The announcement by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Transnet chief executive Portia Derby to seek private partnerships and secure investment into Transnet’s port network is a step in the right direction, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said.
During a briefing on Monday on the latest developments within Transnet, Gordhan said the R100 billion port master plan was scheduled to reach completion within the next 10 years if all went well.
Gordhan said the plan served as a basis for investment in the port, in respect of both the port infrastructure governed by the Transnet National Ports Authority and the terminals and freight infrastructure that serviced the ports.
The upgrade of the port was aimed at improving efficiency at one of the country's key drivers of economic growth, and was part of structural reforms.
Derby said the plan was to deal with capacity constraints such as terminal inefficiencies and congestion challenges at the port.
DA MP Ghaleb Cachalia said the party had always called for the privatisation of state-owned entities to reduce the state’s exposure and ensure steady economic maintenance and growth.
“We are also of the belief that the mandate of port management should be devolved to the provinces to create a competitive environment between coastal cities and boost local economies.
“Any hopes of success for Transnet’s partnership with private investors will surely be dashed if it is managed by the national ANC government. They have proven that good governance is wholly outside their realm of expertise. This project has a much better chance of success in the hands of the provinces.”