Transnet National Ports Authority Becomes Independent

by admin
0 comment 5 minutes read

Transnet National Ports Authority is set to become an independent subsidiary of Transnet – South Africa’s freight logistics parastatal – and will be wholly owned by it.

According to newspaper reports President Cyril Ramaphosa said this reform of Transnet has been delayed for more than 15 years since the promulgation of the National Ports Act.

The President gave a special mention to the team at Transnet for their work trying to “reverse the damage done by state capture and to put the company on a new footing”.

President Ramaphosa announced a separation of the agencies managing the operations and the infrastructure of the country’s naval ports as part of an ongoing effort to reposition and transform state-owned enterprises into profitable, sustainable and competitive entities.

Speaking at a recent press conference at the Port of Cape Town following a walkabout there, the President announced that the Authority’s board will be appointed by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

“An essential part of addressing the challenges in our ports is to create a clear separation between the roles of the infrastructure owner, which is the Transnet National Ports Authority, and the terminal operator, which is Transnet Port Terminals,” Ramaphosa said.

“The functional and legal separation of these roles, which are currently operating divisions of the same company, will enable each to be fulfilled more independently and with greater efficiency.”

He also said this would mean that revenues generated by the ports can be invested in port infrastructure, both for the replacement of old equipment and for the upgrading and expansion of our ports.

Make own decisions

“The creation of a separate subsidiary will allow the ports authority to make its own investment decisions and will ensure that it treats all terminal operators fairly and equally in the interests of port users,” he said.

Transnet will remain the sole shareholder of the subsidiary “to prevent any negative impact on the group’s balance sheet, and to ensure that the ports authority remains an important part of the Transnet group”.

He said the reform has been delayed for more than 15 years since the promulgation of the act, and that overcoming a delay in implementing reforms formed part of government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

Ramaphosa announced similar reforms at the troubled state energy utility Eskom.

He said the reform of the ports operations will have a direct impact on port users and export industries, but will also benefit South Africans as increased efficiency and lower costs of imports and exports would mean lower prices for the consumer, and more jobs.

“It may not be obvious to us, but almost every single product that we purchase is affected in one way or another by our ports,” he said.

He also gave a special mention to the team at Transnet, led by CEO Portia Derby, for the work they have been doing to “reverse the damage done by state capture and to put the company on a new footing”.

TNPA manages eight commercial seaports along South Africa’s 2,954 km coastline.

These include Richards Bay, is South Africa’s premier bulk port and the most modern. The port is South Africa’s most northern and eastern port and is situated in Kwa Zulu-Natal.

Port of Durban is the busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa handling upto 31.4 million tons of cargo each year. It is the fourth largest container terminal in the Southern Hemisphere.

East London, originally known as Port Rex is on the other hand is South Africa’s only remaining river port. It is situated at the mouth of the Buffalo River in the East Cape Province.

The Port of Nggura is South Africa’s newest of the eight commercial port. It was authorized by an act of parliament in 2002. The construction started in the same year and the port became operational in 2009.

Port Elizabeth has been an important port and harbour on the South Africa east coast ever since the first British settlers began arriving from 1820. Today it is a multi cargo port on the western perimeter of Algoa Bay.

Port of MOSSEL BAY holds a special place in South African maritime history for this is the first recorded place used regularly along the South African coast by European seafarers journeying to the East.

The port if situated halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and is the smallest of the commercial harbours along the South African coast.

Port of CapeTown situated at the base of the Table Mountain is strategically located along one of the world’s busiest trade routes and naturally is one of the busiest ports in South Africa. It handles the largest amount of fresh fruit and second only to Durban as a container port.

The Port of Saldanha, Situated on the West Coast of South Africa some 60 nautical miles north-west of Cape Town, the Port of Saldanha, since its “discovery in the year 1601, remains the largest and deepest natural port in the Southern Hemisphere able to accommodate vessels with a draft of up to 21.5 meters.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment