The Port of Port Elizabeth and the Manganese Ore operation have been in the news almost constantly this past week. The Herald Online has had two front page articles on the continuous pollution from the facility. MyPE.co.za was thrilled to welcome The Herald, numerous other online publications and Television channels to the fray. Interviews have been done with the Chairman of PEDSAC and other stakeholders. Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality Athol Trollip visited the facility and demanded answers as to when the facility would finally move and received …. platitudes and promises.
One would think that with all this attention on the Port and the Manganese Ore pollution that the Port authority would be on their toes and constantly ALERT to any pollution and dust.
CLEARLY THIS WAS NOT THE CASE TODAY as you can see from the images below – all taken from around 10:30 am this morning – when for over two hours the Manganese Ore Dust billowed out over the Port and tenants in the harbour. Not a pretty sight for diners at PEDSAC and ABYC, visiting international yachts and local boat owners either!
One is tempted to say that this latest spillage was the TNPA’s way of flipping the Port Elizabeth public and our Executive Mayor the right royal bird!
I, as the Commodore of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, must confess that I have a special empathy for the management of the Port of Port Elizabeth who, frankly, must be staring down a ‘not so shiny’ barrel of destruction and loss of their jobs if the lucrative facility is moved to the Port of Nqura.
During my many chats with the Port I have pleaded with them to share their predicament with the citizens of Port Elizabeth and ask the public to help come up with a viable solution that will ensure the longevity of the Port of Port Elizabeth and not only preserve, but increase, employment in our city.
Lets be frank – The much slated PE Waterfront will NOT immediately replace the current turnover (estimated to be in the region of R1 Million per day) from the Manganese Ore stockpiling and delivery services provided by the Port.
As the Port Elizabeth public we need to wipe the starry eyed notion of a PE Waterfront out of our eyes and come up with a different plan to ensure the survival of the Port of Port Elizabeth because, frankly, one would think that the present TNPA big shots are only capable of flipping the bird and not engaging with stakeholders OR, should we say, taxpayers who provide the massive funding for this parastatal. As my late Father used to paraphrase; “I brought you into this world, I will take you out of it!”