Ricochet News

City calls on Transnet to fast-track relocation of bulk fuel storage and manganese ore export facilities at PE Habour

Jan 11, 2018
City calls on Transnet to fast-track relocation of bulk fuel storage and manganese ore export facilities at PE Habour

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Thursday called on Transnet to fast-track the relocation of bulk fuel storage and ore export facilities at Port Elizabeth Habour.

The call follows a visit by Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip; MMC for EDTA, Andrew Whitfield; MMC for Public Health, Lance Grootboom, and MMC for SRAC, Siyasanga Sijadu, to the Transnet manganese ore export site, which was precipitated by the reported civic outrage at the contamination of air, private property and facilities of neighbouring communities and businesses. 

"Whilst the City recognises the economic importance of both these bulk storage facilities especially the exportation of manganese ore, we believe that the lifespan of the current facilities has expired," said Trollip.

"We will be calling for a full public health and environmental compliance assessment of these facilities in order to protect the interests of the citizens of the city as well as our critical economic growth sectors such as tourism and sports tourism, which are directly linked to a healthy environment and a growing economy."

The Mayor said that the City is committed to working with Transnet to accelerate the relocation of these facilities to the specially and specifically designed Port of Ngqura as soon as possible.

He said that other important advantages of an accelerated relocation are the reduction of heavy ore carrying vehicles congesting the inner City and placing unnecessary strain on our internal arterial roads.

"The relocation will also drastically enhance the aesthetic value of this prime beach and habour front land which has for too long been neglected," Trollip said.

"The City has held a number of high level meetings with the Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama and other senior Transnet officials to discuss the urgency of this relocation and we have informed them that we cannot wait until 2023 for this happen.

"Our visit did expose the fact that the handling of such high volumes of ore in a suburban environment cannot be done with creating harmful dust discharges.

"We will hold Transnet to their undertakings to ensure that all possible dust mitigation practices are being implemented at this site as long as they are exporting ore from this port.

"We will continue to oversight the operations at this port and the relocation process from the PE Habour to Port of Ngqura."