Attention broadcasters: English soundbite from MPP Cayla Murray attached.
Transnet will be invited to appear before the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism, to provide feedback on the struggles the Port of Cape Town has faced during the table grape and stone fruit export season.
The Port’s performance has been well below par over the last month, with delays of up to 3 weeks reported in getting produce to ships. This means that fruit spends too much time in cold chambers, potentially affecting the quality and making it unfit for foreign markets.
According to Hortgro, which represents various organisations in the fruit industry, the total volume of apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, apples and pears shipped through the Port of Cape Town in November and December was down about 35% compared with the same time last year.
Important stakeholders affected by the Port will also be invited to brief the committee, including:
• South African Table Grape Industry Association
• South African Association of Freight Forwarders
• Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism
• Port of Cape Town Container Logistics Chain
The goal of this meeting will be to compile a report that can be submitted to Transnet and assist them in fixing the Port. A world-class Port of Cape Town will hasten broad economic development and job-creation in the province. It is thus of the utmost importance that the issues at the Port are urgently addressed.
The DA will make every effort to assist Transnet in getting the Port up to speed, as the knock-on effects of a world-class Port are necessary for the Western Cape to fully reach its economic potential. The date of the Standing Committee meeting will be communicated in due course.