Ports across South Africa are now handling all types of cargo – both essential and non-essential - but this had done little to speed up operations.
In a communique issued to customers last week, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said it had aligned operations with the amended regulations calling for all cargo types to be handled at the ports - but its lockdown plans remained much the same.
“All cargo types shall be handled in the Port of Durban (both essential and non-essential cargo). However the ports shall continue to operate at a lower scale in as far as berth operations are concerned.”
Only four tugs and four berthing gangs are currently in operation. At the container terminal berth 1 at Pier 1 is operating, along with two berths at Pier 2 and one at Point Precinct. The dry dock will continue to operate with minimal staff.
In Cape Town operations have also been scaled down significantly during the lockdown with only one berth operating at the container terminal at present.
According to TNPA, anyone entering a port is required to present a permit as per government regulations allowing them to perform an essential service. “Service providers and customers have to arrange their own permits,” said a spokesman, adding that these permits had to be presented - along with the usual TNPA port permit - upon entering at the port gates.