NPA tightens up on port security

Jul 15, 2003
Author: P&S

The National Ports Authority (NPA) is investing more than R200 million in raising security at South Africaís commercial ports, which constitute national borders.

Mr Donald Kau, spokesperson for the NPA, said inroads have been made with increasing security at the ports, since improvements began in 2002.

Fencing is being constructed around portsí perimeters and operational areas, and access control systems as well as 24-hour surveillance cameras of the latest available technology, will be installed over the next few months.

Investment in security at the Port of East London, will total R28 million in the first phase.

Mr Terry Taylor, spokesperson for the Port of East London, said perimeter fencing for the car hub port, would be completed around August this year. Palisade fencing has been constructed around 99% of the port premises and the fencing of operational areas, such as the tanker berth, C berth and grain elevator, will follow shortly.

The R5 million fencing project includes the construction of a new main gate for the port that will be built at the top of Healy Hutchinson Road on the portís boundary.

East London will be the first port to be protected by 24-hour surveillance cameras. A R15 million CCTV-project will be piloted in East London and at the Port of Richards Bay.

Taylor said the laying of fibre optic backbone cable for the networking of the CCTV project and the access control systems would start in mid-July.

The CCTV-project will place the port and outer anchorage under surveillance. It will monitor and record activities at all terminals, entrances and perimeter fences.

The R5-million access control systems will be implemented after the CCTV project has been completed at the end of October or mid-November this year.

Taylor said with these additional measures, security would be extremely tight, as the security department would monitor all activities within the port, from a central control room, on a 24-hour basis.

ďIt is extremely important to implement security measures that provide NPAís clients with improved protection of their cargo,Ē he added.

The Ports of Cape Town and Richards Bay are also making good progress with stepping up security and have recently constructed palisade fencing around both ports. Richards Bay will improve security at the port entrance while only people in possession of permits will be allowed access to the Port of Cape Town.

Ms Maria Rankin, spokesperson for the Port of Richards Bay, said the perimeter fencing of 6,918 metres cost almost R5 million while the entrance facilities will be upgraded to the value of R5 million.

The upgraded Bayview security access gate will be constructed in Newark Road between the Urania and San Thom Roads intersections from October and will be completed by July next year.

Rankin said these measures would improve existing manual security at the port considerably.

The Port of Durban has constructed a R1.5 million palisade fence along Point Road, the portís boundary and the periphery of the city. The fence has been constructed from itís A berth to the car terminal boundary wall and will be extended around the entire port.

Mr Imraan Bux, project engineer, said the palisade design would allow the public to view port activities while driving down the cityís well-known Point Road.

The NPA is investing R6,7 million in upgrading security at the Port of Port Elizabeth. Construction of a 4,800 meters palisade fence started in mid-June and security posts will be erected at river entrances.

Ms Lize Hayward, spokesperson for the Port of Port Elizabeth, said gates would be built strategically at the portís main entrances and at railway crossings. Construction work is expected to be completed by the end of January 2004.

Mossel Bay will soon invest R1,5 million in port security, as the construction of fencing and security posts are expected to start in August. The port will also be secured with perimeter lighting.

Hayward said the first phase of security improvements at Mossel Bay would be completed by December 2003.

Mr Donald Kau, spokesperson for the NPA, said the progress made with improving security at South African ports was evidence that the NPA was well on its way to comply with the International Maritime Organisationís (IMO) ship and port facility security code.

The IMO adopted the security code after the September 11 attacks on the United States and all member countries have to comply by July 2004.

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