Ramaphosa optimistic as plan to clear port backlog announced

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says that he’s optimistic about the clearing of backlogs at ports because a plan to fix the problem is in place.

He has been conducting an oversight visit at the Transnet Port Terminal of Richards Bay on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, which is the large breakbulk port for the mining industry in the country.

According to logistics and transport parastatal Transnet, the backlog at the port is being caused by factors including inclement weather conditions and equipment availability.

Ramaphosa says that the government wanted trucks off the road.

“What I was really pleased about is that they have a plan- which they call a roadmap, that is going to help to resolve many of the problems and challenges that Transnet is going through. So, I do believe that in a while, we are going to be getting rid of the backlog on the roads, and the trucks. In the end, we want trucks off the roads, we want the products that have to be exported on rail- and we’re working towards that plan.”

The visit comes after Transnet’s decision to suspend the receiving of goods via road transport into its Richards Bay Mineral Port Terminal.

Transnet says this decision was taken in an effort to minimise the congestion of trucks in the City.

The municipality says the congestion has reached uncontrollable levels and that the safety of road users within the city as well as its surroundings has been at risk for months.

Last week, the City of uMhlathuze said it intends to take legal action against the government and Transnet because of the impact of the congestion of trucks.