Cape Town – State-owned delivery corporate Transnet’s goal to extend Cape Town harbour dues through nearly 20 %, introduced on Friday, will make certain that town’s port stays one of the crucial dear on the earth and deal a hammer blow to imports and exports, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) says.
“Transnet will find that prices are determined by buyers not sellers,” CCCI president Geoff Jacobs stated in a remark.
“A few days ago we commented on the City of Cape Town’s defiance of common sense by hiking the price of water during a drought, then keeping it high when it ends. [On Friday] comes the news that Transnet wants to raise Cape Town harbour dues by 19.74 percent.
“This stroke of insanity will make certain that town’s port stays one of the crucial dear on the earth and can deal a hammer blow to imports and exports, with adverse penalties for the Western Cape financial system and its population,” Jacobs said.
Two observations on this “dual financial lunacy” immediately came to mind. Firstly, the decision-makers in both Transnet and the City of Cape Town clearly had no clue about present economic realities. Secondly, they were revealing examples of the differing attitudes to customers between private sector managers and those enjoying employment in the public sector and state-owned enterprises (SoEs).
Private businesses knew customers would go elsewhere if what they sold was unsatisfactory – either on price, quality, or service. Public sector entities, whether municipalities or SoEs, regarded customers as their serfs, compelled to pay whatever they demanded, he said.
The result was that prices had everything to do with their own comfort, and nothing to do with their customers’ needs. SoEs were monopolies, masquerading as public services – anathema to free enterprise, sustainable wealth creation, economic growth, and employment.
“A darkly comedian facet to this tragic scenario is the loud objections to the port tariff will increase voiced through the Cape Town City council’s control, satirically through the usage of good judgment that are supposed to similarly smartly had been carried out to its personal strategy to the cost of home water,” Jacobs said.
A 19.74 percent increase in port charges will be “catastrophic”, according to one highly paid council official. It is based on statistics gathered before the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown damaged the economy. Port tariffs should be reduced in line with international standards. Container cargo dues are 233 percent above the global averages. Terminal handling charges are 117 percent above them. Cape Town’s port is one of the most expensive in the world. It affects every single person buying or selling products.
“All true,“ said Jacobs. ”Every industry within the personal sector applauds those feedback. Would that town council carried out the similar considering to its personal pricing gadget for the charges and levies it imposes on taxpayers.
“As for Transnet, someone should instruct its managers on the meaning of the term ‘public servant’ and, for good measure, explain in words of one syllable that if Cape Town’s port becomes even more expensive, as they clearly intend, then all our exports will become more expensive.
“Our wine markets out of the country will flip to Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia who will likely be best too keen to take over. As for imports which describes the entirety we don’t make ourselves, their costs will pass throughout the roof. The overriding lesson this is that within the personal sector, the client is royalty. In the general public sector, the client is, smartly, now not such a lot — to place it mildly,” Jacobs stated.
African News Agency (ANA)