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Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) has called for requests from the private sector for the expansion of the Durban port’s container terminal.
TNPA top management announced this at a media briefing, that the project is pivotal in unlocking 14 other mega-projects in the port over the next 15 years.
TNPA says a container pier will be lengthened and the port deepened to accommodate bigger vessels. TNPA director of mega projects, Dr Bridgette Gasa-Toboti says tenders were issued in 2016 and 2020 but both times it could not go ahead due to administrative reasons.
“There is no better time for us to do this massive work than the present. And more so if you look at the economy which is currently sluggish. It is strategically important that we had to move with speed to implement this particular project because of potential disruptions if this construction were to coincide with a time that the country is in a growth path.”
This announcement comes at a time when the Durban port is struggling with delays in offloading containers, which recently reached the 70 000 mark.
TNPA managing executive, Moshe Motlohi says they are encouraged that the number of ships lying at anchor waiting to enter the port, will be brought down to single digits.
“When the port authority intervened the Pier 2 terminal had 47 straddle carriers being available to service the operation that ought to had 84. As we speak today with the interventions that the authority has demanded to see improved performance and the collaboration and cooperation from the terminal operator, we have seen that number increasing to 63 straddle carriers and they have given the undertaking that by mid-December they are going to be touching the 70s.”