SA: Cyril Ramaphosa: Address by South Africa's President, at the Newlyn PX Terminal Launch, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (04/04/24)

5th April 2024

SA: Cyril Ramaphosa: Address by South Africa's President, at the Newlyn PX Terminal Launch, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (04/04/24)

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Programme Director;
Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr. Ebrahim Patel;
Premier of KwaZulu/Natal, Ms. Nomusa Dube-Ncube;
Chief Executive Officer of the Newlyn Group, Mr. Rajendra Balmukhun;
Chief Operations Officer of C Steinweg Bridge, Mr. Sheldon Cockcroft;
Managing Director of Access World Africa, Mr. Donovan Bissett;
Staff and workers;
Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good afternoon and welcome.

Today is a great day, marking a great achievement.

The completion and launch of the Newlyn Park Bayhead Rail Terminal project at the Port of Durban is not only a much-needed boost to South Africa’s logistics infrastructure network.

This terminal is also a symbol of recovery and resilience. For the city of Durban, for the eThekwini Metro, for KwaZulu-Natal, and for the country at large. 

Just four years ago we were gripped by the worst public health disaster in modern times in the form of COVID-19, and the country was forced into lockdown to contain its spread.

As we were just emerging from the pandemic’s shadow in 2021, parts of our country, notably KwaZulu-Natal, were the scenes of deadly unrest and an unleashing of violence, arson and mayhem that caused loss of life and cost our economy approximately R 50 billion.

Then, just a year later, in 2022, KwaZulu-Natal was one of the provinces that experienced devastating floods.

We all recall seeing the images of the damage to the Port of Durban at the time, especially in and around Bayhead Road. We know the extensive work and effort it took to restore operations and to get the port and its associated infrastructure up and running again.

These were all significant setbacks, yet the work that had commenced on this terminal continued, and now it is completed.

We can all be immensely proud of what has been achieved here, and of the persevering, pioneering South African spirit that this new terminal embodies. It also illustrates what can be achieved when government and business work together.

The Newlyn Park Bayhead Rail Terminal project was one of the announcements made at the South African Investment Conference in 2019, and it is significant in the context of expanding South Africa’s logistical infrastructure and enhancing our global competitiveness. 

It a multi-product terminal based on global best practice intermodal facility design, and I am told it is the single largest warehouse development in South Africa to date.

The completed site consists of 640 000m2 of warehousing, rail sidings and open storage. The facility has the capability of receiving 7 full block trains of 100 TEU’s each daily. 

The Terminal will facilitate the movement of sea, rail and road cargo through the Port of Durban via a multimodal hub providing for the handling, storage, loading and movement of a variety of cargo type. 

This includes hard and soft commodities in bulk and breakbulk, containerised cargo and project cargo. 

The embedded rail capacity in this terminal will accelerate the movement of cargo from road to rail in line with the objectives of the National Land Transport Framework.

This project is good model of public private partnership. 

The Terminal has been built on land leased from Transnet, and the partnership with Newlyn will assist in improving operational efficiency across the board. 

This precinct will address some of the challenges we have been experiencing in the logistics, infrastructure and network industries that have had a negative impact on economic growth and job creation.

In order for this rail terminal project to deliver full benefits to South Africa for the purpose that it was designed, it has to have trains and slots to be made available to clients. 

This will lead to a significant increase in revenue for Transnet on the Natcor Corridor through the migration of cargo from road to rail.

Aside from the investment of approximately R 3,4 billion, some 4,013 direct construction jobs have been created.

More than 1 000 employees are currently employed full time and this number is expected to grow as the facility handles more cargo.

Much of the investment spend has been on local suppliers and service providers, the bulk of which are in the province. 

Upgrading local port infrastructure is critical to the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, and this new terminal will facilitate the swift movement of goods from South Africa to the continent and beyond.

We also commend Newlyn’s pledge at the 2023 South Africa Investment Conference to invest R 4 billion into the development of a near-zero dust emission manganese back- of-port storage and handling facility project at Coega, as well as in a similar facility for iron ore at Saldanha Bay.

We wish you well with the completion of these projects that will benefit South Africa, established and emerging miners and the communities of the Eastern and Western Cape. 

We recently hosted the Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium where priority infrastructure development projects were announced in port, rail and roads.

I urge the private sector to partner us on these. As I have said before, infrastructure is the flywheel of our economic growth and development.

I commend all who were involved in the construction of this facility.

I would also like to acknowledge C Steinweg Bridge and Access World, two foreign investors in the logistics sector in South Africa who are using this facility, for committing to be part of its exciting future. 

Congratulations once more to Newlyn and Transnet. We have no doubt this world-class facility will play a pivotal role in improving our logistics sector well into the future.

I thank you.