South Africa lacks a coherent national ports policy - Zuma
By Terry Hutson
KwaZulu Natal Economic Affairs and Tourism Minister Jacob Zuma has taken Portnet to task over secret proposals to build a new port in Northern Zululand.
Addressing a gathering of top business people and politicians in Durban recently, Minister Zuma said he had received complaints about a feasibility study that Portnet was undertaking in Kosi Bay, with a view to establishing a small harbour there capable of taking cruise liners.
He said that if Portnet had identified opportunities he then expected a process of consultation with the key stakeholders who have a direct interest in its future.
We want to avoid at all costs the debacle our government had to deal with regarding the issues of eco-tourism versus mining in St Lucia. We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. I urge you to consider this seriously, he said.
According to Zuma South Africa lacks a coherent national ports policy. He said this had to be addressed urgently if SA was to deal with the critical issues of port hierarchy versus specialisation, administration of assets and who benefits from accruing profits. The ports are national assets with some generating huge profits while others are more modest in their financial returns. Zuma urged Portnet to integrate itself more closely with the corridor initiatives within the province (Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Richards Bay corridor is one, the other is the Richards Bay, Maputo, Swaziland corridor in the north) and to integrate its plans with national, provincial and local governments. our ports are central to our drive to increase exports and our global competitiveness, he said.
Black Empowerment: On the question of black empowerment, Zuma said that care should be taken that this should not become just a theory, nor should it be allowed to become what he described as 'reverse racism'.