Flooding: South Africa’s Durban Port Reopens After Wreckage

Flooding: South Africa's Largest Port Reopens After Wreakage (News Central TV)

Reports indicate that the Durban Port in South Africa, which was shut down last week due to severe floods, is fully operational, and a backlog of thousands of containers will be cleared in five to six days, according to the country’s public enterprises minister.

Recall that News Central last week reported that severe flooding in the KwaZulu-Natal region, which has claimed over 300 lives, halted activities in the Durban Port.

The Durban port is one of the busiest shipping terminals in Africa and a key hub for exports like metals and agricultural commodities and imports like fuel.

Scientists predict that as the Indian Ocean warms due to human emissions of heat-trapping gases, the southeastern coast of Africa is becoming increasingly prone to intense storms and floods. They predict that the trend would deteriorate drastically in the following decades.

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Refrigerators, logs, and debris ended up in the port after the floods, Minister Pravin Gordhan said in an online conference on Tuesday, but that after 72 hours of dredging, most of the debris had been cleared.

Trucks could now access the port terminals, which were working at 60% to 100% capacity, and there was no concern of fuel shortages because the state logistics business Transnet’s pipeline was operational, he said.

Talking about chrome, ferrochrome and iron ore specifically, Gordhan said exports were happening at a “reasonable” level, given the damage that had occurred, and that exports should improve in the coming days.

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Ebrahim Patel, the trade and industry minister, stated that problems with goods movement were transferring from the Durban port, where significant progress had been made, to the logistics of moving cargo to Gauteng province, the country’s economic hub, where Johannesburg is located.

In a speech to the nation on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized the importance of the Durban port to the country’s economy as a whole, announcing that his cabinet had declared a national state of calamity to deal with the problem. find out more

The floods, which are among the worst to hit KwaZulu-Natal province in recorded history, have killed more than 440 people, displaced others, and damaged infrastructure worth more than 10 billion rand ($674.88 million).

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Hundreds of people are still missing, and search and rescue operations are ongoing, though the prospects of locating people more than a week after the rains began to pummel the province’s east coast are dwindling.

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