South African port operator Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) intends maximising on the enormous growth market represented by Africa, by forming partnerships with other African ports and promoting the country as a regional hub for the rest of the continent.
TPT Acting Chief Executive, Logan Naidoo*, said the state-owned port operator had previous experience outside South Africa, which could help to position African ports as the growth engines of their respective economies.
This is in support of nine strategic transport sector objectives set out by the African Union and NEPAD (New Partnership for African Growth). These focused on enhanced efficiency of transport infrastructure, services and key transport corridors to strengthen the economic and social development of the African continent.
Naidoo said: “South Africa, as the most developed country in Africa, offers the infrastructure and services to unlock the region's frontiers. By facilitating the supply of goods and providing essential infrastructural services, TPT can play a vital role in the South African government’s New Growth Path strategy. This strategy seeks to widen the market for South African goods and services through a stronger focus on exports to the region’s rapidly growing economies.”
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He said TPT’s past experience outside of South Africa included assistance with terminal operating systems, port consultation and training programmes in ports such as those in Namibia, Kenya, Cameroon and Mauritius. The former Portcon International consultancy arm of sister division Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) had likewise carried out work in Ghana between 2001 and 2004.
A regional port planning strategy between South Africa’s deepwater Port of Ngqura and other ports in the region is now underway to leverage opportunities. South African President Jacob Zuma champions the North South Corridor and Transnet is playing a key role in ensuring that this corridor’s potential is unlocked so that freight can move easily and efficiently.
TPT had also attracted the attention of African ports thanks to the superior port operations training programmes and facilities offered at the Transnet School of Ports, located in the Port of Durban, where TNPA also offers marine training.
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