Mpumalanga Province Freight Data Bank > Maritime > Overview

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The Maritime sector serves as a strategic freight-logistics platform earmarked to facilitate trade (i.e. import and export of goods) of high volume and tonnage cargoes for regional and national economic growth. South Africa's port system consists of eight (8) ports and is based on complementary between older and newer ports. Transnet National Ports Authority of South Africa (TNPA)-a subsidiary of Transnet is the landlord authority of the eight commercial ports; and is responsible for the spatial and infrastructural planning, provision and day-to-day management of the ports on behalf of the State as charged under the National Ports Act (Act No. 12) . NPA is not responsible for cargo operations from ship to shore; however, it is for provision of appropriate site conditions for the efficient operation of all terminals. Transnet Port Terminals (another Transnet subsidiary) is the main terminal operator in the ports.

Although ports are the focus, they cannot be viewed in isolation. Critical to their planning and sustainability is to embrace factors and issues beyond their physical boundaries and integrate security and cost-effective performance measures in the entire logistics chain.

Institutional Arrangements and Parameters

Diagram 2: Organizational Structure of Transnet and Business Units Source: Transnet 2010

The Port Authority's core responsibilities are to do the following:

  • Plan, provide, maintain and improve port infrastructure
  • Provide and coordinate marine-related services
  • Provide port services including management of port activities and port regulatory functions
  • Provide navigation aids to assist the navigation of vessels within port limits and along the coast.

NPA operates under the guidance of a three-tier strategy which aims to:

  • Create infrastructure capacity ahead of demand;
  • Improve port efficiency; and
  • Enhance the port systems position as gateways for international, regional and domestic trade.

Regulatory Framework and Protocols influencing TNPA:

Commercial ports operate within a port legal framework uniquely designed to promote safe navigation, operation and management of ports and their fragile environments for today and future generations. The NPA Act which came into effect November 26, 2006 rests on numerous legislations and regulations such as the Constitution, Environmental Management Acts, International Maritime Organization (IMO) security protocols, etc.

These applicable acts and protocols and respective links are provided below for more detailed investigation should the reader have interest. Other significant protocols such as Port Rules, the Harbour Master's Written Instructions and Guidelines for Agreements, Licenses and Permits can be located at the following address:

  • National Ports Act (Act No. 12)
  • Port Regulations Promulgated by Minister of Transport in terms of section 80 (1) of the NPA Act came into effect November 23, 2007 (Gazette No. 30486).
  • Environmental Management Acts
  • IMO-ISPS code (Part A and Part B)
Port Service Overview

Source TNPA 2010 Transport Forum Conference March 2010

The MCLI, on their website, has this to say about the ports within the corridor.