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City urges Transnet unions to return to negotiating table

Statement by the Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, Alderman James Vos

With the majority of exports and imports moving into and out of South Africa via its ports, the current strike action by Transnet workers is set to be a further blow to our fragile economy.

The strike only adds to Transnet’s existing woes which have cost billions of rands in lost revenue for exporters with the mining sector estimating that it has already lost R50 billion this year because of the state-owned company’s worsening performance. Early estimates suggest that the strike could further cost the economy between R6 billion and R8 billion each day.

The City has been in constant communication with the port management team to stay appraised of the situation and to advise and support where our mandate as a local government allows it. We want to acknowledge that the port management is implementing a business continuity plan while the strike is ongoing which is enabling some activity to take place in the port. However, it is unable to operate at full capacity.

We have also formed a working group consisting of, amongst others, officials from the Enterprise and Investment Department within the Economic Growth Directorate, the Western Cape Exporters’ Club, the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and Wesgro wherein port challenges are identified and answers sought.

With the economy hanging by a thread and unemployment at nightmarish high levels, South Africa can ill afford further blows to growth. With at least 10 vessels expected to arrive at the Port of Cape Town in the next seven days, representing millions of rands worth of import and export activity, the City is urging unions to return to the negotiating table and work towards a resolution.

Source: City Of Cape Town