Members are well aware of the very inconvenient and costly delays at the Durban port.

 

We have discussed this before in our newsletters.The inconvenience and high costs being borne by importers have now persisted for over a full year.

 

A seemingly successful workshop held with DAFF on this issue has yielded nothing.

 

They have not,as promised,ramped up their staff complement in Durban, and Cape Town is now also showing early signs of distress,and,without serious corrective action,is set to follow the Durban fiasco.

 

Releases are taking much longer than promised and lab results are contradictory,reflecting differences in equipment sensitivities and/or cross contamination in inferior and faulty sample harvesting processes and procedures.

 

In simple English,the numerically insufficient staffing as well as the existing infrastructure and resources are not conducive to adequately coping with the high volumes of product moving through Durban,something DAFF has always been well aware of.They promised to fill all staffing gaps by early in 2017,but did not keep this promise.

 

As you know,DAFF also discarded its 2014 SOP which made provision for random sampling,and reverted back to the 2011 SOP (in Durban only) and then instituted comprehensive sampling of all products entering the port,without adequate staffing,infrastructure,sample harvesting and laboratory testing.

 

We had a meeting with DAFF top management on 28th July in which all major issues were discussed,including the KZN ports situation.

With regards to this issue a further meeting has now been scheduled for September in order to reach agreement on all the major contentuous issues and thus attempt to avoid a legal dispute.