THE Eastern Cape is earmarked to be the energy hub of South Africa, Transnet chief executive Tau Morwe confirmed at the Port and Maritime Conference in Nelson Mandela Bay yesterday.
This comes after Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas announced plans earlier this year for wind, hydro, biofuels, nuclear and shale gas projects.
Morwe’s speech briefly touched on the issue and highlighted that Transnet had prioritised all projects to do with the transformation of the province into an energy hub.
“This is what has been highlighted by the Department of Energy and we will support the project all the way,” he said.
Despite investment into energy, he said the main functions of the three ports would remain the same, with the Port Elizabeth port being the automotive hub for sub-Saharan Africa, East London the diverse car port with state-of-the art car terminals, and Ngqura as the leading trans-shipment hub of Africa.
“Plans are afoot and it will take time. In addition to this, we believe in making the ports open to the public. The admin building that is scheduled to be built at Coega will be the first in South Africa that will have all roleplayers from Transnet and tourism under one roof.
“This building will be open to the public and encourage interaction.
“Eventually we want to make the ports more accessible to the public but this will fall in line with security protocols,” he said.
Morwe said he had already identified some issues highlighted at the conference, and vowed to try to resolve these problems with help from his Transnet team.
“There are problems everywhere but for us it is a matter of identifying and then solving them.
“This is a brainstorming meeting. We want the public and business to come forward and work with us to build the maritime sectors. We can only do this by working together.”