South Africa's state-owned rail, port and pipeline company Transnet said on Tuesday it had introduced a number of solutions for the operational backlogs at the Port of Cape Town due to Covid-19, including staff redeployment.
In a statement, Transnet said to alleviate pressure at the terminals, 20 employees from the Durban Container Terminal had volunteered to be deployed to the container and the multi-purpose terminals in Cape Town, including the operators of driver articulated vehicles, rubber tyre gantry cranes and ship-to-shore cranes with over 100 years of collective work experience.
This would improve the movement of cargo and ensure staff availability, the company said, adding that the workers had been screened and tested for Covid-19. Their deployment would not affect operations at the Durban terminal, it added.
Transnet said both the container and multi-purpose terminals at the Cape Town port had been operating at a reduced capacity since the introduction of lockdown regulations aimed at curbing Covid-19 infections. With the easing of the lockdown, port activities had increased.
The port's container terminal is currently operating at 60 percent, while the multi-purpose terminal is at 75 percent. The portside, which is responsible for marine operations, is only operating at 60 percent human resource capacity, but is able to offer full marine services.
"Despite all the challenges, we have been able to reduce the number of vessels waiting at anchorage from 11 vessels to 5 vessels," the acting chief operations officer at Transnet Port Terminals Velile Dube said.
"We have managed to increase the number of gangs from four to five and now are receiving additional staff to help with shifts.”
Transnet said the terminal was practising strict physical distancing and sanitising protocols, with additional ablution facilities provided.