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Industry and Transnet jointly launch the deciduous fruit season

Fruit tasting for terminal workers at Port of Cape Town

Last Friday South Africa’s deciduous fruit industry, top Transnet management and the personnel of the Cape Town Container Terminal launched the deciduous season with fruit sponsored by Capespan and Tru-Cape.

Cape Town Container Terminal has had various engagements with the industry to ensure preparedness and alignment for the 2022/23 season.

Werner van Rooyen, COO of the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum, Jacques du Preez, general manager at HORTGRO representing stonefruit and topfruit as well as the CEO of the South African Table Grape Industry AJ Griesel gave port workers an overview of where South African fruit go, thanks to the unflagging efforts of everyone in the chain.

The manager of the Cape Town Container Terminal, Siyabonga Maqabangqa, was accompanied by Sibuthe Mdala, manager of the Cape Town Multi Purpose Terminal as well as Andiswa Dlanga, managing executive of the Western Cape region.

Andiswa Dlanga, Transnet managing executive for the Western Cape 

The fruit industry was also pleased that Transnet Group’s chief strategy and planning officer, Dr Andrew Shaw could attend.

The Western Cape provincial government was represented by Glen Steyn of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

Right: Ettiene Albertus, senior manager: business development at Western Cape terminals in conversation with Glen Steyn of the Western Cape provincial government

“While we continue to forge ahead in making the deciduous season a success, it was important that our employees equally understand how important their work contributes to the country’s economy by ensuring that the fruit arrives at destination in good quality. As the Cape Town Terminal we continue to work with the industry in making the season a success,” notes Transnet's Andiswa Dlanga.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable. It was great meeting the people who load the containers,” says Antoinette van Heerden, logistics manager at the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF). “The event allowed us to share insights about the fruit industry and the important role that the port plays.”

Antoinette played a pivotal role in coordinating the launch, the first of its kind which they’d like to see become an annual event.

"We all share in the South African fruit basket"
FPEF’s Werner van Rooyen discussed the logistics chain, the time it takes for fruit to get onto shelves in the various international markets, emphasising the importance of the condition and quality of the fruit.

He explained South Africa’s counter seasonal positioning in the calendar and the stiff competition from other countries.

“It takes a communal effort to promote and export South African fruit to the world market. We all share in the South African 'fruit basket', directly and indirectly. Therefore, we must share our RSA fruit basket with the rest of the world, ensuring efficient terminal operations and exports, through the port of Cape Town. The impact of successful agricultural exports is evident in rural communities,” he said.

SATI's CEO AJ Griesel, Glen Steyn from the Western Cape Government, Mecia Petersen, SATI's manager of market development and communication, Jacques du Preez general manager of Hortgro and Werner van Rooyen, COO FPEF

Over a third of South Africa’s fresh produce is exported to the European Union, with a further 14% to the UK, 6% to North America and 8% to Russia, all markets best served through the Port of Cape Town.

Werner reminded the port workers of agriculture’s huge share towards rural employment, at 426,010 annual employment positions created directly and indirectly by the sector.

The annual salaries of R24.3 billion (1.34 billion euros) paid through fresh exports is a lifeline to many rural areas in South Africa.

For more information:
Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum
Tel: +27 21 526 0474