Since the commencement of the national lockdown on 27 March 2020, the Port of Mossel Bay has been playing a critical role in the provision of essential services – with special emphasis on the fishing and oil and gas sectors.

Despite the uncertain times, the port has successfully handled seven Liquid Bulk vessels collectively carrying 168 587 kilolitres of liquid bulk cargo and 13 Break Bulk vessels carrying 908 tons of cargo. All safety operations protocols prescribed under the national lockdown regulations were observed.

Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, said, “The handling of vessels during this period not only indicates the level of confidence that vessel and cargo owners and other role players have in the port’s capabilities, but also indicates the Port’s commitment towards ensuring that the South African economy survives the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Fishing operations, which form part of Break Bulk commodities at the port, are among South Africa’s critical business continuity services aimed at ensuring food security for all citizens.

“To this end, the port will continue to show unwavering support of all logistics operations related to the provision of food as a necessity during the pandemic. Port tenants who are in the fishing industry are following guidelines outlined in the Disaster Management Act and the port is in full support of their entire value chain,” said Tshikalange.

The port’s performance is in line with its value proposition, which is focused on meeting customer demand with exceptional performance as it serves the petroleum, fishing and tourism industries in support of sustained economic development in one of the most pristine environments in Africa.

“Continued operations during the lockdown could not have been achieved without the selflessness, commitment and passion of departments such as the office of the Harbour Master, Marine, Finance, Operations, SHE, Procurement and Security,” said Tshikalange.

“I would also like to express my gratitude and appreciation to our customers and stakeholders for the overwhelming support and collaborative efforts we receive from each one of them during these unprecedented times. We have dedicated teams in the port and some working remotely that are here for you. This moment reminds us that we’re all connected like never before,” he said.

He said the Port of Mossel Bay will continue to monitor national guidelines closely to ensure the best practices for maintaining a safe, secure, and uninterrupted operation throughout the duration of this global crisis.

He thanks port users for their compliance thus far and reaffirmed the port’s commitment to partnership with them.