Mother’s advice

In honour of Mothers’ Day on Sunday I will dedicate this post to some good advice that I am sure many mothers have served up – and relate it to a current predicament in the Cape Town Container Terminal.

I remember being advised to “admit when you are wrong and apologise before correcting the mistake” by my mother way back when I was still squabbling with my sister. In those days my sister and I could not move forward without one or the other realising their mistake and rectifying the situation through a simple acknowledgment thereof.

So it is disappointing to return from a morning in the company of Transnet’s Executive Board to celebrate the milestones being made in the expansion of the Cape Town Container Terminal without so much as a nod in the direction of the decision to convert the terminal to RTG’s (Rubber Tyred Gantries).

Well, actually that’s not entirely accurate. Both Willie van Dyk and  Brian Molefe referred to the decision in their presentations to the Minister of Public Enterprises, customers and the media. What they failed to point out was the mounting criticism of the decision to deploy wind-sensitive equipment in a port plagued by the South Easter during the summer months – some of the busiest months for the port.

We covered this issue in depth in the last issue of the magazine which cited a number of sources that clearly indicate that the blanket denial by Transnet that the RTG’s may not be the most suitable equipment in Cape Town, is beyond comprehension.

Leaving the function this morning I chatted to a representative from one of the big shipping lines using the port. He pointed out that we lost 200 hours to wind during this critical period this year as compared to only 90 hours over the same period last year. Transnet points out that we’ve had more wind and therefore shifts the blame to mother nature, but some still believe that this indeed the mother of all mistakes.

And so many still hope that this mistake will be acknowledged and some action taken because a newly expanded port with significantly improved capacity is useless without the operational infrastructure to take full advantage of it.

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