Speaking at a shipping stakeholder's briefing in Durban, SAMSA Board Member, Ms Sekabiso Molemane stated that in the beginning of 2019 the Authority hoped that by this time of the year they would have 15 ships registered and they would have dealt with the tariffs issues. However, she argued that "we are still where we were two years ago."
Moreover, she added that systems development at SAMSA, which both the agency and industry had identified as necessary to strengthen the effective performance of the organization, have been experiencing challenges, except the ship registry development.
Another problem was that issued that could have been dealt with in a short period of time took longer than necessary, resulting to time loss.
In the meantime, the South African Association of Ship Owners and Agencies (SAASOA) denounced the country's poor progress towards improving major ports cargo handling capabilities, citing a seeming apparent indifference by port authorities in addressing the matter.
SAASOA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Besnard further commented that
Without a doubt, it is not something that has happened overnight. It has built up over time and I can safely say it started in 2014. But it appears to be overlooked or ignored and the situation has simply worsened. It is not a situation that can be sorted out overnight. It will certainly take a few years and a lot of money to get us back on track to where we were before.
Additionally, the country's Ports Regulator noted that a major highlight on tariffs in 2019 was a 20% reduction on export containers, intended to enhance the competitiveness of local goods in the international market even as it would impact overall revenue for ports authorities.
Fakir supported that the country’s ports could perform much better in cargo handling than is currently the case, citing the Colombian model as a good example of shared ownership between the state and the private sector.