KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, says the Terminal Operators Conference (TOC) – set to take place in December – will pave the way for investment into the oceans economy.
“The conference augurs well for the province’s growth aspirations of using its two world-class deep water ports of Durban and Richards Bay to bolster its oceans economy,” said the MEC.
The conference will take place over two days from 5 – 6 December at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre. It will bring together experts and investors involved in logistics, liner shipping, ports, terminals, inland transport and equipment manufacturers to discuss improving trade flows across the African continent.
MEC Zikalala has hailed the hosting of the inaugural TOC in KwaZulu-Natal as a major achievement, which also lends further credence to the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative.
“The TOC is an ideal platform for KwaZulu-Natal to showcase to the world the vast array of investment opportunities and capabilities on offer at its world-class ports which also have an established history as the gateway into the rest of Africa.
“The conference will afford us an opportunity to talk about the investment opportunities that have been created by these upgrades,” said the MEC.
The world-class trade exhibition and networking conference comes at an opportune time, coinciding with big-ticket investment undertakings in the country. These investments are expected to expand the capacity of South Africa’s major commercial ports to support the projected increases of cargo volumes.
The City of Durban has already seen a R74 billion investment into the new King Shaka International Airport and terminal facilities.
The Durban Container Terminal (DCT) is the biggest and busiest in the southern hemisphere and currently handles 64% of the country’s seaborne container traffic. Richards Bay, which is one of the leading coal export terminals in the world, boasts a capacity of 91 tonnes per annum.