The opening of the Port of Ngqura by President Jacob Zuma today – Friday 16 March 2012 – is a positive signal of the national government’s commitment to the Eastern Cape, says Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Kevin Hustler.
The Presidential “stamp of approval” on the new port follows his visit to the city in September last year to engage with the auto industry, and last month’s State of the Nation address and the Budget, which recognised the economic importance of the province and committed to key infrastructure development including extension of the Port of Ngqura, upgrading of the northern rail corridor and confirmation of Ngqura as the country’s manganese export channel.
“The Port of Ngqura is firmly established as the trans-shipment hub for sub-Saharan Africa and key to unlocking the economic potential of the Eastern Cape through improving transport and logistics linkages to the rest of the country and into Africa. Together with the recent investments announced in the Coega IDZ, the port’s official opening and the extension of berthing capacity, demonstrates the success of these infrastructure developments in contributing to economic growth and job creation,” Hustler said.
He said sustained engagement between business, government and civil society were critical to effectively tackling the challenges faced by the country, and the Eastern Cape in particular. Hustler and other business leaders will be taking the opportunity to continue the engagement with the President at the port opening today.