Ports and maritime connectivity addressed in infrastructure plan

Ports and maritime connectivity addressed in infrastructure plan

National Infrastructure Plan 2050 gazetted for comment

SOUTH AFRICA: The National Infrastructure Plan 2050 (NIP 2050) gazetted this week for public comment highlights the current high port tariffs as well as low efficiencies, and suggests these are harming the country’s competitive positioning.

“South Africa’s port efficiency generally lags behind global averages which is adding to the high cost of logistics and is eroding the competitiveness of South Africa’s economy through the elevated total cost of transport. Many of these problems have been attributed to the monopolistic nature of port operations for key segments such as container terminals and automotive terminals which are provided by Transnet Port Terminals. Steps must be taken to promote a more competitive environment in port terminal operations,” it notes.

The document sees the recent commitment to establish Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) as an independent subsidiary of Transnet as an important step in addressing some of these issues. The move will effectively end the cross-subsidies between rail and port operations and ensure the ring-fencing of port charges for reinvestment in the port system.

NIP 2050 identifies the Port of Durban for positioning as a global shipping hub and suggests a review of the investments that need to be made to achieve this objective. In addition, a strategic shift to ensure that South Africa’s ports are integrated into freight transport corridors linking mega hubs and associated nodes needs to be incorporated into planning.

The need to encourage regional shipping routes is also addressed. The document identifies the need to develop a North-South Corridor that links the Port of Durban to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania through a multi-modal surface as well as maritime network.

Private participation is seen as an important leverage to stimulate infrastructure development in both the ports and rail sectors.

Included in the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP) is the strengthening of additional transport corridors, port expansion plans as well as back of port industrial development. Small harbour development is also mentioned as is the development of the Boegoebaai Port in the Norther Cape.

The much-anticipated establishment of a single Transport Economic Regulator is scheduled to be undertaken in 2022.

The NIP 2050 is not a database of all projects nor a consolidation of master plans nor a spatial mapping of projects or a mechanism for centralised decision-making.

The NIP 2050 seeks to identify the most critical actions needed for sustained improvement in public infrastructure delivery that will have an impact in the short term but with the longer-term outcomes in view.

Written submission should reach the DPW&I on or before 17 September 2021. Submission should be addressed to the Chief Director: Infrastructure in any of the following ways:

  • Delivered by hand to DPWI, 256 Madiba Street, Pretoria Central, Pretoria
  • E-mailed to

Download NIP 2050




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