Written by Jonny Williamson
The multi-billion Rand Port, situated close to Port Elizabeth on the Eastern Cape, is the deepest container terminal in Sub-Saharan Africa, able to accommodate even the biggest next-generation super container ships.
The Ngqura Trade Port is hoped to solve South Africa’s previous incapacity to handle the growing number and size of container traffic, a number which has been continually growing worldwide in previous years. The Port would enable the cost of doing business with South Africa to be lowered, through shipping time and costs being cut, while simultaneously promoting locally produced goods for the regional and global export.
The State Freight Logistics Group, Transnet, has spent the last 12 years working on Ngqura, which forms part of the Coega Industrial Development Zone.
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Speaking about the CID Zone’s importance to the region, South African President Jacob Zuma said that it is crucial in continuing to drive business and trade forward and will go a long way in furthering South Africa’s trade with other countries in the region.
“The planning of the Ngqura has been integrated with that of the Coega Industrial Development Zone, and this will ensure increased benefits for the province and business.”
A sentiment seconded by the Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet who said that the new trade Port would place the Eastern Cape at the centre of the logistics thrust of South Africa and was crucial in changing the face of the region in the next 50 years.
The Ngqura’s construction has already had a hugely positive impact on the local workforce, with over 8,000 South Africans being trained in highly sought after Artisan skills, an attribute the region’s employers have struggled to acquire in the past.
Additional structures are planned to be constructed within the Port of Ngqura, and by 2019 overall capacity is hoped to be increased from 80,000 containers to over two million, aided by a further R8billion investment by Transnet.
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