May 13 2013 11:53 *James-Brent Styan
Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, Transnet CEO Brian Molefe and Karl socikwa unveils Transnet’s cranes in Durban. (Picture: James-Brent Styan, Twitter)
Durban – Transnet port terminals showed off its latest acquisitions on Monday: seven new state of the art ship to shore cranes.
The cranes, which cost about R700m, will be used at Transnet port terminals pier two in Durban.
Durban is the busiest port in South Africa in terms of container traffic, handling 63% of all containers entering and leaving the country.
Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba hosted a media event introducing Transnet’s latest investment to the media. “The cranes are part of government’s infrastructure investment plan and are vital to the plan to improve the Durban to Gauteng freight corridor,” said Gigaba.
Gigaba said the Durban port project will create better access to markets for firms along the corridor between Durban and Gauteng.
“it will move our economy forwards. That’s for sure. By 2030 the Durban Gauteng freight corridor should be a model for how to optimise a freight corridor.”
Gigaba said the Durban container terminal is the first in the southern hemisphere to have these types of cranes.
“Over the next 20 years, Transnet will increase the current capacity of 45 cranes in seven ports and purchase 39 more cranes to further develop South African ports to world class levels,” Gigaba said.
Durban currently handles about 2.5 million teus of containers, and is expected to grow this number to 12 million teus over the next 20 years.
The 20-foot container, referred to as a twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu), is the standard reference unit for the industry.
Gigaba also touched on the plans for the new Durban dugout port that is planned for the Durban’s former airport site. He said this new port facility will be developed between 2016-2039.
“We must never stop planning and investing in infrastructure capacity,” Gigaba said. He added that this will help ensure South Africa’s economic growth at required levels.