From the date that the Manganese Ore Terminal was established in the Port of Port Elizabeth, irate citizens have made calls for it to be moved to another less densely populated tourist area. Of course the win would be for the entire facility to be moved to a covered one somewhere far far away…
Working on the assumption that the TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) and it’s minions might have difficulty driving a Search Query on Google to find out how many broken promises have been made in recent history, MyPE embarked on a superficial search using Google and the following search terms: “Transnet to move Port of PE Manganese terminal”; “Port Elizabeth Manganese terminal to be moved”
The following are snippets from web sites, in chronological order, of every time that the TNPA has announced, promised and broken that promise to move the Manganese Ore:
1 May 2011: Transnet are Disingenuously Moving the Manganese Ore Goal Posts – It appears to be disingenuous in the extreme for Transnet allegedly to reiterate its earlier verbal promise, to move the terminal by 2016 (ambiguously, I might add: 2016 has suddenly become “2016/2017”), given its awareness of widespread opposition to its manganese operations in the PE harbour area. After all, this opposition is grounded in a legitimate concern, primarily for the health of everyone who is at the receiving end of the manganese pollution – and in Port Elizabeth, given the prevailing winds, this means a lot of people – but secondarily also for the damaging effect of the manganese ore dust on property (buildings, yachts, and what they contain) in the area. (According to friends of mine who are yachtspeople, it is no joke to get rid of the layer of manganese ore dust, spread like a blanket over their yachts, after a manganese loading session when the wind has been blowing in the direction of the yacht basin from the manganese ore dump.)
17 March 2012: S.Africa’s Transnet says to move manganese terminal – The current manganese terminal is located at Port Elizabeth. The new manganese terminal will be completed by 2016, a Transnet spokesman said, and will initially handle exports of around 12 million tonnes.
5 June 2012: Transnet to move manganese terminal to Ngqura by 2014-15 – Also plans to increase capacity of the Saldanha iron ore terminal.
13 March 2014: Transnet slows ore terminal relocation – Transnet announced last week during its stakeholder engagements on ports development around the country that it would start shipping manganese from Ngqura port, outside Port Elizabeth, in 2019 as opposed to the initial 2016 plan.
15 January 2018: Transnet to move Port of PE Manganese terminal – Transnet National Ports Authority has confirmed its plans to transfer its manganese export facility at the Port of Port Elizabeth to the neighbouring Port of Ngqura by October 2023, where the commodity will continue to serve as an important catalyst for economic growth and development.
In the last seven years the TNPA has given six possible years in which the Manganese Ore Terminal will move: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2019 and now 2023.
One is tempted to observe that the TNPA really have no idea of how to plan or, probably more accurately, how to LIE!
Maybe the TNPA Spin Doctors don’t have sight of what is really going on as whilst they were promising that the Manganese ore Dump would move soon, the TNPA was issuing tenders during April 2017 for; “Refurbishment of PE Manganese Terminal Components and Associated Support Structures and Infrastructure”. A source told MyPE that the tender was worth millions and expressed the opinion that it was a reliable indicator that the TNPA was not committed to moving the facility by 2023 either.
If you were intending holding your breath until 2023/2019 our best advice would be; “Don’t!”
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