CoCT writes to Mbalula, ports regulator arguing against hike in port tariffs

The city said the regulator issued the Tariff Methodology to be used to determine the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) revenue in March.

Port Control harbour in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town (CoCT) has written to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and the Ports Regulator of South Africa to oppose the proposed increase in port tariffs.

The City said the regulator issued the Tariff Methodology to be used to determine the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) revenue in March.

Mayoral Committee Member (Mayco) for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos said, in a statement on Tuesday, the TNPA determined that a tariff increase of 19% for the 2021/22 financial year was required.

Vos said businesses simply could not afford to absorb any more costs, and any increases would lead to further business closures and job losses.

“I oppose any port tariff increases, especially during these times, because now more than ever, we must assist Cape Town products to reach key markets to help our companies to expand and create jobs,” Vos said.

“Through extensive interactions with business port users, exporters and importers, City officials have compiled the following list of challenges faced by businesses, including a weak national economy, a weakened currency, forced and self-imposed shutdown of business activities and the loss of shelf-space for many locally based exporting companies to competitors in other markets.”

He said the economic performance projections used in the TNPA’s application were based on data collected during the pre-COVID period.

Vos added that they did not take into account the economic devastation brought by the lockdown.

“The scale of COVID-19 impact on businesses is not yet fully known, but it is clear that the business sector is under significant strain. That is why we have developed key interventions designed to retain and expand business in Cape Town,” he said.

The City’s Mayco member for Transport Felicity Purchase said the TNPA should look at the existing budgets and current tariff levels to fund its operating requirements, while at the same time ensuring that fees remained affordable for port users.

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