A new dynamic is emerging with the implementation of the plan to overhaul South Africa's logistics and port chain, which has become one of the government's priorities.
South Africa's state-owned logistics group Transnet has announced an invitation to tender for the reconstruction, deepening and extension of two berths at the North Quay of the Port of Durban's container terminal (DCT Pier 2). The deadline for bids is 29 March 2024.
The project is part of the port's master development plan and will require an investment of 154 billion rand. The works, which will start in 2024 and take 5 years to complete, involve deepening berths 203, 204 and 205, including the basin and approach channel, from 12.8 metres to 16.5 metres.
This will enable ships with a draught of more than 12.2 m to enter the port at any time. Another batch of works will also include extending the length of the terminal's berths from 914 m to 1,210 m, a length that Transnet believes is long enough to simultaneously accommodate 3 Super Post Panamax vessels 350 m long and with a draught of 14.5 m.
DCT Pier 2 is South Africa's largest container terminal, but due to its limited infrastructure and equipment, the platform is unable to adequately meet the handling needs of the cargo it handles.
Over the past few weeks, South African ports have been under heavy pressure to deliver end-of-year orders, resulting in additional costs for shippers and other operators, as well as backlogs of cargo that will not be cleared until the end of February, according to several port operators.
The call for tenders also comes shortly after the Treasury's decision last week to grant a USD 47 billion financial guarantee to Transnet for the implementation of an emergency plan to revitalise the country's logistics and port chain, which has been in a state of disrepair since 2010, with serious consequences for the national economy.