Transnet’s Port Operator Looks to Africa
Friday, 04 May 2012 | 11:00
South African port operator Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) intends maximising on the enormous growth market
represented by Africa, by forming partnerships with other African ports and promoting the country as a regional hub for the rest of the continent.
TPT Acting Chief Executive, Logan Naidoo*, said the state-owned port operator had previous experience outside South Africa, which could help to position African ports as the growth engines of their respective economies.
This is in support of nine strategic transport sector objectives set out by the African Union and NEPAD (New Partnership for African Growth). These focused on enhanced efficiency of transport infrastructure, services and key transport corridors to strengthen the economic and social development of the African continent.
Key intra-continental initiatives being pursued by TPT include:
• offering services such as port terminal operations, consulting, training, equipment maintenance and IT systems to other African ports
• regional port planning and port pairing initiatives with other African ports
• Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with other African countries.
Said Naidoo: “South Africa, as the most developed country in Africa, offers the infrastructure and services to unlock the region's frontiers. By facilitating the supply of goods and providing essential infrastructural services, TPT can play a vital role in the South African government’s New Growth Path strategy. This strategy seeks to widen the market for South African goods and services through a stronger focus on exports to the region’s rapidly growing economies.”
He said TPT’s past experience outside of South Africa included assistance with terminal operating systems, port consultation and training programmes in ports such as those in Namibia, Kenya, Cameroon and Mauritius. The former Portcon International consultancy arm of sister division Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) had likewise carried out work in Ghana between 2001 and 2004.
A regional port planning strategy between South Africa’s deepwater Port of Ngqura and other ports in the region is now underway to leverage opportunities. South African President Jacob Zuma champions the North South Corridor and Transnet is playing a key role in ensuring that this corridor’s potential is unlocked so that freight can move easily and efficiently.
TPT had also attracted the attention of African ports thanks to the superior port operations training programmes and facilities offered at the Transnet School of Ports, located in the Port of Durban, where TNPA also offers highly sought after marine training.
Africa’s Growth Potential
With a potential of one-billion consumers, the continent’s ascension into one of the fastest growing economies has created massive demand for infrastructure, goods and services.
International terminal operators are moving into Africa’s ports with great speed and developments over the next three years in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania will see a total of more than US$689 million spent on port upgrades.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that over the next five years Africa will surpass Asia and seven African nations will be in the top 10 fastest-growing economies. The IMF also forecasts 2012 growth figures averaging around six percent for sub-Saharan Africa - and with countries like Angola raking in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of almost double that - the continent is touted as the investment destination of the decade. Already influential financial magazine, The Economist, states that between 2000 and 2010, no fewer than six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa.
Naidoo believes Transnet and TPT boast the economies of scale to position themselves as regional freight operators in other African countries and to remove barriers that negatively impact trade transiting through the SADC region.
“South Africa has an invaluable role to play as neighbouring countries – and outside agencies – up their game on infrastructure development in their connecting corridors,” he adds.
Fast Facts: Africa’s Growth Potential
• Africa’s feeder network is developing and a significant amount of traffic gets distributed from the Mediterranean region to West Africa.
• The North—South Corridor links the Port of Durban with Central Africa and connects with the Dar es Salaam corridor in Tanzania. This is the longest transport corridor currently in development, running through 26 countries. [Frost & Sullivan report: ‘Trade Corridors: Key focus area for sub-Saharan African governments’.]
• The Port of Ngqura is exceeding expectations as a transshipment hub for both East and West African feeder traffic.
Source: Transnet Port Terminals (TPT)
There are no comments available.