Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier has asked the Port Consultative Committee (PCC) to consider its suggestions towards improving the operational performance at the Port of Cape Town.
This follows the seventh annual Port of Cape Town Performance Roadshow, which took place on June 3.
The roadshow provided an opportunity for port users to review and provide inputs into port plans, capital expenditure plans and port performance, which are then taken into consideration by the Ports Regulator of South Africa.
The PCC is a statutory body set up by government to ensure that all economic participants at the country’s major ports have equal access and contribution to management of the ports infrastructure and associated resources.
The Western Cape government is suggesting that a Port Task Team be set up to bring together stakeholders from across the port logistics value chain to find solutions to the challenges facing the port.
Maynier believes the Port of Cape Town users are being charged excessive costs that are 146% higher than the global sample average, yet the port ranks at the bottom of global rankings in terms of performance.
While the Western Cape government does acknowledge that the last year has been a particularly difficult period for the Cape Town port, considering Covid-19 impacts, it nonetheless believes that much could be done to ensure ongoing investment and maintenance of infrastructure.
Maynier is concerned about underspending of capital by the Transport National Ports Authority in the last financial year. He believes it is critical to address this issue so that the larger capital budgets for the new financial year are spent to address current inefficiencies.
He is also concerned about the under-utilisation of the Multi-Purpose Terminal, where the operational availability of the two old mobile harbour cranes is a considerable constraint.
Maynier, therefore, welcomes the recent delivery of five straddle carriers ordered by Transnet, which will go a long way to improving the efficiency of container handling at the terminal.