At the #AMD2014 – African Maritime Domain Conference currently taking place in Port Elizabeth at The Boardwalk Conference Centre we were treated to a keynote address by the Honorable Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters.
Much has been made of the money being spent on the Nqura harbour with more to come as planned expansion to the deep water port comes online.
The years of focus on what purpose the Port of Nqura will finally serve is now becoming clearer as the minister focused a lot on the metamorphisis of the Port into a major trans-shipment hub. Peters pointed out that Nqura is one of the very few deep water ports in Africa and uniquely placed at the tip of Africa to service this.
Peters pointed out that the average dwell times for containers in Africa range from 6 days in Southern Africa, 12 days in East Africa and 15 days in West Africa – all against an internationally accepted norm of 7 days.
Port charges are also substantially higher with per container handling charges ranging from $200.00 in Africa to $80.00 in Asia and $100.00 in Europe.
Pointing out that only 30% of Africans have ready access to the road infrastructure Peters made a good point in championing the maritime shipping industry as an economic enabler that could be fast tracked.
Coming out in support of NMMU’s bid to establish a Maritime University she told NMMU Vice Chancellor , Derrick Swartz that the Department of Transport is looking forward to working closely with the NMMU on this.
My impression: Peters did a very good job of ‘selling’ Nqura to the assembled African Maritime experts as the trans-shipment hub that currently occupies a sweet spot that is well placed to service their needs at a very affordable price with a great turnaround time.
One does wonder, though, where will the Port of Port Elizabeth fall into all this planning?