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MoU Signed to Boost Transformation in South Africa’s Ports Sector

by Central News Reporter
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MoU Signed to Boost Transformation in South Africa's Ports Sector

MOU

The Ports Regulator of South Africa (PRSA) and the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The strategic collaboration is set to tackle the sluggish pace of inclusivity and empowerment within the industry.

In what is seen as a responsive effort to the pressing need for economic reform, a joint statement gave clarity on the agreement’s core objectives. “The MoU provides for the exchange of information, strategies, expertise and research related to B-BBEE and transformation,” it detailed. By facilitating this exchange, the partnership underscores the commitment to the sector’s economic transformation.

Highlighting the acute need for the agreement, the statement underlined, “It is intended that the partnership between the PRSA and the B-BBEE Commission will help address the slow pace of transformation.” Port ownership statistics reveal a glaring disparity: “Black Ownership in port terminal operations hovers below 20%, for leases 18%, and 12% for services and facilities. The Ownership by Black Women in the sector is worryingly below 15%.”

The B-BBEE Commission’s National Trends and Status report on B-BBEE for 2022 presented a mixed picture within the broader Integrated Transport sector. While a commendable 58% of Black Ownership by JSE listed entities in 2022, and 25% for Black Women was noted, the Ports sub-sector was evidently trailing behind.

“This demonstrates that an overarching challenge faced by the PRSA and the B-BBEE Commission is the issue of enforcement and accountability for non-compliance with the B-BBEE Act,” the statement illuminated, pinpointing the regulatory gap.

The B-BBEE Commission, already heralded for its leading role in “strengthening of accountability and enforcement” of the B-BBEE Act, is expected to see the MoU as a means to further cement monitoring functions.

“It is anticipated that the collaboration between the B-BBEE Commission and the PRSA will enhance monitoring of transformation activities within the Ports Sector to ensure that black operators and port users benefit in the future,” it was optimistically projected. The MoU articulates that both parties “may from time to time engage in awareness and advocacy programmes concerning B-BBEE.”

The statement articulated the potential impact on enforcement and compliance efforts saying, “It should be possible for example, where the PRSA identifies sub-sectors of the Ports where compliance and enforcement should be strengthened to collaborate with the B-BBEE Commission on research and appropriate interventions required, based on the respective mandates of the two entities.”

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