Thu, 06 May 2021

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa says Transnet has made a turnaround with its performance.
  • He was at the Port of Durban on Thursday for an oversight inspection.
  • Ramaphosa said Transnet's board and management were doing well to further economic growth and development.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says he feels Transnet has made an about turn in its performance.

He said this during a visit to the Port of Durban on Thursday.

"Transnet, as far as I am concerned, has turned the corner. It is now under good management and good corporate governance through the board," he said.

Ramaphosa was at the port for most of Thursday where he conducted an oversight visit on progress in the area.

He engaged with stakeholders for around two hours before embarking on a boat tour of the port.

"It was an extensive meeting where they outlined plans that they have."

Ramaphosa said previously he had met with businesspeople in Durban who raised concerns about congestion at the port as well as inefficiencies.

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He added they had complained their goods were not travelling "as swiftly as they should and that they were losing money and that the waiting period was too long".

"We took this to heart, and I got the minister of public enterprises together with the premier to meet with the businesspeople. We've come to make an assessment of some of the measures and plans that have been put in place by Transnet management.

"I must say I am hugely impressed at the plans they put in place and they've already started addressing the concerns raised by the private sector."

Congestion a major concern

One of the big issues at the port was congestion, something Ramaphosa felt has been resolved.

"The congestion has lessened quite substantially and the queuing of trucks with containers has lessened quite substantially."

He said he was excited to see Transnet was making big plans.

"What is more pleasing is they are making plans for the future, they are already looking at 2032 and putting forward a plan that will require R100 billion to invest that will create up to 180 000 jobs in the intervening period.

"The plans fit in very well with the reforms we are talking about. We want to see reforms that will impact on how our ports function."

Ramaphosa said Transnet was "working with the province at a deep level and working out plans with the municipality".

"That is what we wanted to hear and see. They've already mapped out the whole port area and identified nodes or areas that require improvement expanding the footprint of the port and making sure there can be a container area and bulk area, etc. All that is most impressive.

"I walk away from here extremely encouraged and elated knowing the vision we put out as a country fits in very well. Durban port is a national asset and is the most important port in the economic architecture of our country."

He added the port was a vital cog in South Africa's economy.

"When Durban port does not function, it has a negative impact on trade and commerce in the whole nation and it is therefore important that it should."

Source: News24

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