A decade after planning to move Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to one of its ports, it is relocating to Nelson Mandela Bay.
This was confirmed by Ayanda Mantshongo, the TNPA corporate affairs executive manager in a statement, saying their corporate offices in Johannesburg and Durban would be relocated the R255m eMendi building at the Port of Ngqura in Port Elizabeth.
This is a welcome development as the move will contribute to the Bay’s economy as hundreds of Transnet workers would have to be based in the city.
Mantshongo, who issued the statement on behalf of CEO Pepi Silinga, said they were hoping to wrap up consultations on the relocation move with unions by the end of March.
“The relocation of a sea port authority’s head office from a landlocked city, closer to its operations, ensures that TNPA serves its customers at the point of execution, while bringing about savings of about R25m a year from lease agreements.
“It bears reiterating that the strategic decision for the head office of TNPA to locate at one of the SA’s ports dates back over 10 years, which decision was not implemented, for reasons unrelated to the interests of the Port Authority and/or its customers.”
Mantshongo said they decided to relocate to the Bay because the Eastern Cape was centrally located between the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal — the provinces where the state entity’s operations are based.
“Transnet sees the consolidation of TNPA in the Eastern Cape as an important contributor to the revival of that province’s economy, as it increases the ease of doing business.
“Among other things, TNPA facilities in Port Elizabeth have contributed to record citrus exports in the past year, and shown encouraging growth in the export of motor vehicles from Eastern Cape assembly plants,” he said.