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The Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA), responsible for the safe, effective, and efficient economic functioning of the national port system, announced that R9.1bn (approx. US$572mn) in infrastructure development will be invested in Eastern Cape ports over the next seven years
The TNPA Central Region capital investment programme, met with wide approval, includes a budget allocation for the Nelson Mandela Ports (Port Elizabeth Ngqura) and for East London. “We have earmarked the Port of Elizabeth for the automotive sector,” said TNPA managing executive for the Central Region, Siyabulela Mhlaluka. He added that the East London port is projected to service broader automotive, industrial, and agricultural sectors in the region.
Stakeholders in the region had been lobbying for infrastructural investment to foster growth in the region’s automotive sector. AIDC Eastern Cape CEO, Thabo Shenxane, said the AIDC EC “applauded the focus, energy and resources to accelerate automotive growth and industrialisation.” He added, “The development of the East London Port will finally encourage Mercedes Benz to cater for growth of its exports and its regional supply cluster.”
The TNPA also planned to address concerns of investors regarding a reliable supply of water and electricity through a request for information (RFI) regarding renewable energy capacity, and another RFI for all ports to supply desalinated water. Both are to be issued in July, and will be followed by two request for proposals (RFP) on a power purchase agreement basis (September), and a water purchase agreement basis (October).
This programme will ensure that the Central Region ports are being positioned in accordance with critical sectors within the Eastern Cape province, including the automotive; liquid bulk; agriculture; and tourism sectors.