“We are heading into an export crisis in the Western Cape at the end of the year. With the good rains we have experienced, our agricultural goods for export are anticipated to increase by 25%. This is a wonderful opportunity to increase exports and to bring in more revenue” announced Mireille Wenger, provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape.
In direct contrast to this opportunity, there has been significant deterioration at the Port of Cape Town (PoCT), particularly when it comes to critical equipment, such as Rubber-Tyred Gantries. These are needed to load containers on and off trucks, but they are repeatedly breaking down. This means that as it stands, the Port of Cape Town is not and will not be able to keep up with the volume of goods coming in and get them to market in time.
In the first two weeks of October 2023 (from 2 to 15 October):
- Vessel waiting time at anchor averaged 4.9 days versus the target of 1 day;
- Vessel turnaround time averaged 10 days versus the target of 4 days;
- Containers moved averaged 9 197 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) containers versus a target of 20 000;
- Truck turnaround time averaged 77 minutes versus the target of 35 minutes; and
- Night shift utilisation averaged 13.5% versus a target of 20%.
“The variance between actual performance and targets is cause of great concern and is why private sector participation is urgently needed at the Cape Town Port, as is currently under way at the Ports of Durban and Ngqura” added Wenger.
The Western Cape Government’s research shows that if we can increase Western Cape exports by 10%, our GDP will grow by approximately 1%.
Wenger shared “However, to achieve this growth in exports, we need the port to be our economic partner and for it to be running efficiently, with adequate investment in its infrastructure, including vital equipment. Which is why the private sector should be brought in to run the terminal and increase the efficiency at the Port.”
At the heart of the Western Cape Government’s economic action plan, ‘Growth for Jobs’ it is our goal to triple Western Cape exports by 2035.
The only way we can achieve this is if the Port of Cape Town is working and meeting the demands of a growing economy.
We understand that it is the private sector that creates jobs, and that it is government’s role to enable the private sector and make it as easy as possible for businesses to operate and to grow.
“Put simply, when our ports work, the whole of South Africa’s economy works. And South Africa cannot wait any longer. It is high time that the private sector is brought in to boost the efficiency of the Port of Cape Town so we can work together to achieve the kind of breakout economic growth we need to create thousands of new jobs in the province, and in South Africa” concluded Wenger.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic Of South Africa: Western Cape Provincial Government.