MOU signed for transformation at SA ports

Two people sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

CEO of the Ports Regulator of South Africa Mukondeleli Johanna Mulaudzi (left) and Tshediso Matona, the B-BBEE Commissioner, signing an MOU. Picture: Yogashen Pillay

Published Mar 14, 2024


The Ports Regulator of South Africa on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the B-BBEE Commission in Durban to ensure compliance and transformation in the national port sector, as the two organisations cited research which indicated that transformation was too slow as the reason for the agreement.

The CEO of the Ports Regulator of South Africa, Mukondeleli Johanna Mulaudzi, noted that the Regulations of 2007 issued in terms of S80(1) of the National Ports Act said that ports authorities must ensure that 75% of all contracts are with entities with a B-BBEE score of between Level 1 and 4.

“In regards to compliance with B-BBEE, challenges have been identified.

This includes exempted micro-enterprises (EMEs), which are automatically Level 4 even when not black-owned.”

She added that EMEs lacked funding in order to become terminal operators.

“There are long-term and indefinite leases with larger entrants, inordinate delays in the transformation of the ports system, and lack of capacity and protocols to invoke Regulation 4(2), ie to monitor and enforce compliance.”

Mulaudzi said that the Ports Regulator’s power and function as defined in the act created some limitations in what they were able to do.

“We are not able to investigate things such as checking the veracity of B-BBEE certificates and the B-BBEE Commission is empowered to do that.

“Through the signing of the MOU we are able to work with them to address shortcomings in the sector. We will also be able to work with the commission to ensure enforcement.”

Mulaudzi added that there would be a lot of information-sharing between the two entities and other stakeholders in the maritime space.

“The maritime space is a multi-sectoral environment – you have construction companies, you have terminal operators and we have others that are guided by sector ideas such as energy, and the ability to bring everyone together through this partnership with B-BBEE will be greatly enhanced.”

B-BBEE commissioner Tshediso Matona said that the signing of this MOU was to ensure the advancement of transformation in the national ports sector.

“The Ports Regulator has legislation to implement transformation and we have the act to promote transformation, and between these two pieces of legislation there are opportunities to exchange information, research and opportunities for transformation and progress on the legislation and increase participation in the economy.”

Matona added that the country carried enormous inequalities and injustice that excluded black people.

“The Constitution calls for active measures, including the use of procurement by the state to promote inclusion of previously disadvantaged people in the economy.

“Without doing that we would be betraying the Constitution and betraying the founding fathers of our democracy, who envisioned a country where there is equity, equality and nobody is disadvantaged by the colour of their skin or where they live. We cannot allow that situation as we already face challenges of high unemployment, especially among the youth.”

The Mercury