The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) has claimed the on-going Transnet strike action at the port of Ngqura, just north of Port Elizabeth, is wasting millions in the local economy.
Transnet strike action
Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) employees have brought import and export work at the port to a standstill over two weeks ago in protest to the way promotions at the port in Ngqura were handed out.
Some truck drivers have reported having to wait up to 18 hours to either pick up or drop off their assigned goods and this has, understandably, had a palpable knock-on effect on the local economy – especially after two weeks.
Transnet had announced that a number of employees have been suspended for being involved in illegal industrial action, but it has done nothing to end the impasse at the port.
“We note that the go-slow action started on 28 June 2019 and thus far no concrete solutions have been communicated by Transnet. We are unsure if Transnet is following the correct legal dispute resolution mechanism to urgently address the matter,” NMBBC president Andrew Muir said.
Local companies may not be able to recover
The fear is that several local companies will not be able to rebound from the strain placed on them by having to effectively halt their operations for the duration of the strike.
“It is doubtful that some of these companies and sectors will be able to recover from these losses in a metro with the highest unemployment rate in the country,” Muir continued.
“The go-slow has contributed to reduced productivity. Furthermore, loss of productivity as shown by the reduced throughput levels at both ports, due to lack of maintenance of the cranes and associated equipment is of great concern.
This has led the organisation to call for government intervention to resolve the dispute before more damage can be done.
“In light of this, we request an urgent intervention by all relevant stakeholders and a faster resolution from Transnet to put an end to this drawn-out matter so that normalised operations can resume as soon as possible,” Muir said.