The ban on foreign crew changes has been lifted. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The ban on foreign crew changes has been lifted. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Restriction on foreign crews at the Port of Cape Town has been lifted

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Aug 12, 2020

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Cape Town - The ban imposed on foreign crew changes at the Port of Cape Town has been lifted, but strict procedures will be communicated to them, says port manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana.

The lifting of the ban, which was imposed in March in accordance with the lockdown regulations, is just one of the measures that have been taken to ensure a return to normal operations at the port. Passenger travel, however, remained banned.

In an update, Dweba-Kwetana said: “Vessel berthing at the Cape Town Container Terminal will now take place on arrival, and the Container Terminal Operations Contract (CTOC), which guarantees a berth on arrival, will be resumed on request, much to the delight of stakeholders.

“We thank our stakeholders throughout the port system for the support we received while in the midst of the Covid-19 storm. While the storm has abated, it is far from over and we can’t afford to become complacent.

“By August 7, the port had reduced vessel waiting time at anchorage and berthing delays clearing the serious backlog of queued vessels and terminal congestion that had been experienced due to the lockdown, Covid-19 and operational challenges. The Multipurpose Terminal will be presenting its recovery plan soon.”

Shipping lines that have resumed halted calls to Cape Town include Maersk, which resumed direct shipping between Cape Town and Europe.

Chairperson of Truckers for Transformation Derrick Ongansie said: “I must commend port manager Dweba-Kwetana and her team for effecting the necessary strategy to turn the port around, and for dealing with the backlog in a short space of time.

“With their twice weekly report-back meetings, we’ve seen the service improve drastically on the sea side, and steadily on land. However, there are still a few challenges to improve truck turnaround times.”

Vinpro managing director Rico Basson said: “The total amount of wine exported in July is still 12% down on 2019.”

However, Basson said the improvement in capacity and turnaround at the port had enabled the wine industry to export 38 million litres last month versus 26 million litres in June.

Cape Argus

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