East London IDZ and Harbour

Posted On Friday, 23 March 2001 03:01 Published by
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CONTINUED investment in harbour infrastructure in the port of East London will see the city develop into South Africa's major motor industry trans-shipment hub.

CONTINUED investment in harbour infrastructure in the port of East London will see the city develop into South Africa's major motor industry trans-shipment hub. Speaking at the official opening of a R80-million vehicle terminal in East London, Portnet CEO of port operations Siyabonga Gama said the success of the facility - the first of its kind in South Africa - had already led to an investigation into major expansions to the harbour. These include deepening the car terminal from the existing 9 metres to 10,7 metres.

This would make it possible to handle ships bigger than the present
generation of roll-on, roll-off car carriers. Public Enterprise Minister Jeff Radebe said the growth in volumes from less than 30 per cent of the port's capacity to over 70 per cent in three years "had prompted Portnet to consider plans to extend the harbour. A second container for the West Bank is currently in the design stage to serve the Buffalo City Industrial Development Zone. The IDZ in itself will provide a host of investment, employment and joint venture opportunities.

This investment in the port of East London has unlocked immense opportunities for the development
of business in the Eastern Cape and we will continue investing as long as there is a business case to be made." These investments would be in addition to the R112-million spent over the past two years in upgrading the container terminal and the building of the car handling facility. Gama
added that, with the new terminal, there was no reason "why East London cannot be an international vehicle hub port".

Radebe said the possibility of increasing agricultural traffic through East London was being studied and there were plans afoot to upgrade the currently under-utilised grain
elevator.

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