked tirelessly to reverse the damage done by state capture and to put the company on a new footing.

“If the port functions efficiently, the economy of the Western Cape, and indeed, the entire country benefits. If port services are inefficient and costly or if imports and exports are delayed, the economy suffers,” said Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa during his visit to the port of Cape Town. Picture: GCIS

Ramaphosa said: “The weak performance of our ports is the result of structural challenges in our logistics system and operational inefficiencies.” Picture: GCIS

Premier Alan Winde welcomed the visit and the announcement of an independent Ports Authority.

“The Port of Cape Town is among the world’s most popular trade routes, and certainly one of the busiest in South Africa. It has immense potential, and with the right maintenance and investment, it could play a leading role in driving our province and country’s economy forward.

“An efficient and world class port would also go a long way in bolstering the province’s agricultural sector which is a significant exporter in our province. By supporting the port, and this industry, we will unlock a greater number of job opportunities for those who need it most.

“We must strive to match the outputs of other major port cities and in doing so, bring on board private partners who can assist us in achieving this.”

Finance and Economic Development MEC David Maynier said: “The Port of Cape Town has experienced significant operational challenges as a result of ageing infrastructure and equipment, staffing shortages and weather disruptions.

“We welcome the short-term measures being put in place to improve port efficiencies and we remain committed to working with the management team at the Port of Cape Town.”

[email protected]

Share this article: