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Following a recent meeting with the Citrus Growers Association (CGA), minister Ivan Meyer, said he is concerned about the current state of service delivery at the Port of Cape Town. This could have a negative impact on the export of agricultural products.

With the Western Cape being responsible for 50% of South Africa’s agricultural exports, the Port of Cape Town is a vital cog in the machine of the Western Cape and South Africa’s economy. Any inefficiencies in this port will therefore harm the Western Cape’s economy. This could in turn cost people jobs at a time when they are desperately needed.

“On the other hand, many people will benefit if we get this right. In fact, growing our exports by 5% over five years will create approximately 19 000 new jobs in the Western Cape,” minister Meyer said.

The shortage of equipment and obsolete equipment highlights the port authority’s inability to manage the Cape Town terminal efficiently. It undermines the critical role that the port should play in supporting exports and economic growth.

Port of Cape Town task team

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism, led by the minister of finance and economic opportunities, David Maynier, established a port task team in 2020. This brings together stakeholders from across the port logistics value chain. Together they will find solutions to the challenges facing the Port of Cape Town. While this task team has achieved some successes to date by improving port efficiency, ultimately intervention by the national government is required. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture therefore calls on president Cyril Ramaphosa to visit the Port of Cape Town urgently.  

Given the above, the minister intends to support the CGA by visiting the Port of Cape Town and raising some of the concerns with the senior management at Transnet Port Terminals. He will also bring these concerns of the CGA to the Western Cape Standing Committee for Finance and Economic Development and Tourism.

An efficiently run port will enhance the economic recovery of the Western Cape and support the critical role that the agricultural sector is playing in growing the economy and creating jobs. – Press release, Western Cape Department of Agriculture