May 01, 2009
R2,7bn to be spent on Durban harbour upgrade in 2009/10Back
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“This is an opportunity to make sure that when the economy picks up, we are ready,” he said. “
“That year, TPT spent R131-million on improving facilities at the port, and the amount has increased every year. “As the port has grown, so container volumeshave kept pace and Durban now has the largest container ter- minal in the southern hemisphere,” Morwe said.
TPT COO Solly Letsoalo said recently that the economic crisis had caused container volumes to decline by 15,6% between December 2008 and February 2009, compared with figures for the corresponding period last year.
However, Morwe said this had only put the port back to 2005 levels.
A new straddle carrier workshop is being built and TPT is restructuring the stack, deepening the berth, installing a new rail terminal, creating more staff parking areas and making
improvements on the Langeberg road entrance to relieve congestion. A truck staging area was also recently added to the facilities.
“We are currently busy with phase 2 of Pier 1, and TPT has purchased Salisbury Island for Pier 1’s expansion,” said Morwe.
“As a result, transshipment in the Port of Durban increased by 100% last year,” he said. “This gives South Africa an opportunity to become a maritime country, shipping cargo destined for smaller ports in smaller vessels to their final destination.”
However, he pointed out that value-added manufacturing would have to increase around the Port of Durban, as it did in Singapore, where products are imported, value is added and the products are exported to different countries without ever leaving the port.
“We also need to invest in more equipment, but we will insist that one of the conditions is that companies with which we deal open an office in South Africa so that maintenance and manu- facturing skills can be transferred to South Africans.”
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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