The process of finalising the legal agreement between Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Port of Durban and eThekwini Municipality for the Maydon Wharf deproclamation process is underway. This was reported at the Transnet bi-weekly Decongestion Task Team meeting held recently.
Durban Port Manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana emphasised the importance of the role played by the City and other stakeholders. During the meeting she said: “This has not been an easy past few weeks for the Port of Durban and we cannot continue recovering without our valued stakeholders. There is a lot of work that still needs to be done to ensure that we are back to normal. As we approach the fertilizer and reefer seasons, I call upon all stakeholders to join in ensuring that we tackle the upcoming peaks.” Once the legal process has been finalised, the teams will be conducting the physical cordoning off of the Maydon Wharf Precinct.
Dweba – Kwetana also provided stakeholders with an overview of the recovery process of the Port, post the April floods during the meeting. She conveyed her sincere gratitude for the collaborative efforts and team spirit demonstrated during the recovery process following the April floods which affected the Port significantly.
The port community and stakeholders are working tirelessly to ensure stability and recovery from the damage caused. A multi-stakeholder Business Continuity Forum was established in mid-April which allowed the Port to incorporate the insights and expertise of maritime industry players to ensure stability in port operations. This was the primary focus for all Transnet Operating divisions. As a result of the collaboration among key stakeholders, operations at the Port of Durban resumed on the 13 April 2022.
Although a decline was experienced in most of the volumes handled during April, performance in the Port continued to improve. An update on the repair work currently being undertaken on Bayhead Road which was severely damaged during the floods was provided during the meeting. Work to commission a fourth lane is underway, however installation of the sewage and water diversion pipes needs to take place prior to the roadworks. Fabrication of these pipes is complete, and they have been delivered to site. Installation will take place in the coming weeks. To ensure that Bayhead Road is relieved of congestion, an alternative bypass road leading to the Durban Container Terminal and the Island View Complex was identified.
It was reported that a great deal of work has already taken place to clear the road for the development of the new access pathway. Existing rail tracks removal and bush clearing has since been completed and earthworks are currently in progress. With regards to the container terminals, TNPA is working on introducing a penalty model for wasted slots. It has been noted and appreciated that transporters have many other processes in place before they honour their appointments.