President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at the Transnet Durban Port, received by Premier of KwaZulu Natal Sihle Zikalala. Ramaphosa was visiting the port on an oversight monitoring visit. PHOTO: Twitter

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa says the Durban port of entry has a future master plan to create 180 000 jobs.

Ramaphosa addressed members of the media shortly after he went on a tour to assess the progress made there.

The president, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan were in the port to assess its efficiency. 

“What is more pleasing is that they are making plans for the future. They are already looking at 2032 and putting forward a plan which is going to require R100 billion to invest and which will create up [to] 180 000 types of jobs,” said Ramaphosa.

“The plans fit in very well with the reforms that we have been talking about, but we want to see reforms that will also impact on how our ports function.”

This comes as the Durban port has been dealt a blow by goods delays that have negatively impacted the business sector.

This also forms part of his Operation Vulindlela which seeks to see the port become a global shipping hub.

The president said government has identified areas that need improvement, in order to expand the footprint of the port.

“I walk away from my visit here at Durban port extremely encouraged and elated, and the inspiration that the plans and the vision that we’ve put out as the country fits in very well.”

Ramaphosa described Durban port as a national asset, which is important in the economic architecture of the country.

“We want it to function. When Durban Port doesn’t function, it has a negative impact on trade and commerce in the whole nation, and it is therefore important that it should.”

He believes that port management will be able to implement its turnaround strategy.

“It’s going to have wonderful areas and it’s going to have entertainment areas, allowing people to be able to come. This is a dream in the making.”

Ramaphosa said Transnet will spend R100-billion to modernise the Port of Durban.

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has expressed concerns about Transnet’s plans to relocate its head office to the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape. But the President has assured the province that Durban remains the most important port in the country.

The Port of Durban known as Africa’s most active, general cargo port, handles about 4 500 vessels a year.

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