Desmond D’Sa, of the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, said the contract should not have been awarded in the first place and that the project was against the interests of the community. He questioned whether there was a need to deepen the port’s berths when they were functioning well.
D’Sa said this as Transnet released a statement that it had agreed to a request by CMI Emtateni Joint Venture to terminate its contract, estimated to be worth R4.2bn.
“On or about November 18, 2018, Transnet received an unsolicited report from Forensics for Justice, with allegations of procurement irregularities on the project,” said Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe.
The motivation to create deeper berths at ports is that shipping lines are building vessels that require more space as they bring in a larger volume of goods.
“Transnet’s internal forensic investigations are still ongoing and have not been concluded,” said Likhethe.
D’Sa questioned the need to deepen the berths, saying that local industry should be encouraged, instead of relying on imported goods. He said the effort spent to deepen the berths should have been used to develop the renewable energy sector, which could create much-needed jobs in the economy.
The alliance and other groups have previously protested against the expansion of the port over the past few years.
Additional reporting ANA