Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry shocked

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THE Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry was shocked by the last-minute announcement of a 5.9 percent increase in cargo dues, the biggest increase for several years.  

 "In effect the shipping industry and cargo owners have been given one day's notice of the increases and this is not really acceptable," said Ms Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.

The notice of the increase was signed on Friday, March 28, became available to business on Monday, March 31 to be implemented a day later on April 1. "How does one plan and how does one deal with the practicalities of these instant increases?"

Ms Myburgh said the ports had been Transnet's "cash cow" for many years and were without doubt the most expensive ports to use in the world. Research by the previous Port Regulator had confirmed that port costs faced by cargo owners using containers in South Africa were 874 percent higher than the global average.

"This imposes a massive cost burden on business, especially the exporters who ship out their products in containers. These are businesses which create the jobs and the ones we should be helping and not hurting with continuing increases," she said.

Tariffs for dry bulk cargo like coal and iron ore were increased by 8.15 percent while tariffs for marine services were also increased by 8.15 percent.

The National Ports authority applied for an increase of 14.39 percent in September last year.

In recent years the NPA has applied for big increases (up to 18 percent) but they were rejected by the Port Regulator who granted increases from nothing to just four percent.

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Issue 72