Department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala has hailed the hosting of the inaugural Terminal Operators Conference Africa in KwaZulu-Natal as a major achievement which lends further credence to the Africa Rising narrative.
Zikalala said the conference, set to take place from December 5-6 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.
He said the 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 is the biggest and busiest in the southern hemisphere and handles 64% of the country’s sea borne container traffic. Richards Bay, which is one of the leading coal export terminals in the world, boasts a capacity of 91 million tons per annum.
“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 a R74bn 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,” Zikalala said. 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 Africa.