The South African ports have been overwhelmed with challenges in the past few years, causing delays in operations and financial losses. In 2022, the Container Port Performance Index by the World Bank ranked the port of Durban 341 out of 348 ports in the world and the Port of Cape Town was ranked 344. In November 2023, more than 60,000 containers were reportedly stuck at sea around the port of Durban due to bad weather conditions and equipment failures. Transnet generally pointed to aging equipment as the cause, while others in the industry pointed to underinvestment in strategic infrastructure and a lack of critical maintenance. The Cape Town Port experienced backlogs and delays that cost the fruit industry an estimated R2.5 billion in the 2021/2022 season. In their 2023 interim results, Transnet reported that they are addressing the ports crisis through a focused turnaround plan.

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