KZN Xmas season in jeopardy with port and road disruption warns KBCC’s Paul Ngema

Kwazulu-Natal, a province that has weathered numerous crises, faces yet another challenge. Emerging from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and the July 2021 riots, which resulted in an estimated R50 billion in damages, and the 2022 floods causing around R17 billion in infrastructure damage, the province now grapples with paralysis at Durban and Richards Bay ports. This has led to significant road congestion, with no immediate solution in sight. Transnet estimates that clearing the backlog in Durban could take until February or March 2024. Further compounding the province’s woes, the northern section of Durban’s golden mile coastal strip remains unsafe due to E.coli, impacting the tourism industry. In an interview with Biznews, Paul Ngema, Chairperson of the Kwazulu-Natal Business Chamber Council (KBCC) and President of the National African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC), expressed concern that the port backlog could result in businesses missing out on the Christmas rush. Ngema also highlighted the deteriorating railway system and its impact on small and medium businesses that heavily rely on this cheaper mode of transport. He warned that the port crisis and resulting road congestion could deter South Africans from visiting KZN beaches for Christmas, potentially leading to a bleak holiday season for the province.
22 Nov 2023 9AM English South Africa Investing · Business News

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