President Jacob Zuma will today launch the multi-billion rand Port of Ngqura in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The launch of the port takes place just a week after the President officially opened the Dube Trade Port in Durban.
Both projects were outlined in the State of the Nation Address in which the President unveiled a major infrastructure development programme which he personally leads through the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordination Commission.
The Port of Ngqura has been under construction for the last 12 years and has been integrated with the planning of the Coega Industrial Development Zone.
The president is expected to reiterate government's commitment to economic growth and job creation
With the change of emphasis for Ngqura towards container handling, government wants to position the port as a trans shipment hub for the sub-Saharan Africa and Western Indian Ocean regions. According to Public Enterprises department, the Port Ngqura container port expansion multi-billion rand project, will significantly complement this initiative.
Transnet has already committed over R20 billion for basic port infrastructure, container terminals, cargo berths, manganese export terminal, and liquid bulk terminals. Also prioritised by Transnet is the Ngqura-Gauteng rail corridor which according to government, will go a long way in integrating the Eastern Cape into the national economy.
The president is expected to reiterate government's commitment to economic growth and job creation. This could be encouraging to this province which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.