11 August 2020 - NW1542
Mey, Mr P to ask the Minister of Transport
(1)Whether any arrangements were made to receive goods not considered as essential on ships already in transit to South African ports at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown; if not, (a) why not and (b) what was the estimated loss to the economy; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether any ships were denied entry at any South African port; if so, what (a) are the relevant details, (b) goods were not allowed to be unloaded during this time at each port respectively, (c) were the reasons for such decisions and (d) was the estimated loss to the economy; (3) whether he will make a statement on the matter?
Directions issued in terms of Regulations 10(7) of the Directions made in under Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act,2002(Act No.57 of 2002. Measures to address prevent and combat the spread of Covid-19 in the Sea Ports, the Minister of Transport Hon FA Mbalula approved the
directions on how the Commercial Ports of South Africa would operate during the lock down and
The purpose of the Directions were to:
(a) The prohibition of the cruise ships calling at any of the seaports(expect the cruise ships that were already on the radar of Marine Security Coordination Centre-MSCC) and those that were solely calling to take bunkers and consumables and lastly the cruise ships that were coming disembark South Africans)
(b) To improve hygiene control sterilization facilities on ships, port facilities operated by licensed operators, off-shore cargo handling facilities, ship repair facilities, provider the port services, port terminal operators and licensed port operations
(c) Implementation of a tracking, tracing and monitoring system at sea ports and reporting.
During the lock down all commercial ports remained opened for commercial purposes and only two ports that remained closed for the purposes of disembarkation of South Africans and crew change and those two ports were Port of Mossell Bay and Port Saldanha. All goods on board the ships were discharged in an in-discriminatory manner for both essentially and non-essential goods. Once the goods were on the port terminals they would then be sorted in terms of essential would stacked at the Customs approved warehouse and shipping line’s warehouses in order to make way for the essential goods.
(2) There were no commercial ships that were denied entry into the commercial ports of South Africa except for the crew change and even the cruise ships were allowed to call in for bunkering services and disembarkation of South Africa that were returning home. The imports and exports remained opened during the hard lock down and goods as such were allowed to be discharged at the ports of discharged throughout the country.
(3) The above response answers the question adequately and a member statement in this regard is not deemed necessary