The Cape Chamber of Commerce says it’s working around the clock with various stakeholders to resolve the gridlock at the Port of Cape Town.
South African ports have been experiencing unprecedented traffic, with lengthy delays for ships waiting to unload their containers.
In Durban, more than 60 vessels are still anchored, and state-owned logistics company Transnet says it will take more than four months to clear the backlog.
In Cape Town, vessels are said to be experiencing delays ranging between 12 and 14 days, and some vessels are bypassing the port due to its underperformance.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has given Transnet until next year to resolve the country’s ports crisis.
Speaking on CapeTalk’s Views and News, Cape Chamber of Commerce CEO, John Lawson, has blamed government for the lack of urgency to resolve the matter.
“I think it’s important to realise that whether it’s Maersk or whether it’s business on either side of the ports, we are all very committed trying to find solutions and struggling to find appropriate urgency from government to help solve these problems. Yes, they agree, and they talk, and they say yes, but it’s not with the sense of urgency.”
Lawson details some of the challenges faced by the Cape Town port.
“One factor is the bottleneck at the port and another factor is that systemically, the businesses are not using the port 24/7. The port is willing to work 24/7 but because of bargaining council rules and the fact that all the freight role-players are not working together in an optimum way where the unions mentioned that they’re willing to renegotiate the bargaining council rules around double pay etc, so the port can work 24/7.”