Tuesday, March 15, 2011

South Africa to invest billions in ports

Transnet will invest R20.5 billion over the next five years to improve capacity and maintain Durban and Richard’s Bay harbours, the parastatal said on Monday.

“We will put new cranes in port harbours because ships wait too long in both harbours,” CEO Brian Molefe said during a session with black professionals organised by Durban Invest.

The event was also attended by public enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba and senior officials of state-owned enterprises.

Molefe said Transnet was working on a plan which would end congestion in Durban harbour. He said both harbours were using old cranes while Cape Town had received new cranes in the past few years.

Improvements were essential because Durban had the biggest container terminal in Africa. It was South Africa’s premier container, vehicle and liquid bulk port and also provided ship repair, cruise liner, navy, fishing and recreational facilities.

Molefe said the changing of the old Durban International Airport into a dugout port would also help increase capacity.

“We are trying to acquire the site and we will start digging,” he said.

The old Durban International Airport was decommissioned in May when the new King Shaka International Airport was opened.

Molefe said South Africa had the highest performing logistics system among upper middle-income countries. The challenge was sustaining the performance and integrating the regional freight system.

Source: SAPA