City of Cape Town: “Integration of private sector in port is necessary”

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The City of Cape Town urges immediate reforms and private sector investment in the Cape Town port management to combat inefficiencies hindering economic growth.

City of Cape Town: "Integration of private sector in port is necessary"
Port of Cape Town

The Port of Cape Town, operated by the Transnet Port Terminals, has been identified in the newly published Container Port Performance Index 2023 as the worst-performing port in the world.

The CPPI ranks 405 global container ports by efficiency, focusing on the duration of port stay for container vessels. Its primary aim is to identify areas for enhancement for the benefit of multiple stakeholders in the global trading system and supply chains, from ports to shipping lines, national governments, and consumers.

On Friday, the City of Cape Town released a statement emphasizing “the pressing need for substantial reforms and immediate action.” The statement was signed by Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.

The City claims that it “has consistently advocated for the inclusion of private sector investment and participation in port management and logistics.”

“Transnet must keep the privatisation ball rolling on its April announcement to seek bids for developing and maintaining a liquid bulk terminal. The inefficiencies at our port not only impede the flow of goods but also significantly hamper our economic growth. The port is a crucial nexus for the products and services of the private sector, and its performance directly impacts our economy,” the City of Cape Town said.

The City added that its Economic Growth Directorate, along with strategic business partners in various sectors, “is doing everything possible to help companies improve their productivity and enhance access to markets.”

However, despite these efforts, significant challenges are present as goods struggle to get through the port.

“We are constantly working on ways to increase demand and supply that benefit our economy, only to see these efforts hindered by the port’s inefficiencies,” the City of Cape Town claims, adding that “the integration of private sector expertise and resources is not just a potential solution – it is a necessary step.”

Private sector involvement, according to the City, can bring fresh perspectives, innovative solutions, and more efficient operational practices.

The research from the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism revealed that private sector participation at the Port of Cape Town could result in an additional R6 billion in exports, the creation of approximately 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, and over R1,6 billion in additional tax revenues within five years.

“The types of products affected by the port’s performance are diverse and critical to our economy, such as agricultural goods, manufactured products, and high-value exports like wine and seafood. The efficient movement of these goods is essential for maintaining Cape Town’s competitive edge in global markets. This harbour is integral to our economic growth mission. I am calling for an urgent meeting with the National Government and key stakeholders to expedite the expanded process of private sector participation in our port. Our city cannot afford delays. We need action now to ensure a prosperous future for Cape Town and its people,” Alderman James Vos concluded.

As WorldCargoNews recently reported, Cape Town Container Terminal exceeded its reefer targets by 62% for February and March 2024 and has received new equipment, including reach stackers, container handlers, and terminal tractors, with further deliveries expected to enhance operations.

Additionally, in a statement sent to WorldCargo News after the Western Cape Government raised concerns over the port’s performance, Transnet claimed it will continue to focus on achieving its recovery plan targets and appreciates the collaboration with the fruit industry as it proceeds to make the citrus season a success.