SMM4, April 2: on April 1, the South African Maritime Safety Agency and the Department of Transport uploaded notice documents on their websites respectively, saying that South African ports continue to be open to all kinds of vessels, but important commodities have priority in the use of ports.
Earlier, South Africa closed the country at midnight on March 26 in order to stop the spread of the new coronavirus in the country. (Fikile Mbalula), South Africa's transport minister, said goods from high-risk countries must be sterilized and no personnel should be allowed to swap and allow "access" to several seaports in South Africa. Port operations will be reduced to a minimum, with priority given to medical and food supplies.
At the same time, the South African Department of Transport document of 25 March mentioned that in order to continue to support basic services while still reducing the contact between employees and others, TPT will operate on the basis of reduced staff, all commodities (minerals) will be closed, and agricultural products (grain, soybean meal, chemical fertilizers and wood chips) are considered an essential service. It will operate on a single berth at Port East London (East London), Richards Bay (Richards Bay) and Durban Agricultural (Durban Agri). In order to handle important groceries and containers, Cape Town Terminal (Cape Town MPT), Richards Bay Terminal (Richards Bay MPT) and Deban Port Terminal (Durban Point MPT) will operate on one berth. East London wharf (East London MPT), Saldania wharf (Saldanha MPT) and Port Elizabeth wharf (Port Elizabeth MPT) and Maydon Wharf wharf (Maydon Wharf MPT) will be closed.
The South African Maritime Safety Agency and the Ministry of Transport posted notification documents on their websites in conflict with documents issued by the Port Authority last week, which showed that commodity terminals across South Africa would be closed for 21 days in order to curb the spread of the new crown virus.
"at present, the government has decided that the functional supply chain of ports across the country will accept all cargo ships loading and unloading at the port," according to the latest notice. "
Information on whether South African ports are open to the transport of goods other than medical and food has also been confirmed.
There is also confusion over whether miners in South Africa, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo can export mineral resources through South African ports. According to customs data, South African ports exported 296 tons of cobalt ore and cobalt concentrate (at 8 per cent grade) and 776 tons of cobalt hydrometallurgical intermediates (at 27 per cent grade) in 2019.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most inland Democratic Republic of the Congo and most of the world's cobalt mining sites, transports cobalt through nearby African ports, including Durban in South Africa and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
According to SMM, at present, the operational efficiency of South African ports is reduced, mainly due to the reduction of staff and the priority of medicine and daily necessities. Pre-booked ships can be negotiated out of port in the near future, cobalt raw materials signed new orders sporadic, the overall port transport impact is relatively small; at present, inland transport is greatly affected, mainly because of the reduction of logistics vehicles, staff, price rise and so on.
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