Image by Maritime Review Africa

The Transnet National Ports Authority has made a few appointments for various port manager positions including the appointment of Port of Cape Town’s first black female manager, Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana, who takes over the reins from Sipho Nzuza.

Dweba-Kwetana explained that she was still at the port of Ngqura, in Nelson Mandela Bay, and couldn’t comment in detail on the current projects running at the Port of Cape Town.

“The transition shouldn’t be that hard because the team has laid out good systems. Mine will be to improve and pick them up to the standard that I believe they can reach,” said Dweba-Kwetana.

The port currently serves cargoes moving between Europe and the western hemisphere and the Middle East and Australia, especially containers. Transnet’s 2015 port plan shows significant upgrades over the long term, to increase container capacity.

“The container industry has been hard hit by the economic crises, and I’m well aware of the Transnet 2015 port plans to increase container capacity, but the container market will be at a small increase though projections seem to indicate otherwise,” she noted.

Dweba-Kwetana expressed her enthusiasm, and what an honour it is to have been appointed as the first black female to manage the Port of Cape Town.

She explained that her first order of business will be to come up with an operational model for the Port of Cape Town, which is one of the hubs that will deliver governments ‘Operation Phakisa’ – an initiative that aims to exploit South Africa’s strategic location, infrastructure and skills base, to accelerate growth of the marine transportation stream.

This government initiative positions the Western Cape perfectly for ship repair facilities.

“At least R615 million will be invested here over the next five years. Of this, at least R140 million is being invested to refurbish and rehabilitate the Sturrock dry dock, while another R60 million is being spent on repairs at Robinson dry dock. My aim now will be to focus on the facilities and ensure the optimal utilisation of its assets.”

I need the port to be productive… I am an operations person, I can be a strategist, but I am an operations person – I need to be in touch with what is happening on ground level. I have always had and maintained an open door policy and I intend on carrying that through to my new position… I don’t want to be associated with failure,” concluded Dweba-Kwetana.