President Cyril Ramaphosa says that government plans to greatly expand the capacity of Durban’s port and rebuild state-owned enterprise Transnet.
Writing in his weekly open letter to the public, Ramaphosa said that the new management of Transnet and its operating divisions are resolutely focused on turning the performance of the port around.
“The management has ambitious and exciting expansion plans for all five of the port’s precincts.
“These include the deepening of the Maydon Wharf channel to allow larger, modern vessels to enter the port, the infill of Pier 1 and Pier 2 to create additional capacity for containers, and the development of a new container terminal in the Point Precinct.
“Altogether, the expansion of infrastructure at the port will require R100 billion in new investment over the next decade and more.”
Ramaphosa said that these investments will completely transform the port, expanding its capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to more than 11 million units.
“These ambitious plans will require greater private sector participation and investment. Transnet, including the Durban Port, is an important national asset belonging to the people of South Africa.”
Ramaphosa said that partnerships with the private sector are crucial to bring new investment, technology and expertise to port operations and to modernise equipment and infrastructure.
“Transnet is planning, for example, to advertise a concession later this year to build and operate the new Point Terminal. This will bring in private investment and improve the efficiency of container handling.”
Infrastructure and jobs
Ramaphosa said that the government is also steadily improving the efficiency of the country’s ports and railways and unlocking massive investment in infrastructure.
This will not only lower costs and improve the competitiveness of our exports, but will create thousands of new jobs in the process, he said.
“Through both operational improvements and structural reforms, Durban Port will reclaim its place as the best-performing port in Africa.
“As part of our Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, we will continue to work tirelessly to expand infrastructure investment and transform our network industries.
“With the progress we are making at the Durban port, with the reinvigorated skills and capabilities that we have in Transnet, we now have the wind in our sails. And we are moving at a rate of knots towards our destination.”