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Gigaba: Cash injection for Richard's Bay

Dec 07 2011 17:17 Sapa

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Johannesburg - The department of public enterprises will invest R3bn in the Richard's Bay Terminal (RBT) in KwaZulu-Natal in the next five years, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday.

The money would be invested in loading equipment, offloading equipment, conveyor belts and other handling equipment, Gigaba said in a statement.

"An efficient port system enhances our national reputation and becomes part of the port network for a range of shipping lines, creating competition and choice for shippers," he said.

RBT is a port located in Richard's Bay harbour and contains 21 berths used for offloading and loading ships.

Gigaba said infrastructure rollout was pivotal to stimulating the global economy and creating employment.

"(Infrastructure development) is vital for industrialisation... and it is vital for the establishment of social cohesion through facilitating shared growth and the sharing of wealth," he said.

The Richard's Bay Coal Terminal, a section of RBT, would also be expanded, said Gigaba.

"We intend expanding the coal export line to over 81 million tonnes per annum by 2016.

"This expansion will involve the migration of Eskom's domestic coal from road to rail, the establishment of the Waterberg rail, port expansion and capacity allocation to junior miners," he said.

Gigaba said Richard's Bay had immense potential for development and that big business in particular could harness and help to stimulate the local economy.

The Richard's Bay Coal Terminal is the single largest export coal terminal in the world.

The 276 hectare site has a quay 2.2km long with six berths and four ship loaders with stockyard capacity of 8.2 million tonnes.

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