by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – TRANSNET plans to invest R100 billion (US$7 billion) over the next five years in upgrading its infrastructure across the ports system.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said this investment by the South African state-owned enterprise would make local ports more efficient and its exports more competitive, and benefit the entire economy.
Writing in his weekly newsletter on Monday, he said another critical reform, which the government announced last week during his visit to Cape Town port was the establishment of the National Ports Authority as an independent subsidiary of Transnet.
“This is not a sudden development. It has been in the pipeline for more than 15 years since the promulgation of the National Ports Act in 2005,” the president stated.
Ramaphosa said this was crucial part of Transnet’s broader strategy to revitalise the country’s logistics infrastructure.
“For the ordinary consumer, it will mean reduced prices in the long term for many of our goods. For our exporters, it will mean greater competitiveness in global markets,” he said.
“As our exports grow, our economy will expand and create more jobs. More efficient ports will make the entire economy work better – and as port volumes increase, jobs will be created at the ports themselves.”
It is anticipated that establishing the National Ports Authority as a Transnet subsidiary with its own board would, among other things, mean that revenues generated by the ports would be used to replace old equipment and upgrade and expand our ports, work which has been delayed for more than a decade.
It will also encourage the ports authority to treat all terminal operators fairly and equally in the interests of port users.
Ramaphosa raised concern that for some years now, South Africa’s state-owned enterprises had mostly been associated in the public eye with state capture, financial mismanagement and inefficiency.
“In addition to needing regular bailouts from government, some of the country’s biggest and most important state-owned companies have been struggling to meet their mandates.”
Among state entities undergoing reforms is the beleaguered Eskom.
– CAJ News