Richards Bay imposes levy on coal trucks to ease road congestion

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The uMhlathuze Municipality in Richards Bay has decided to impose a fee of R 30 per ton of coal on coal trucks in an effort to alleviate the strain on local roads and infrastructure.

The municipality will also employ traffic reservists to manage and monitor traffic in and around the port. The measures follow severe congestion on roads in and around the port of Richards Bay with truck volumes increasing over the past few years due to the high demand for coal globally.

The surge in truck volumes, with an estimated 33 000 trucks entering the port monthly, has led to severe blockages on the N2 and other nearby roads.

The City of uMhlathuze local municipality says transporting coal via road was eroding its road infrastructure. While working with Transnet on a long-term solution, the municipality has implemented short-term measures.

Mayor Xolani Ngwezi explains, “We did announce the issue of the tariffs which is R30 per ton so that we are able to address the issues of infrastructure.”

Richards Bay charges coal trucks to relieve saturated roads: 

In addition to the tariff, the municipality plans to recruit 20 traffic reservists to enhance traffic control in and around the port.

“Probably by the first end of this month we will have finished with the recruitment of traffic reservists who will then focus on the management of trucks and traffic and monitor other areas because these are some of the measures that the city is actually putting to make sure that the economy is moving but also that life of our residents continues without being threatened by the trucks as you know the behaviour of trucks,” adds Ngwezi.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced short-term measures during his visit to the port in November of the previous year, including the creation of a designated precinct for trucks awaiting entry to the port.

Recently, Transnet repaired one of three conveyor belts damaged in a fire, which is expected to reduce the number of trucks on the road by more than 400.