President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted a virtual meeting on Wednesday evening, 5 April 2023, with Chief Executives from key exporting economic sectors such as mining and minerals, the agricultural and forestry sectors and as well as the automotive and freight forwarding industry representatives. The sectors represent South Africa's largest exporters who are reliant on the country's road, rail and ports infrastructure. President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the proposals presented during the meeting, which are aimed at improving the state of South Africa's national rail and ports.
'We need to take urgent measures to resolve the logistics backlog that continues to undermine economic growth. I deeply appreciate the constructive manner in which all the impacted sectors have approached the resolution of this crisis. Government will consider some of the proposals presented and act on them quickly in order to unlock much needed investments into the economy', says President Ramaphosa.
The interaction with large exporters follows a meeting the President held with members of the Transnet board and executive management at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, on 28 March 2023, which discussed challenges facing the country's logistics system, including the declining performance of the freight rail network. President Ramaphosa directed Transnet to implement reforms swiftly and completely to turn around the crisis in South Africa's logistics system.
Over the course of the coming weeks, government will consider and announce a set of measures that will add impetus to the work that is currently underway to improve rail and port efficiencies, and in line with the government policy direction for the freight transport sector in the White Paper on National Rail Policy and in legislation such as the National Ports Act and the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill that is currently before Parliament.
The President will soon meet with organised labour representatives to concretise a collaborative effort that will be coordinated from the Presidency.