Sunday, June 17, 2007

DA calls for debate around alleged Spoornet capacity shortages

By Odette Ismail
17 June 2007

The DA says reports that Spoornet has been neglecting the agricultural sector in allocating transport capacity allegedly because mass transport of mining commodities is more profitable are of great concern.

A DA statement reveals that Spoornet was only able to transport 60% of the 418 044 tons in grain produce after producers wanted transport for over 500 000 tons.

The DA’s Dr Manie Van Wyk says that these constraints arose despite agriculture making up a miniscule of 6% of annual export tonnage. He adds that farmers would then have to make use of road transport which will add to the expenses in producing these commodities.

“The situation seems to have degenerated sufficiently for Spoornet to at long late relinquish some government control and allow the private sector some opportunity to invest in improving efficiencies on some of the minor lies. “ says Van Wyk.

However he says it is still a long time before public-private partnerships will be able to boost the country’s transport capacity. “South Africa needs to grow it’s economy so that more people may be employed.” says Van Wyk.

The DA will send a letter to the public enterprises portfolio committee chairperson, to request that this matter is debated.

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