The Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape (AIDC EC) says it applauds Transnet National Port Authority’s (TNPA’s) announcement that it will inject R9.1-billion into its three Eastern Cape ports over the next seven years.
AIDC EC CEO Thabo Shenxane says the centre and other provincial stakeholders have all been lobbying for the investment as part of an effort to grow the region’s automotive sector,
which accounts for about 50% of South Africa’s automotive exports.
“Automotive growth and exports, which involves an extended manufacturing value chain, is core to transformation, localisation and job creation in the Eastern Cape, one of the country’s most economically impoverished provinces,” says Shenxane.
“While TNPA has earmarked the Port of Gqeberha for the automotive sector, Ngqura is being positioned as a transshipment and energy hub for the southern hemisphere.
“The development of the East London port will finally encourage Mercedes-Benz to cater for the growth of its exports and regional supply cluster.”The
Ngqura and Gqeberha ports, which are jointly managed as the Nelson Mandela Bay port, will receive R4.8-billion, while the East London port will receive R4.3-billion.
The ports are also set to provide alternative sources of electricity and water supply within special economic zones, which house a large percentage of automotive component manufacturers.
TNPA will issue a request for information (RfI) this month for renewable-energy capacity at the ports, which will be followed by a request for proposals (RfP) by September on a power-purchase agreement basis.
The ports authority will also issue an RfI in July for all ports to supply desalinated water, with an RfP to follow by October, on a water-purchase agreement basis