Transnet opens public-private partnership bid for liquid bulk terminal in Cape Town

The bid contract prohibits the private bidder from achieving a controlling share, leaving the ANC in control, but the DA have celebrated the deal as "long overdue"





Apr 29, 2024

Transnet opens public-private partnership bid for liquid bulk terminal in Cape Town

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has issued a call for private sector partnership at the Port of Cape Town, inviting interested parties to submit proposals for operating a liquid bulk terminal. The successful bidder will manage the terminal for a 25-year concession period, with the bid closing on July 15, 2024.

The contract stipulates, much like the agreement with Filipino terminal operator ICTSI at Durban’s Container Terminal 2, that the operator is forbidden from acquiring more than a 49% share, keeping control and profit in the hands of the state-owned enterprise.

The move comes in response to long-standing calls from the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape provincial government for increased private sector involvement to improve the port's performance. Aging infrastructure and low productivity have led to frequent bottlenecks, causing significant losses for exporters and importers.

The RFP aligns with TNPA's goal to collaborate with the private sector to diversify port revenue, create jobs, and develop infrastructure for economic growth. Ophelia Shabane, acting manager at the Port of Cape Town, emphasized the importance of the liquid bulk precinct for facilitating international trade and ensuring supply security.

The proposed site, with a total footprint of approximately 18,722 square meters, is part of a phased approach for the liquid bulk precinct. TNPA's initiative is in accordance with Section 56 of the National Ports Act no. 12 of 2005.

Interested parties must attend a compulsory briefing session at the Port of Cape Town on April 30, 2024. The RFP documents are available on the Transnet E-Tender portal.

The City of Cape Town has welcomed the announcement, describing it as "long overdue" and signaling a shift towards improving productivity at the port. James Vos, mayoral committee member for economic growth, highlighted the potential for private sector participation to contribute significantly to exports, job creation, and tax revenue.

Vos emphasized the need for thorough vetting of bidders to avoid past issues and ensure contracts are awarded to reputable entities. He sees this development as a testament to the city's potential for driving real economic growth.

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