Port of Cape Town Update: WCPP sends Detailed Report to National Gov for Urgent Implementation

Issued by Cayla Murray, MPP – DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism
15 Apr 2024 in Press Statements

Attention broadcasters: English soundbite from MPP Cayla Murray attached.

 The Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunities and Tourism has today adopted a critical report detailing operational inefficiencies at the Port of Cape Town, as well as comprehensive recommendations to address these issues.

Please see the full report attached.

In response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment to revitalising the Port of Durban, the Committee is adamant that similar attention and urgency be applied to the Port of Cape Town. As such, copies of the report have been sent to President Ramaphosa, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, and the CEO of Transnet.

The Committee has requested their immediate acknowledgement of the report and a full response within two weeks, outlining specific actions to integrate these recommendations into Transnet’s 8-point turnaround plan for Cape Town.

This comprehensive document follows a comprehensive public engagement with key stakeholders in the maritime and logistics sectors which took place on 22 February 2024. This engagement included Transnet, MSC, the Western Cape Government, Exporters Western Cape, South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents – to name a few.

Highlights from the recommendations included in the report:

  • Department of Economic Development and Tourism:
    • Digital Technology Platform: Develop and implement a digital technology platform to optimize container logistics along the entire value chain, enhancing real-time data access and decision-making.
    • Transporter Congestion Management: Adopt strategies to consolidate smaller transport operators into organized fleets, reducing congestion and improving terminal efficiency.
    • Private Sector Involvement: Encourage significant private sector involvement to leverage additional expertise, resources, and investments in port operations, aligning with the Western Cape Growth for Jobs Strategy.
  • Exporters Western Cape:
    • Collaboration with Shipping Lines: Enhance collaboration with all major shipping lines, along with Transnet Freight Rail and Transnet Port Terminals, to ensure efficient operations.
    • Promotion of Night Shifts: Promote night shift operations to manage and alleviate peak-hour congestion, and improve overall traffic flow into and out of the port.
  • South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents:
    • Long-term Leases and Licensing Reform: Advocate for long-term leases and the removal of restrictive licensing to foster more robust and effective private sector partnerships.
    • Equipment Upgrades: Urgently enhance the equipment capacity at terminals to handle container traffic more efficiently, including the deployment of more modern cranes and handling technologies.
  • South African Association of Freight Forwarders:
    • Human Resource Management Oversight: Call for improved oversight and accountability in human resource management within Transnet, including the inclusion of labour organizations in strategic decision-making processes.
  • Mediterranean Shipping Company (PTY) LTD:
    • Advanced Equipment Procurement: Recommend procuring advanced Rubber-Tyred Gantries designed for operation in adverse weather conditions, supporting continuous port operations.
    • Increased Personnel and Equipment: Ensure adequate staffing and equipment are available at all times to manage operations seamlessly.

The Democratic Alliance implores the national government to swiftly adopt and implement these measures within the Port of Cape Town’s 8-point turnaround plan. The efficient operation of the Port of Cape Town is essential for boosting international trade and generating employment opportunities across the Western Cape.

Minister Gordhan and President Ramaphosa are urged to address these recommendations without delay. The Port of Cape Town must rise to its potential as a pivotal gateway for international commerce and a cornerstone of economic stability in South Africa.