EThekwini Mayor Cllr James Nxumalo, Deputy Mayor Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala along with members of the Executive Committee and other City officials today, 7 October 2015, met with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) officials to discuss possible partnerships between the City and the parastatal.
Recognising the role the Durban Port plays in contributing to the City’s and South Africa’s economy, the productive meeting saw City officials make a commitment to work closely with TNPA to spur further development and investment in the Port and therefore the City.
A working committee has been formed for City and TNPA officials to work together and find solutions to issues discussed at today’s meeting. A follow up meeting with the Executive Committee will take place at a later date where feedback will be given by the working committee.
Nxumalo welcomed the discussion which saw a number of presentations by TNPA and Transnet Ports Authority delivered. These presentations included input on current Port operations as well as plans to expand and further invest in South Africa’s most attractive Port.
New projects include expanding the cruise terminal which will accommodate 4 000 people, have parking for 600 vehicles and a retail area. This will be a boost for the local tourism sector.
Plans to expand the container terminal were also discussed. An update on the Dug Out port was also given.
Following the informative discussion, Nxumalo, Shabalala along with TNPA Chief Executive Richard Vallihu and Transnet Port Terminals Chief Executive Karl Socikwa got a bird’s eye view of the port, Durban Central Business District and the old Durban Airport site when they went on a helicopter ride.
The delegation then went on a boat ride around the harbour to see the different operations and sites of the proposed development around the Port.
Nxumalo said the Durban port was one of the biggest in Africa. He said it was therefore important to visit it as City leaders to better understand its operations.
“During the meeting a number of issues were raised including security risks at Maydon Wharf which we view as a matter of urgency. We have also agreed to partner in hosting the Port Festival to be held next year,” Nxumalo said.
He said the expansion of the port including the Dug Out Port was an amazing project as it would create many job opportunities as it aimed to employ between 10 000 and 20 000 people in the next 50 years.
“There are a number of good plans for the port in terms of making sure that they are maximising on the capital investments and again in terms of exports and imports. These are some of the issues we will further deliberate on in the next meeting. We want to ensure that issues raised have seen resolved,” Nxumalo added.
Shabalala applauded the radical economic transformation from the various Port projects. “I am also happy about the improvement of the cruise terminal which will have an impact on the tourism section. I want to see the project moving faster,” she said.