Transnet CEO Brian Molefe. Picture: Gallo Images
Business Unity SA (Busa) has welcomed a new port tariff structure that could mean a cut of 40 percent in the tariffs on exported containers in the near future.
"If taken together with the recent decision by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) to only grant Eskom half the tariff increase it was requesting, these are modest steps in the right direction to limit the damage caused to the South African economy by excessive increases in administered prices in recent years," Busa said in a statement on Thursday.
Busa hoped the potential reduction in the port tariffs would help to make South Africa's exports more competitive and that these advantages could be extended to other sectors, such as agriculture and agro-processing.
The decisions on administered prices needed to be better co-ordinated in future to minimise the cost of doing business in South Africa, Busa said.
On Wednesday, Transnet CEO Brian Molefe said the proposed tariff restructuring was imperative to encourage beneficiation and bring Transnet's pricing strategy in line with government's economic policy and the National Development Plan.
It would see container cargo dues go down by 48 percent and those on dry bulk increase by 68 percent, he told the National Assembly's trade and industry portfolio committee.
Transnet's tariff application for 2013/14 also proposes imposing a minimum export cargo tariff of R6 a ton on all dry bulk and break bulk shipments. It shows that currently container shipment accounted for 52 percent of the Transnet National Ports Authority's (TNPA) revenue, and dry bulk for 18 percent.
Under the new regime, each would make up about a third of revenue.