Citrus Industry impacted by go slow at Port of Nqgura

The “go-slow” strike action at the Port of Nqgura in Port Elizabeth is costing the local economy millions of rand every day and is negatively impacting the citrus industry in the Gamtoos Valley.

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber president, Andrew Muir said in a letter to Transnet chairman Popo Molefe that they were deeply concerned about the current impasse at the Port where exporting activities had literally ground to a halt.

The Business Chamber says the automotive sector is losing an estimated R15 million worth of production per day due to downtime, while the citrus industry has also been badly affected as they have not been able to transport their perishable goods, putting their international reputation and market share at risk.

It says there are reliable estimates that the go-slow is costing the region’s citrus exporting industry between R 50 and R 100 million per week.

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“It has now been 17 days since the go-slow strike action commenced at the Port of Ngqura and, to date, there has not been any response from either the MEC of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mlungisi Mvoko, or the Premier, to our request for intervention,” said Yusuf Cassim, the Democratic Alliance Shadow MEC for DEDEAT.

“Meanwhile, the situation at Ngqura is crippling the Eastern Cape economy and putting thousands of jobs at risk,” added Cassim.