In a release the city says that the Metro and Transnet will establish a ‘Port City Discussions Forum’.
Firstly please allow the cynic in me to say that we have heard these promises from Transnet numerous times before. They and their previous incantations dating back to the 1980’s have promised faithfully that the Manganese Ore will be moved by a ‘certain date’ and those dates come and go with monotony.
Think about it – the manganese ore dump (and Transnet) have survived despite the following:
- The apartheid government
- The new South Africa
- An ANC led local government
- The early days of a DA led local government
If I was a senior TNPA Executive I would view the new local DA Government as the easiest of all to deal with and be telling my local operatives “Business as usual, guys, in fact lets move more toxic materials than ever before!”
The press release said:
At a meeting held today at City Hall, Transnet Group Chief Executive, Siyabonga Gama, and Bay Executive Mayor, Cllr Athol Trollip, committed to working together to boost investment, grow the economy and streamline transversal operations.
Mayor Trollip and Mr Gama were joined by senior Transnet managers, the City Manager, Mayoral Committee Members for Human Settlements, Economic Development and Finance and executive directors.
In the interest of cooperative governance and efficiency, both the Executive Mayor and Mr Gama resolved to establish a Port City Coordinating Forum made up of representatives from NMBM and Transnet, which would meet regularly to identify solutions to challenges before they become obstructive.
Mayor Trollip expressed his support for Transnet’s commitment to continue investing in Nelson Mandela Bay. “The Municipality is also embarking on a mission to get the City moving forward again. Clean governance, efficient service delivery and infrastructure maintenance are some of our primary focuses,” said Mayor Trollip.
Mr Gama revealed that the new bulk storage tank farm would be commissioned at the Port of Ngqura in 2019, followed by the manganese ore dumps in 2023. Thereafter, construction of a waterfront precinct will begin.
Transnet is currently undertaking pre-feasibility studies, land planning and scoping so that comprehensive construction plans are in place well in advance.
The City also committed to looking into Mr Gama’s request for a fire station nearer the port, improved public transport to the IDZ and increased policing along Strand Street.
Speaking after the meeting with the Executive Mayor, Mr Gama said, “plans are underway to ensure the success of the company’s major infrastructure projects in the area. These include the relocation of the oil tank farm and manganese ore terminal.”
Both the Executive Mayor and Mr Gama agreed on the importance of ongoing stakeholder engagement and strategic investment that guarantees returns.
Working side by side, both Transnet and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality can deliver on their mandates to take this City to new heights.