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Transnet Port Terminals handled 12% more export citrus this year after heavy infrastructure investment

Last year Transnet SOC Ltd made a capital investment of R2 billion (113,582 million euros) into equipment at its terminals and it has recently announced its intentions to approach the market seeking an investment partner in its ports and terminals.

Recent discussions between Transnet and industry stakeholders are based on the desire to build a relationship of mutual trust with our key stakeholders, the company has said.

“Where there are challenges, we acknowledge these, and are putting forward options and interventions to improve the situation. We value the relationship with our customers, and will continue to ensure that we improve our service to them.”

Cargo cranes at the Durban Container Terminal (photo 68063832 © Druid007 | Dreamstime.com)

At last week’s briefings, appreciation for the greater openness among the Transnet senior team was in fact expressed as well as an acknowledgment of Transnet staff’s commitment despite elements out of the company’s control such as the global shortage in reefer containers, the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, the July unrest and the cyber attack that followed on its heels.

Fruit industry stakeholders have remarked that there has been a significant improvement in communication from Transnet’s side and a greater willingness to share plans to deal with the challenges since the appointment of new Group CEO Portia Derby in February last year. Ms Derby was formerly director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises.

President Cyril Ramaphosa with Transnet CEO Portia Derby during a high-level visit to Durban Port in April this year (photo: Government Communication and Information Services)

New equipment procured for various ports
This citrus season Transnet Port Terminals has handled 12% more export citrus fruit.

“Durban has had particularly heightened export demand, demonstrated by reefer occupancy exceeding 75% for the past four weeks. To date, TPT has handled over 99,744 forty foot equivalent units (containers) of citrus fruit, compared to 94,185 last year. Volumes in Gqeberha and Ngqura Container Terminals are also recovering following the European Union’s delayed commencement of its service and lack of shipping opportunities that have affected volumes headed for the Middle and Far East markets.”

The R2 billion (113,582 million euros) capital investment procured 22 new straddle carriers for Durban. In the Eastern Cape, an upgraded automated gate system with 6 in-gates and 4 out-gates in Ngqura and the deployment of a mixed crane operation using the new ship-to-shore cranes simultaneous with a mobile harbour crane in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

“To ensure the success of the citrus season,” the company continues, “Transnet also had additional seasonal reefer workers, the acquisition of about 1,300 additional plug points as well as identifying potential bottlenecks and initiating mitigations to address – in a proactive manner.”

The company reiterates its commitment to assisting the South Africa’s citrus industry’s continued growth.

Ayanda Shezi
GM: Corporate Affairs and Spokesperson
Transnet SOC Ltd


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