Agreement to build bulk liquid terminal in Durban



Published May 24, 2024


Mnambithi Terminals, a chemical shipping, bulk liquid storage and mining company, signed an agreement with Transnet on Thursday to build the first fully black-owned terminal at the Port of Durban.

The terminals will handle liquid bulk import and exports.

Investment in the project is said to be over R1.5 billion and is expected to be completed in the next two years.

The Department of Transport has welcomed the investment and potential for job creation.

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said public-private partnerships are key to helping the economy grow.

“We congratulate Mnambithi and Transnet for their hard work and we know the investment is a major boost that will help us to reposition the Port of Durban as the main port in the southern hemisphere.”

Advocate Michelle Phillips, Transnet Group chief executive, said the agreement with Mnambithi Terminals, a subsidiary of Mnambithi Group, underpins the Transnet National Ports Authority’s quest for transformation at the Port of Durban.

“The new terminal will feature direct rail and road loading – an on-site truck staging area with automated loading systems that will ensure maximum operational efficiencies while alleviating road congestion in the Maydon Wharf precinct.

“With an investment value of R1.3 billion, the liquid bulk facility is set to create over 50 to 100 direct and just over 400 indirect job opportunities for communities surrounding the Port of Durban from the project’s inception phase,” said Phillips.

Sipho Khumalo, from the national Department of Transport, said it is a “huge milestone” in black economic empowerment in the country.

“The maritime sector within the economy of South Africa has an important role to play. I believe the sector has not been fully exploited to its full capabilities in terms of what it can do for the economy.

“I want to challenge more captains of industry to follow the route taken by Mnambithi and try to find ways of ensuring the more than 3 000km coastline we have as a country is used to turn around the economy.”

Khumalo said more terminals are needed to boost the economy.

“The maritime sector ensures we can communicate with the rest of the world and that we receive goods and services.

“It took three years for this agreement to be signed after the Department of Transport issued a Section 79 Ministerial Directive for the development of the Mnambithi Terminal.”

Mnambithi Group chairperson Vusi Mazibuko said the signing of the agreement was a momentous occasion.

“Our mission from the start was to start with a strategy where we ship and stock in the maritime industry. We know this sector is full of possibilities and has potential for growth.

“Through one of the subsidiaries we succeeded in buying a chemical vessel five years ago and through that we have transported over a metric tonne of cargo.”

Mazibuko added: “I hope there will be more entities that will be guided and supported like us.

“We may have reached the signing but this is only the start of the journey and in the next two years the construction phase will commence.

“We hope to create almost 1 000 jobs and provide skills development programmes for the youth and women in the area.”

The Mercury

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