Strike Action in South African Ports

18 May 2010

The Correspondent in Durban, P&I Associates (Pty) Ltd, has advised The London P&I Club of continuing strike action at all commercial ports in South Africa. The strike involves a dispute between Transnet, the operator of all South African ports (the government being the majority shareholder), and Unions over wage increases. The largest impact is at the Port of Durban which is currently at a virtual standstill. The Correspondent reports specifically on the allocation of resources within the Port of Durban as follows:

1) Marine Services Limited berthing and sailing using skeleton staff causing delay to vessels, including vessels entering for bunkers and vessels using non Transnet operated berths.

2) Container Terminals - Operating with a skeleton staff.

3) General Cargo Berths Staff are not working at Transnet berths. Leasehold berths are operating despite alleged intimidation.

4) Car Terminal Staff have so far worked 1 vessel at a time.

The strike has caused a severe back log of operations and as of today (18 May 2010) approximately 30 vessels are anchored off Durban.