Backlogs at Transnet's Ngqura port also due to inefficiency - Untu

JOHANNESBURG, July 17 (ANA) - A backlog at state-owned freight and rail company Transnet's Ngqura terminal in Port Elizabeth is not only due to a "go-slow" strike, but also inefficient management, the United National Transport Union (Untu) said on Wednesday.

Workers embarked on the protest more than two weeks ago to show their anger over not getting bonuses, among other issues, and it has led to delays in the dropping off and collection of goods, hurting the automotive, citrus, meat, textiles and electronic sectors.

On Wednesday Untu, which represents the majority of Transport employees, said other contributing factors to the delays had been brought to the attention of its leadership after a visit to the Ngqura port last week to address workers.

"One of the major drawbacks is the continued breakdown of vital equipment and the presence of terminal ship gear on vessels which makes it more difficult to move cranes," general secretary Steve Harris said in a statement.

"Currently there are still eleven employees suspended who are appointed in critical positions. Six of these employees work in the refrigerator division where the port has had a huge influx since April. Another two work in the control room. The suspensions have had a devastating negative impact."

Untu said only six of seven cranes were currently operational while only 42 of 55 trucks were in use.

It said workers were unhappy that Transnet had not paid them performance bonuses, citing a failure to meet targets.

Another bone of contention was Transnet's decision to award a contract to a new service provider to transport workers to and from the port.

- African News Agency (ANA)

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