South Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is looking to address ongoing issues with its ports by appointing a panel of service providers to oversee the eight ports without a terminal operator and close “operational gaps”. 

The majority state-owned business said the selected panel would bid to provide an interim service for three years assisting the authority with mitigating disruption as it appoints new long-term terminal operators at the eight ports with suspended or terminated terminal operator contracts. 

Anthony Ngcezula, TNPA’s general manager for commercial services, said: “This approach is part of the ports authority strategy of fulfilling its port landlord role as mandated by the National Ports Act 12 of 2005, which is to provide a globally competitive South African port system. 

“This will lead to decreased cargo losses and ensure that we provide our customers with a cost-effective and sustainable freight logistics solution.” 

The TNPA’s tender covers all eight commercial seaports in South Africa, including the ports of Richard Bay, Durban, East London, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town, and Saldanha, and will see the panel be responsible for import and export operations as well as the distribution of cargo to inland customers. 

Action by the authority comes after operational difficulties at the country’s ports have seen decreasing levels of cargo handled in recent years, with the annual total likely to be lower again for 2023.

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