Collaboration key to improving Port of Cape Town performance
It is with great concern that I note the Port of Cape Town’s ranking at 365th out 370 ports measured by the World Bank's Container Port Performance Index report 2021, released this week.
While we know that 2021 was a particularly difficult year because of the impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic, we also know that insufficient investment in infrastructure by national government at the Port is a major, worrying factor. This will need to be urgently addressed.
I personally visited the Port last week to get an update on Transnet’s operations, and I was encouraged by the spirit of collaboration that I experienced. This collaboration, which must include all levels of government, Transnet, and importantly, the private sector as a partner, will be essential to improve the Port’s performance.
I am determined to ensure that this happens so that we can all play a part in ensuring a world-class Port that grows the economy and creates jobs.
That is why the Western Cape Government has already appointed a project manager in our Department of Economic Development and Tourism to work with all stakeholders in addressing some immediate challenges, and I am informed that we have been met by a willingness to cooperate and share information and ideas on how we can improve port efficiency.
It is therefore good news to hear that some noticeable capacitation interventions have taken place over the last six months. This includes:
- The addition of the Liebherr 600 mobile harbour crane to the equipment fleet at the Multi-Purpose Terminal in December 2021, which got the Multi-Purpose Terminal back online;
- The installation of the hydraulic shore tensioning system in April 2022 in one berth at Cape Town Container Terminal to reduce delays caused by ranging (ship movements caused by wave surges);
- The activation of one additional berth;
- The re-introduction of operator incentives in April in 2022, resulting in improved performance; and
- The terminal will no longer close on public holidays, except for Workers Day, which will increase the Port’s capacity.
It is also good news that Transnet has confirmed additional, imminent capacitation interventions, including:
- Transferring of one ship to shore crane, from Durban to Cape town, by the end of June 2022;
- The acquisition of one new rubber-tyred gantry crane and another new insurance replacement of the one which caught fire last year at the Cape Town Container Terminal – totaling two; and
- Installing a second hydraulic tensioner by end August of this year.
We can all, nevertheless agree, that there is still much more work to do. National government will need to drastically increase investment at the Port of Cape Town if we are to ensure a sustained reversal of these recent trends.
Ensuring that this happens will be a top priority for me, so that we make it easier to do business and create jobs in our province.
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 076 423 7541