Govt urged to resolve port and rail crisis

Govt urged to resolve port and rail crisis

The Democratic Alliance is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s National Logistics Crisis Committee and the Department of Public Enterprise and Transport to urgently resolve the Transnet rail and port crisis.

Port of Durban harbour

It says the bottleneck situation at the rail, port and roads have reached crisis level, that need urgent interim measures to provide relief.

Two weeks ago, the Umhlathuze Municipality in Richards Bay took government and Transnet to court over the alleged failure to maintain rail infrastructure, which has resulted in severe congestion of trucks transporting cargo, particularly coal, to the port.

Transnet has since confirmed the suspension of cargo brought into the Richards Bay port via road freight.

It's also understood that Transnet is trying to clear out a backlog of 63 anchor vessels in 15 weeks at the Port of Durban that has led to delays in offloading containers.

DA shadow minister of Public Enterprises Mimmy Gondwe says the situation is threatening to collapse South Africa’s entire export sector and the national economy at large.

"The DA is therefore calling for: A public address by the National Logistics Crisis Committee on steps being taken by the national government to resolve the ongoing port crisis. A clear plan from Transnet to expedite the processing of ships at ports, including the repair and maintenance of port infrastructure.

"A national summit, comprising stakeholders in the export sector, Transnet and government to find solutions that will resolve the ongoing crisis while offering long term interventions to make our port operations more efficient."


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