Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, says politics should not be allowed to interfere in the operations of state entities. Mabuyane, with his Provincial Executive Council, is in Nelson Mandela Bay on a two-day visit to assess the provincial catalyst projects.
Amongst the projects he visited were the two ports based in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, the Port of Gqeberha and the Port of Ngqurha.
Transnet has recently moved its headquarters from Johannesburg to Gqeberha.
Mabuyane says these entities should be of benefit in growing the country’s economy.
Premier Oscar Mabuyane met the business sector and Transnet Port Authority. He later opened a vaccination site before visiting the two ports, Gqeberha and Ngqura.
Transnet is also relocating its headquarters to Gqeberha, a move that has drawn criticism from KwaZulu Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, saying it is not strategic. But Mabuyane says the relocation of state entities to the province is long overdue.
He says politics should not be involved in the running of these state entities.
“Transnet is a national entity, Eastern Cape is part of the national space. I want to believe we don’t want to put politics into that. Even the distribution of resources that Transnet has is going to be important also to benefit people from this side,”
Transnet National Ports Authority, CEO Pepi Slinga, says the relocation to Gqeberha won’t affect the operations in the Port of Durban as purported.
“What purpose does it serve to have people sitting in the head office where in fact the actual work that is being done to handle the cargo and receive the cargo actually has vacancies. There is no performance of entity that gets driven in head office anywhere in any reasonable enterprise. So there is no worker that is being relocated that is based in Durban where there is actually work that is being done in the Port of Durban. That is a complete misnormal.”
Other projects in the pipeline that Mabuyane announced includes the construction of a desalination plant, aquaculture farm and gas project. All these projects are situated in the Coega Industrial Development Zone.
The desalination plant comes at the time the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality is experiencing a crippling drought.
Coega Development Corporation CEO, Khwezi Tiya, says they will start operating the desalination on a small scale.
On Friday, Premier Oscar Mabuyane and his Executive Council will continue their visit in Nelson Mandela Bay, to ensure the decisions announced in the State of the Province Address are implemented.