The National Ports Authority has been set up as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Transnet in terms of the National Ports Act 12 of 2005.
In a statement, the presidency described the development as representing a “significant reform of the transport sector that will enable the modernisation and transformation of South Africa’s ports system”.
The presidency added that the establishment of the new subsidiary will meet the intentions of the act to create an independent ports authority.
Port revenues will be reinvested in port infrastructure and terminal operators will be treated “fairly and equally” facilitating increased private sector participation in terminal operations.
The presidency emphasized that the state will “remain the sole owner of all port infrastructure through the National Ports Authority, as South Africa’s ports are strategic national assets that belong to the South African people”.
Speaking at the establishment of the National Ports Authority, president Ramaphosa declared that a key part of addressing the challenges in South Africa’s ports is to “create a clear separation between the roles of the infrastructure owner, which is the Transnet National Ports Authority, and the terminal operator, which is Transnet Port Terminals”.
“The functional and legal separation of these roles, which are currently operating divisions of the same company, will enable each to be fulfilled more independently and with greater efficiency”, he said.
The president emphasized that “state ownership of the ports remains our policy and we will not compromise on it”.
He added that the National Ports Authority and its assets will remain under the ownership of the state.