Expansion of Port of Durban to cost R100 billion, Ramaphosa says

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The upgrade of the Port of Durban is expected to expand capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to more than 11 million units.
The upgrade of the Port of Durban is expected to expand capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to more than 11 million units.
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  • The expansion of the Port of Durban precinct would require R100 billion in new investment over the next decade, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa
  • The upgrade is expected to expand capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to more than 11 million units.
  • Some challenges like slow turnaround times, truck congestion, ship berthing delays and anchorage times, and poor maintenance of equipment have contributed to low productivity levels at the port


The expansion of the Port of Durban precinct would require R100 billion in new investment over the next decade, in a project that aimed at improving efficiency at one of the country's key drivers of economic growth, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Work would include the deepening of the Maydon Wharf channel to allow larger, modern vessels to enter the port, the infill of Pier 1 and Pier 2 to create additional capacity for containers, and the development of a new container terminal in the Point Precinct. 

"These ambitious plans will require greater private sector participation and investment. Transnet, including the Durban Port, is an important national asset belonging to the people of South Africa," said Ramaphosa in his letter to the nation.

Ramaphosa had visited the to the facility on last week and he said "the expansion of infrastructure at the port will require R100 billion in new investment over the next decade and more."

The port is ideally located to serve as a hub for containerized cargo from the Indian Ocean Islands, Middle East, Far East and Australia, and upgrade is expected to expand capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to more than 11 million units.

Some of the challenges that have contributed to low productivity levels at the port, a factor that has seen it slip from the top position in Africa to third, are slow turnaround times, truck congestion, ship berthing delays and anchorage times, poor maintenance of equipment.

During his visit to the port last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said although some notable progress had taken place in driving efficiency at the facility, more work needed to be done to improve efficiency .

"There has indeed been great progress over the past year in turning around the performance of the port, despite the impact of Covid-19," Ramaphosa said in a note to the nation on Monday.

He mentioned that interventions such as the increased use of rail insted of transport, among other things, were already showing positive results but "there is still much work to be done to position Durban as a world-class port and as a hub port for the Southern Hemisphere."

Transnet, which operates the port, is expected to advertise a concession later this year to build and operate the new Point Terminal, in what Ramaphosa said would bring in private investment.


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