Home South African Cabinet is discussing ‘urgent’ rail and port crisis

Cabinet is discussing ‘urgent’ rail and port crisis

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson has confirmed that Cabinet is discussing the ports and rail crisis as Transnet buckles under pressures, with thousands of containers stuck at sea off the ports of Cape Town, Richards Bay and Durban.

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Durban and Richards Bay, where he called for urgency in addressing the crisis at the two ports. Picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya has confirmed that Cabinet is discussing the crisis in ports and rail as Transnet buckles under pressures, with thousands of containers stuck at sea off the ports of Cape Town, Richards Bay and Durban.

The meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday comes after Ramaphosa met with business to discuss the crisis in rail, logistics and energy.

The National Logistics Crisis Committee was set up by Ramaphosa a few months ago to resolve the crisis in the sector.

Transnet has not been able to process thousands of goods because of problems at the ports, including lack of equipment.

Ramaphosa visited Durban and Richards Bay ports last week where he called for the speedy resolution of the crisis.

Magwenya, who was briefing the media on Wednesday, said Cabinet was discussing the issue of the ports crisis.

“One of the agenda items I am certain will be discussed is the national logistics roadmap, which will be discussed in Cabinet and hopefully will be approved.

“As you know that roadmap is seeking to not only in the short-medium term resolve the backlog of our ports, but to also fundamentally reform the logistics sector in the long term and ensure that we do not suffer the kind of backlogs that we have seen had a detrimental effect on the economy, particularly the issues around Transnet, as well as the kind of traffic that the president saw in Durban and at the port of Richards Bay,” said Magwenya.

Magwenya said on Tuesday that Ramaphosa met with members of his Cabinet and business as part of the National Logistics Crisis Committee to address challenges in the economy.

Ramaphosa was working closely with business to ramp up growth in the economy.

Magwenya said there has been success in some of the aspects of the plan to reform the logistics sector and this includes the establishment of the position of Rail Manager at Transnet and this will pave the way for third party operators in the rail network by next year.

Ramaphosa called for urgency in implementing reforms to set the economy on a higher growth trajectory.

Business is looking at providing more resources.

Ramaphosa wants to see more progress by the time he convenes the next meeting in February.

Magwenya said the approval of the logistics roadmap will be able to unlock the economy.

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