Detail lacking as port impasse continues

There hasn’t been much change to the statement Transnet issued last week Thursday compared to the one this morning in respect of the labour dispute over unpaid incentive bonuses that’s affecting efficiencies at several of South Africa’s ports.

Last week the freight and rail parastatal said: “Transnet would like to alert its customers and the public that the organisation is facing illegal industrial action in the form of a go-slow.”

It added that it was “engaging with its employees to ensure that the situation at the Ngqura Container Terminal is normalised”.

In its latest statement it merely said that the go-slow was continuing.

It added: “Transnet continues to update all of its customers on business continuity plans which have been put in place to deal with the anticipated backlog. Employees are also being engaged to ensure that the situation, particularly at the Port of Ngqura, is normalised.”

What the “continuity plans” entail is not certain.

What is known is that citrus exporters in particular are desperately trying to salvage matters, sending thousands of tonnes of fruit up and down the coast by road to Cape Town and Durban.

And whereas Transnet was reluctant to divulge any detail about the impact of the go-slow on Durban, the latest statement at least revealed that “operations at the Durban Container Terminal have also been impacted by equipment failure and high-level absenteeism”.

The citrus industry alone faces losses of up to R100 million for every week throughput is constrained


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