In line with government’s call for a 21-day lockdown of the country in order to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Transnet SOC Ltd has taken the decision to scale down all of our transportation services and operations of non-essential cargo during the state lockdown.
Transnet’s primary concern continues to be the health and safety of its employees and the local communities in which they live and work. The services rendered are also essential to the efficient functioning of the economy, more so in this time.
After consultation with various stakeholders, Transnet has comprehensively assessed its
environment and the impact of its services to South Africa at large, during this regrettable COVID19 era.
The following operations and commodities will be prioritised:
Transnet Port Terminals
(The port terminals are responsible for movement of cargo to and from vessels).
In this part of the business, Transnet has taken a decision to reduce staff in some of the terminals with the exception of operations for Agri-bulk products namely; soya bean meal, fertiliser and woodchips, which will be, serviced on single berths operation at East-London, Richards Bay and Durban Agri terminals.
Break-bulk terminals will also function on single berth operation in order to handle essential breakbulk goods and containers. Break-bulk commodities will be handled at the Port of Cape Town, Richards Bay and Durban multi-purpose terminals. Multi-purpose terminals at the ports of East London, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth and Maydon Wharf in Durban will be closed.
Transnet has also taken a decision to close all automotive terminals.
All containers bringing in essential goods into the country will be serviced using single berth
facilities in some ports. The Durban Container Terminals (DCT) Pier 2 will operate only two berths on reduced staff complement. Other container terminals including the Nqgura, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth will operate on a single berth. Meanwhile, the Cape-Town Multi-Purpose Terminal will also handle containers on a single berth.
All bulk terminals, which handle mineral mining commodities will be scheduled as per demand
from mining customers, subject to approval by the Department of Public Enterprises and
Department of Mineral Resources.
2 Transnet employees working at these terminals (bulk terminals) will be requested to return to work based on the demand by the mining industry. All employees will adhere to the precautionary measures and continue practising strict levels of personal hygiene and ensure that full personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn at all times.
Transnet National Ports Authority
(The ports authority provides port infrastructure to facilitate imports and exports of essential
products through the servicing of vessels).
All ports will remain open with the following operational services prioritised and manned at all
o Port control
o Maritime service
o Security and health services.
Staff complement in the eight ports will be reduced in line with the regulations issued by
Transnet Freight Rail
(Freight rail is responsible for transportation of goods through the rail network across the
Transnet will continue to transport coal to Eskom power stations.
The following en-route trains have been prioritised based on their loads being transported prior to or during the lockdown;
o high value trains,
o trains with perishable goods as well as trains with sensitive goods.
Other rail operations during the lockdown will be provided under following four service levels:
Essential services: include fuel, containers, timber, chemical products, agricultural
products, coal for hospitals and power generation. Transnet’s health train, Phelophepa
will also remain operational.
The following critical inland container terminals will be operational:
City Deep on day shift for 7 days, other inland terminals including Kascon, Pretcon and Belcon to be opened Monday to Friday only. The following inland terminals will be closed: Vaalcon, Bayhead, Catcon, Lohatla, Bloemcon, Deal Party, Kaalfontein and Isipingo.
Enabling Products: Transnet will continue to transport coal as long as there is demand
and availability of the coal railway line. The Ogies to Richards Bay and Centracor (Mafikeng
to Gauteng) coal line will service lime/limestone for water purification and power
generation. These railway lines will also transport soda ash and salt.
Commodities to neighbouring countries and strategic partners: flows of goods to
and from Botswana; Zimbabwe; Maputo; Namibia; Lesotho and eSwatini will be serviced
through a number of railway lines to ensure movement of essential goods to neighbouring
Non-essential services: all transportation of non-essential services through the rail
network including the operation of the Blue Train have been suspended with immediate
(Transnet Pipelines handles the country’s fuel supply from the coast to the mainland).
The biggest depots including Alrode, Waltloo and Witbank will remain operational. The pipeline’s Jameson Park terminal in Heidelberg has available stock for supply of security in Gauteng and surrounding towns. Security at all the depots will remain unchanged.