The City of Cape Town has called on president Cyril Ramaphosa to implement urgent reforms to enhance the efficiency of cargo handling at the Port of Cape Town. James Vos, Mayoral committee member for economic growth, emphasized the city and country's dependence on the port for effective import and export of goods. Research by the South African Association of Freight Forwarders points to a daily economic loss of R98 million due to port-related issues.

"Retailers are resorting to sending containers to Walvis Bay, Namibia, and transporting goods by truck to meet customer needs," said Vos. Recent months have seen fruit exporters particularly affected, with some exports dropping by 62% in November and December 2023 compared to the previous year.

Delays at the port are also negatively impacting the prices of various goods, including foodstuffs, electronics, and medications, which in turn affects local retailers and their customers. Vos urged the National Government to provide a clear deadline for introducing private sector partners at the port and to outline measures to prevent misuse or maladministration.

He also expressed hope that the president would consider further duty reductions for products used in clothing manufacturing, which could boost the competitiveness of South African manufacturers.