Eskom, Transnet crisis damaging economy

President Cyril Ramaphosa said they are fixing the damage to the ports. Picture: Elond Jiyane/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa said they are fixing the damage to the ports. Picture: Elond Jiyane/GCIS

Published Nov 27, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa said they were working on plans to fix the rail and ports to enable the economy to grow faster again.

“One of you spoke about making sure our rail and ports work better and I welcome that,” Ramaphosa said after meeting with various stakeholders in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.

“The damage that has been done to our ports operations and our rail operations over a few years is quite huge, now we are addressing and attending to it. Durban is the main artery of our economy and we need to ensure that it works perfectly.”

He said that he had listened to concerns by business and many other civil society organisations to fix the ports to prevent the collapse of the economy.

Ramaphosa said they wanted to fix Transnet and Eskom to save jobs and protect the economy.

However, the damage that has been caused to the ports and rail and Eskom’s load shedding crisis will have a serious impact on the economy and this will be seen when the economic performance figures come out next year.

“Of course, load shedding has not served us well. Load shedding has had a devastating impact and we will probably see those figures, the impact in next year’s economic performance because it has really blunted the manufacturing sector and the mining sector in a big way,” said Ramaphosa.

“The combination of rail, ports and Eskom and just a general state of the global economy is going to have a negative impact on us. But our economy is still resilient and we determined that we must transform this economy.”

His speech in Durban comes after his visit to the Richards Bay port a few days earlier where he promised that the crisis in the ports would be fixed.

Eskom implemented stage 6 load shedding last week. Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said previously the economy loses R1 billion a day during stage 6.

The National Union of Mineworkers has complained that the crisis at Transnet was threatening 35,000 jobs in the mining sector as cargo was no longer put on the rail network, but transported by trucks on the road.

There are also thousands of containers that have not been offloaded and exported to international markets in Durban, Cape Town and Richards Bay ports, costing the economy billions.

He said he agreed that people also need to participate in the formulation of African National Congress (ANC) policies and the country’s laws.

The ANC is involved in the review of its manifesto ahead of the launch of the manifesto early next year before the elections.

The ANC manifesto review process looks at what the party has done in the last 30 years.

The manifestos that the ANC has crafted in the past elections revolved around transforming the economy, social transformation and fighting corruption, said Ramaphosa.

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