SA unfazed by Maputo port's popularity

Posted On Friday, 13 February 2004 02:00 Published by
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The government was as yet not too concerned about the growing trend from exporters to divert traffic through Maputo's port rather than the congested Durban port.


Cape Town - The government was as yet not too concerned about the growing trend from exporters to divert traffic through Maputo's port rather than the congested Durban port, it emerged yesterday.

Speaking at a parliamentary media briefing, trade and industry minister Alec Erwin and public enterprises minister Jeff Radebe, who is also acting transport minister, said that every effort was being made to speed up the concessioning of some Durban harbour facilities to improve efficiencies.

But at the same time they supported the simultaneous development and increased use of Maputo harbour by South Africans.

This could only be beneficial for more integrated regional economic development, Radebe said.

Durban remained the busiest port in the region and issues raised by exporters about inefficiencies and delays were constantly discussed with them with a view to finding solutions.

Erwin backed him up, saying that the whole concept of the Maputo development corridor was aimed at improving the capacity of Maputo port from about 1 million tons to about 10 million tons of cargo a year.

"It is a good corridor and it services much of that part of our economy in the [eastern part of the country] and so this is a healthy development," Erwin said.

Radebe said South Africa would benefit from a recent contract signed with CFM, the Mozambican transport parastatal, to upgrade a section of the line to Maputo.

On the move from rail to road by some disgruntled exporters, Radebe said Transnet was investing heavily in improving infrastructure to improve operations at Spoornet. 

Together with Mohammed Valli Moosa, the tourism and environmental affairs minister, Erwin and Radebe painted an upbeat picture of economic developments since 1994, but admitted that much still had to be done to fully tackle pressing issues such as high unemployment.

Although some jobs had been lost because of the restructuring needed after years of isolation and stagnant development before 1994, 2 million jobs had been created in the formal sector.

In addition, attention was now being focused on growing the services sector to become a major new employer.

Moosa said this was in line with international trends and would focus on key areas such as tourism, information and communication technology, and financial and other services.

In all cases, the new policy of broad-based black economic empowerment was expected to play a leading role.

Pressed as to when an announcement could be expected on the long-awaited taxi recapitalisation scheme, Erwin said this could well be "about a month away".

Radebe said that while the restructuring of parastatals had done much to reduce the government's debt, this was not the main rationale behind it. Each entity was being evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in line with how the parastatal fitted in with meeting the government's objectives.

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 12:29

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