Work underway to improve ports, rail

To deal with severe inefficiencies in the country's freight logistics system, government is taking action to improve the ports and rail network in a bid to restore them to world-class standards. Delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said government has set out a clear roadmap to stabilise the performance of Transnet and reform the logistics system. 'Working closely with business and labour, we have established dedicated teams to turn around five strategic corridors that transport goods for export purposes. 'The number of ships waiting to berth at the Port of Durban - which has experienced severe congestion in recent months - has reduced from more than 60 ships in mid-November to just 12 ships at the end of January,' Ramaphosa said. Transnet has appointed an international terminal operator to help expand and improve its largest terminal at the Port of Durban. 'And we are overhauling the freight rail system by allowing private rail operators to access the rail network. With the current conflict in the Middle East affecting shipping traffic through the Suez Canal, South Africa is well positioned to offer bunkering services for ships that will be rerouted via our shores,' the President said. He made these remarks during the last SONA for the sixth administration in the Cape Town City Hall. Source: South African Government News Agency