Exporters are urged not to send their trucks to the Durban port.
In a press statement this afternoon (Wednesday, 13 April), Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association, says authorities in KwaZulu-Natal have requested that all freight movement towards the port be withheld if possible until the disruptions caused by heavy rain and flooding have been cleared.
“There are already long queues of trucks along the N3. The Marianhill toll plaza has a backlog of 10 km all the way to Hammarsdale and the problem is that (according to the Road Traffic Inspectorate) local communities are now targeting the trucks.”
Access roads around the port have been damaged, container yards, truck depots and trucks themselves have been flooded and damaged, and the area is in a disaster state at the moment, he says.
“Logistics operations will be impacted and there will be delivery disruptions for goods being imported. The association has advised members to delay any departures towards Durban, and to find depots and safe parking areas along the way.
“Where possible, members have been requested to assist one another to get any vehicles off the road and to secure holding areas until the logistics chain is up and running again.”
Kelly has assured South Africans that no foreseeable shortages in foodstuffs and fuel are expected.
Canegrowers Association ‘doing all it can to help’
Meanwhile, the SA Canegrowers Association says it is extremely concerned about the rain that ranged from 300 mm to 514 mm in some areas and had a devastating impact on those parts of the province.
“The current rainfall is above normal and has caused extensive damage to infrastructure, sugarcane fields, farm dams, roads, bridges, electricity supply and internet,” says SA Canegrowers spokesperson Kabelo Kgobisa.
“SA Canegrowers has also received reports that one mill so far has sustained extensive damage as a result of the flooding. Given that milling capacity was already a problem for the industry, long-term damage to this facility will have a significant impact on growers, increasing the quantity of cane that is not processed due to a lack of milling capacity.”
“SA Canegrowers will do all that it can to support growers at this difficult time. We are working with our members, via our regional offices, to determine the extent of the damage and quantify the likely losses. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those in the province who have been affected by the current flooding.”
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