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TNPA to invest R9bn in central region ports

Home Government & Municipal TNPA to invest R9bn in central region ports

THE Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) plans to invest R9-billion in infrastructure projects at the ports of East London, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura over a seven year period.

The Ngqura and Gqeberha ports, which are jointly managed as the Nelson Mandela Bay port, will receive R4.8-billion and the East London port will receive R4.3-billion, according to TNPA.

The central region capital investment programme aims to align the Transnet business with strategic sectors of the economy, including liquid bulk, agriculture and tourism sectors, with a focus on private-public partnerships.

TNPA Managing Executive for the Central Region, Siyabulela Mhlaluka says Port Elizabeth has been earmarked for the automotive sector, while Ngqura will become a transshipment and energy hub for the southern hemisphere.

The port of East London will service the automotive, industrial and agricultural sectors and complement the East London Industrial Development Zone. The Port of East London’s grain elevator is a key asset for the province, and some agricultural cargo from Durban has been diverted to the port.

Mhlaluka says East London is strategically positioned for the tourism sector and that the TPNA will transform the port’s real estate portfolio to combine with the leisure market such as the Latimer’s Landing Waterfront development.

According to TNPA it has adopted a robust approach in its capital projects delivery for the 2022/23 financial year, which will see the central region ports spending R570-million in port infrastructure development.

Strategic projects for this year include the relocation of the tank farm from Port Elizabeth to Ngqura; phase 1 of the Ngqura Manganese Export Terminal development; conducting a feasibility study for the reconstruction of East London’s Quay 3, and the construction of a slipway at the Port of Port Elizabeth.

Various other special projects are planned across the port system, which include projects planned for the eight commercial ports and the issuing a Request for Information (RFI) in July 2022 for the supply of renewable energy for all the ports, followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the same in September 2022.

In response to the water crisis in Nelson Mandela Bay, the TNPA will issue a RFI in July 2022 for the supply of desalinated water for all its ports followed by a RFP in October 2022.

Auto industry applauds investment

Meanwhile, Thabo Shenxane CEO of the Eastern Cape Automotive Industry Development has applauded TNPA’s focus, energy and resources to accelerate automotive growth and industrialisation in the Eastern Cape.

Shenxane and other stakeholders have been lobbying for infrastructural investment and operational efficiencies at ports to foster growth in the region’s automotive sector.

“Automotive growth and exports, which involves an extended manufacturing value chain, is core to transformation, localisation and job creation in the Eastern Cape, one of the country’s most economically impoverished provinces,” Shenxane says.

“The development of the East London Port will finally encourage Mercedes Benz to cater for growth of its exports and its regional supply cluster. This growth remains critical to the region’s attainment of SAAM 2035 targets, including transformation and job creation set by both government and industry in the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035,” Shenxane adds.

Shenxane says investor confidence and uninterrupted export growth will also be facilitated by bold moves for these ports to provide alternate sources of electricity and water supply within its Special Economic Zones, which house a large number of automotive component manufacturers, supplying OEMs.

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