A new report into inefficiencies besetting the Port of Cape Town has laid bare some of the key challenges facing Transnet. The Transporter Congestion Report, commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, should be compulsory reading for all who like to moan about the Port but who don’t actually know what is going wrong.

Now it’s all there for anybody to read in a 117-pg document, much of it anxiety-provoking.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Only four of the 23 rubber-tyred gantries are fully operational
  • A number of RTGs are standing out of service awaiting spare parts
  • Night shift only pulls approximately 10%% of the traffic and is therefore under-utilised and not cost-effective
  • Traffic control is a major issue as the terminal’s truck staging area is limited to approximately 60 trucks. With 250 trucks frequently waiting to access the terminal, the overflow results in congestion along the main port road (Duncan Dock Road).

The report concludes with a long list of recommendations, many of them familiar. One of them is that Transnet explore the possibility of private investment to help with procurement of new RTGs or critical spare parts to get the RTGs back up to speed. Transnet should also explore the possibility of a private sector partner to operate the terminal, the report recommends.

The Province believes private sector participation in the Port could contribute an additional R6-billion in exports and generate 20 000 direct and indirect jobs over the next five years.

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