Transnet, the state-owned company responsible for South Africa’s rail, port, and pipeline operations, is set to face scrutiny over the poor performance of the Cape Town Port. The port has experienced a lot of inefficiencies and delays, which have disrupted fruit export activities in the nation. As concerns mount over the economic impact of these issues, Transnet is to report its management of the critical port infrastructure to a parliamentary committee.

By Telegram Reporter

Transnet, the state-owned freight transport and logistics company, is set to appear before the Standing Committee on Finance, Economic Opportunities, and Tourism.

The committee aims to gather feedback from Transnet regarding the concerns regarding the challenges experienced at the Port of Cape Town during the table grape and stone fruit export season.

The port’s recent performance has been significantly below expectations, resulting in significant delays in getting produce to ships. There have been reports of delays lasting up to three weeks. As a result, the fruit has had to spend extended periods in cold chambers, which has raised concerns about its overall quality. This situation also puts the suitability of the fruit for international markets at risk.

In a recent report, Hortgro, the representative body for various fruit industry organisations, revealed that there has been a significant decline in the total volume of apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, apples, and pears shipped through the port during November and December. The figures show a decrease of approximately 35% compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

The committee will also receive in-depth briefings from important stakeholders in addition to the feedback that Transnet will provide. These include the South African Table Grape Industry Association, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and lastly, the Port of Cape Town Container Logistics Chain.

The objective of the meeting is to produce a comprehensive report that will offer Transnet practical measures for effectively resolving the port’s issues.

The date for the meeting is yet to be announced.

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