Ports & Ships Headline News
Sep 28, 2005
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Minister launches national freight strategy
A national freight logistics strategy that aims at sorting out backlogs and slow delivery in the freight logistics business was unveiled in Pretoria today by the national Minister of Transport, Jeff Radebe.
According to Radebe, the burden of commercial transport infrastructure should be ‘shifted from the general taxpayer to transport users.’
In his presentation he said the strategy sought ‘a shift to a more competitive environment for the freight system where the public and private sectors play a role in infrastructure provision and management and competition is allowed in operations on this infrastructure.’
Radebe emphasised that an upgrade of capacity for the Durban transport corridor and the port was a necessity. He also highlighted the need for a decision to deliver increased capacity to the Maputo Corridor between Gauteng/Mpumalanga and the Mozambique port of Maputo, while also enhancing transport capacity generally to the South African Development Community (SADC) region.
According to the National Department of Transport, South Africa moved 693 million tonnes of freight domestically during 2003, of which 74% was with road transport and 26% on rail. The department said the harbours moved approximately 160mt in that year - these figures presumably exclude oil and petroleum as the total volume should be considerably higher.
Initiatives of this nature will be welcomed by the industry, but because much of the decision-making lies in the hands and control of central government, it will be hoped that government will take steps to see that its own proposals are speedily implemented.
No decision on location of Kenya’s second port
No decision has yet been taken as to where Kenya’s second port will be built, although government has given the project the go-ahead and plans were at an advanced stage.
That was the word from Kenya Port Authority (KPA) Brown Ondego when he pledged the KPA’s support for the project. Ondego said the new port would focus on developing port business particularly with neighbouring East African and central African countries.
Tanker seeks shelter from wind outside Durban
A strong blustery wind last night (Tuesday) forced the small Mozambique tanker LMS Ramboda to seek shelter inside Durban harbour after the vessel’s anchor chains failed to hold the ship at her outer anchorage.
The Sri Lankan-registered and owned LMS Ramboda is currently deployed along the Mozambique coast where her diminutive size (737-gt) makes her an ideal vessel for calling at the many smaller harbours along the country’s long and generally shallow coastline.
LMS Ramboda arrived off Durban at the weekend ahead of a scheduled docking in the Eldock floating dock and was intended to remain at the outer anchorage until later today. The vessel was assisted into harbour and taken to a layby berth at the Point.
Floating dock for Walvis Bay
It has been reported to Ports & Ships that the Richards Bay dredger Ingwenya, which was involved in a collision with the Ocean Africa Container Lines’ coaster Umfolozi about ten days ago, will be dredging a basin for a floating dock at the port of Walvis Bay.
The floating dock, Namibia’s first, has been acquired by Durban ship repair company Elgin Brown & Hamer and has a lifting capacity of 8,500 tonnes, similar to Elgin’s Eldock which is based in Durban as the region’s only privately owned floating dock. The Walvis Bay dock is currently in Malta where it is being prepared for transfer to the Namibian port.
On arrival at Walvis Bay the dock is expected to benefit local repair yards with increased repair and maintenance work on the numerous service vessels employed by the West Africa oil industry, as well as the local and foreign fishing fleets operating on southern Africa’s west coast.
US Pre-positioning ship at Cape Town
USNS Sisler (T-AKR 310), one of eight Watson class US Army pre-positioning ships arrived in Cape Town this morning (Wednesday) on a routine call for bunkers and general supplies. This was the first pre-positioning ship to call at Cape Town after a gap of a month or more and coincides with the expected arrival of another navy supply ship at Richards Bay this coming Friday (30 September) - the Kocak class SS Sgt Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005).
The USNS Sisler is one of eight Watson class vessels built specifically for the pre-positioning programme. The ship displaces 62,644 tons fully loaded, which could include 300 troops in addition to a full array of supplies and armaments. Sisler is normally assigned to the US base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
Strike craft visits Durban
The South African Navy strike craft that visited Durban briefly this week was SAS Isaac Dyobha (pennant number P1565) – see our report in News dated 26 September 2005.
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