The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is calling on Transnet to fast-track the relocation of the Port of PE Manganese terminal to the Port of Ngqura in an effort to protect the interests of citizens and the city’s critical economic growth sectors.
Sibongile Dimbaza, NMBM Mayoral Spokesperson, says that whilst the city recognises the economic importance of both these bulk storage facilities, especially the exportation of manganese ore, they believe that the lifespan of the current facility has expired.
“The city has held a number of high level meetings with the Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama and other senior Transnet officials to discuss the urgency of this relocation and we have informed them that we cannot wait until 2023 for this to happen,” he explains.
Ensuring public health and environmental compliance
Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Athol Trollip recently visited the site amid reported civic outrage at the contamination of air, private property and facilities of neighbouring communities and businesses.
Dimbaza says that this visit exposed the fact that the handling of such high volumes of ore in a suburban environment cannot be done without creating harmful dust discharges.
“We will be calling for a full public health and environmental compliance assessment of these facilities in order to protect the interests of the citizens of the city as well as our critical economic growth sectors such as tourism and sports tourism, which are directly linked to a healthy environment and a growing economy,” he adds.
“We will hold Transnet to their undertakings to ensure that all possible dust mitigation practices are being implemented at this site as long as they are exporting ore from this port,” he continues.
Improved road conditions and aesthetics
Prioritising the relocation is also expected to reduce the number of heavy ore carrying vehicles congesting the inner city as well the strain placed on internal arterial roads.
“The relocation will also drastically enhance the aesthetic value of this prime beach and habour front land which has for too long been neglected,”Dimbaza explains.
“The city is committed to working with Transnet to accelerate the relocation of these facilities to the specially designed Port of Ngqura as soon as possible. We will continue to oversee the operations at this port as well as the relocation process,” he concludes.