[divider style=”solid” top=”25″ bottom=”25″][dropcap]O[/dropcap]n Friday, 4 December 2020, we held our second Port of Cape Town stakeholder workshop bringing together key representatives of the port logistics supply chain to reflect on the successes of the Port of Cape Town Task Team and identify the challenges that we hope to tackle in 2021.
This follows on the first Port of Cape Town stakeholder workshop which was held in on 5 December 2019, and during which we established the Port of Cape Town Task Team, comprising of ten senior representatives from the entire port logistics chain, who were asked to urgently identify and implement measures to address the congestion issues at the Port of Cape Town.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic diverting the efforts of many of the stakeholders, some important successes have been achieved, which include:
- the repair of malfunctioning refrigerated container plug points and the development of an ongoing maintenance plan;
- the acquisition of essential terminal equipment;
- the development of a decision-making tool for efficient container deliveries into the terminal on the basis of data integration; and
- the root cause analysis of several congestion choke points in different parts of the port logistics chain.
Finally, I am also very proud to announce that through our collaborative interventions, we have made it possible for the refit and maintenance project on the Gariep mining vessel to be approved and completed during a very challenging time.
The completion of this project had a significant impact on jobs and the economy in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape, and has paved the way for two more ship repair projects which are already booked for next year at the Port of Cape Town.
The Covid-19 pandemic aggravated some of the existing operational challenges at the Port of Cape Town, but thanks to the urgent action and interventions of all stakeholders in the port logistics chain, through ongoing engagements between the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Transnet Port Terminals management we were able to turn the situation around and considerably reduce the delays at the container terminal.
We know that this was an incredibly difficult time for Transnet Port Terminals management, and I would like to thank them for their efforts.
During the workshop we heard from stakeholders across the port logistics supply chain, including Port of Cape Town’s Port Manager, Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, on their development plans for the Port of Cape Town, as well as the CEO of Transnet Port Terminals, Mr. Velile Dube, who shared his inspiring vision for the ports across South Africa.
In fact, I welcome the announcement by Velile Dube, that he will be considering international partners to invest in port operations. He is also expediting the development of inland ports, such as those at Belcon and Atlantis. These bold steps by Transnet Port Terminals management will be critical to ensuring a competitive and world-class Port of Cape Town.
Concluding the workshop, we identified a number of key issues that will be the focus of the Port of Cape Town Task Team, including:
- Strategy convergence among major agencies in the port logistics chain
- More attention to improvement of performance standards that are international benchmarks, such as crane and ship container moves per working hour
- Unlocking economic growth potential of ship repair and yacht building
- Optimising economic utilisation of property with commercial potential in the Port, and
- Advanced skills development across the entire logistics chain.
The Port of Cape Town is an important channel for exports and imports, and a major economic gateway for Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa. As a result, the role that the Port of Cape Town plays in economic growth and job creation in the Western Cape cannot be underestimated.
There is still much work to be done and so, I remain committed to building strong partnerships with all the stakeholders invested in the Port of Cape Town so that we can work together to find solutions to the challenges we face, and we can ensure that the Port of Cape Town reaches its full potential.