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Transnet to invest R16.1bn on ports in the Western part of SA

Phyllis Difeto

Posted on July 12, 2022

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) will be investing R16.1 billion on infrastructure development at the ports of Mossel Bay, Saldanha and Cape Town for the next seven years.

This is part of the TNPA’s strategic repositioning of its Western Region ports to efficiently facilitate trade and create much-needed jobs, amid rife unemployment.

Industry players, including stakeholders in the fruit and wine industries, have been calling on the government to invest in infrastructure for a while now, with the long turn-around times and shipping backlogs resulting in many cargo vessels by-passing Cape Town altogether.

The Western Region’s capital investment programme has an allocation of R2.2bn to the Port of Mossel Bay; R8.4bn to Saldanha; and R5.5bn to Cape Town.

TNPA managing executive advocate Phyllis Difeto yesterday said the state-owned ports subsidiary of Transnet was moving ahead with its “Reimagined” operating model.

The TNPA Reimagined Operating Model places emphasis on accelerating the execution of capital projects on time, and within budget.

“Our capital investment plan demonstrates our commitment to the operationalisation of our reimagined operating model that was launched in 2021,” Difeto said.

“We are intentional about prioritising capital projects that will create future capacity while not neglecting the immediate needs required to enhance port efficiencies.”

In the current 2022/23 financial year, TNPA boasts a capital investment programme of R452 million in the Western Region ports.

At the Port of Mossel Bay, some of the key capital projects include the slipway facility refurbishment, and Quay 3 sheet pilling.

These key projects form part of the Port of Mossel Bay’s R10.2m port infrastructure development plan for 2022/23.

Projects that are spread across the seven-year period include the deepening of the port and Quay 4, as well as the breakwater extension.

The implementation of capital projects planned for the Port of Saldanha for 2022/23 is already under way, which includes the acquisition of a tugboat, installation of perimeter-fencing and provision of bulk-power.

These will derive capital expenditure of R182m for the port in 2022/23.

The broader seven-year programme includes the extension of Berth 205; berth construction of the ore expansion phase 2; as well as the refurbishment of the main breakwater and causeway rock revetment.

In the current 2022/23 financial year, the Port of Cape Town will see the delivery of a robust R260m capital programme, comprising the procurement of a helicopter and the replacement of two tugboats.

Phase 2 of the Cape Town container terminal expansion and the acquisition of 10 dry-dock cranes form part of the port’s seven-year programme.

Difeto said that she was confident that the realisation of the port infrastructure and superstructure development plans would translate into the desired port efficiencies, which was one of the major priorities for the Western Region ports.

“As we sharpen our focus on capital investment deliverables, we acknowledge the historical under-expenditure,” she said.

“It is for this reason that we have adopted a fresh approach to project execution, an approach that ensures all hands-on deck from the project sponsors, engineers and support teams through participation in Capex war rooms.”

This week, Transnet Freight Rail lifted the force majeure on coal exporters and vowed to fulfil its commitment to continue providing transportation services to the coal export parties, after months of an embargo.

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