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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Watch: Technical problem at Bulk Operations blamed for Tuesday’s Bayhead traffic jam

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Some Durban motorists woke up to heavy traffic congestion in Umbilo and surrounding areas as trucks occupied the bulk of the roads.

Metro police spokesperson Supt Parboo Sewpersad said the issue began on Monday night.

“The bulk operations — side tippers — had a technical problem last night. As a result, traffic was backed up on the road. We redeployed more resources to alleviate congestion — it’s now working and open,” he said.

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While tipper trucks continued to partially occupy the Umbilo, South Coast, and Bayhead Roads throughout the day, traffic was moving albeit slowly.

The area surrounding the Durban port has been dogged by traffic congestion caused by trucks queueing to offload and load at the port.

Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) said the port of Durban decongestion task team was looking into ways of alleviating the traffic.

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In March, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) piloted its truck booking system that predetermines the number of slots available for each hour and customers choose their preferred slots.

Port of Durban general manager, Moshe Motlohi, said the system has had a positive impact.

The task team’s research shows there is an urgent need to highlight and reinforce the correct behaviour among truck drivers.

Motlohi said truck owners will be requested to declare whether they belong to any formal industry association.

“We want to have an all-inclusive approach in engaging independent players as well as trucking companies that belong to the two big harbour carriers’ associations. We will allocate equitable attention to these companies and associations so that we have a shared view of how we can all work together.”

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He said this would help in gathering intelligence on trucking companies and truckers, including a record of behaviour.

“In as much as the port is working 24/7, some of the businesses dependent on the port are not really geared towards that. Hence you will have these peaks when everybody is trying to chase the narrow window that is called normal business hours. So, we have looked at how we can sensitise port users and make them aware of opportunities outside these normal business hours,” he said.

Sue Moodley, chair of the Harbour Carriers division within the SA Association of Freight Forwarders, said transporters would still have freedom of choice in terms of whether they wished to align themselves with any association.

Moodley added that the harbour carriers division would continue to engage and provide feedback on the various workstreams which report to the decongestion task team.

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