The MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Sihle Zikalala has hailed the hosting of the inaugural Terminal Operators' Conference Africa (TOC) in KwaZulu-Natal as a major achievement which also lent further credence to the ‘Africa Rising' narrative.
Zikalala said the conference, set to take place over two days on 5-6 December at Durban's Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, augured 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.
MEC Zikalala added that this world-class trade exhibition and networking conference had come at an opportune time, coinciding with big-ticket investment undertakings in the country to expand the capacity of its major commercial ports to support the projected increases of cargo volumes.
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.
"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 City of Durban for instance, which has a critical role to play in the trade landscape of the Southern African region as its main cargo container gateway, has already seen an R74 billion investment into the new King Shaka International Airport and terminal facilities. The conference will afford us an opportunity to talk about the investment opportunities that have created by these upgrades," added Zikalala.
The conference 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.
Issued by Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs