Operations have resumed at the Port of Durban. The operations were suspended earlier this week after heavy rains damaged the road infrastructure into the Port of Durban.
So far 395 lives have been lost due to the devastating floods that affected most of the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Bayhead Road south of Durban remains closed as mop up operations continue. This is a strategic route for the movement of cargo coming in and out of the province.
Trucks have been are unable to access the critical container terminals. Managing Director at Transnet National Ports Authority Moshe Motlohi says currently, about 20 percent of trucks are delivering fuel. He has confirmed that trucks delivering essential cargo including medicines and food are now also being allowed to travel between Bayhead container terminal and the Port of Durban.
“We were mindful that there were commodities that are urgent that must be kept on the market here we are referring to petroleum products we then arranged with the city of eThekwini that we should be allowed to use the Bluff road to access Island View where we allowed the trucks that are coming to fetch diesel and fuel and jet fuel. We also have made a special dispensation for medial supplies that will be required, there’s a process that we’ve communicated to industry where they will approach various terminals to get those trucks to be given access to use the same road to the port.”
Motlohi says Bayhead Road remains closed after a portion of about 30 meters of the road that links the container precinct and Island view, washed away.
“We have identified a service road that we are going to commission within the next few weeks which will come as a bypass to the area that’s been washed away that will then give us a decent flow of trucks into Bayhead container terminal and Island View that will then carry the 1 300 trucks that are coming well start easing off the embargo in Bayhead Road as soon as we’re done with the current fix that we have.”
Some truck drivers, who have been impacted by heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal, say they have been stuck for four days unable to transport cargo to and from the Port of Durban.
Drivers left frustrated:
Truck driver Sandile Ngcobo says the chemicals that he normally transports has been completely damaged by water.
“Normally it does not take us a long period to load the cargo. Sometimes it takes us only an hour to get the cargo. We have been here for four days. No one us telling for how long we are going to wait. Other trucks are loading , we are waiting for our turn. We are stuck here because containers fell, they are now blocking us. We are unable to move easily.”
Transnet National Ports Authority says they are still quantifying the loss they have suffered due to floods.