South African port infrastructure crucial for business

container-cargo-freight-ship-with-working-crane.jpgTransnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) announced plans to spend over R21bn over the next seven years on improvements of infrastructure of South African ports.

 In December 2012 Durban received three new tandem lift ship-to-shore cranes for the Durban Container Terminal that are the first of their kind on the continent. This is only the start as TNPA's GM of infrastructure, port planning and development, Hamilton Nxumalo, says the upgrades will eliminate the bottlenecks that have constrained the functioning of the port in the past.

As major shipping lanes pass along the South African coastline in the south Atlantic and Indian oceans the development and opportunities South African ports offer are vital for the countries growth and development. Approximately 96% of the country's exports are conveyed by sea, and the eight commercial ports are the channels for trade between South Africa and its southern African partners.  

Cape Town
Handles the largest amount of fresh fruit, and the port also has large repair and maintenance services that are used by a number of large fishing fleets and parts of the West African oil industry.

Durban is Africa's busiest port and the largest container facility in Southern Africa.  Further plans for expansion include a multibillion-rand dug-out port by Transnet at the old Durban International Airport, expected to be ready by 2019.

East London
South Africa's only remaining river port, it consists of a multi-purpose terminal, a bulk terminal and a car terminal.The port boasts the largest export grain elevator in South Africa, which has recently been converted to handle imports in addition to exports.

Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth's main features are the container terminal, fruit terminal and manganese terminal. The container terminal has the advantage of being able to load railway trains directly under the gantry cranes, without containers having to be double handled, thus speeding up delivery to inland destinations.
The town also has another port -the port of Ngqura, which began commercial ship operations (containers) in October 2009. It is located some 20km northeast of Port Elizabeth and is South Africa's 8th and latest commercial port development.

Richards Bay
This port is the world's largest bulk coal terminal and it is able to handle large ships and subsequent large volumes. In January 2012, the Swazi link rail project was announced, which would remove general freight traffic from the Richards Bay line and allow more coal trains to Richards Bay Coal Terminal.

Saldanha Bay
The port at Saldanha Bay is the only dedicated iron ore export facility in South Africa and
also houses the South African Naval Station of SAS Saldanha as well as a NSRI rescue station and a fishing harbour.

The ports of South Africa play a most important role in the economy of our country and those of neighboring landlocked members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Therefore, the continuous upgrade of infrastructure and increase of capacity of our ports are vital to help the country achieved the targeted growth.

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