Transnet National Ports Authority

Transnet national ports authority is one of five operating divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd​​​

The national ports authority  is responsible for the safe, effective and efficient economic functioning of the national port system, which it manages in a landlord capacity.

The national ports authority provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight commercial seaports in South Africa. It operates within a legislative and regulatory environment created by the National Ports Act 2005 (Act No. 12 of 2005). 


In line with the provisions of the National Ports Act, the core functions of the national ports authority are as follows:

to plan, provide, maintain and improve port infrastructure;
to provide or arrange marine-related services;
to ensure the provision of port services, including the management of port activities and the port regulatory function at all south African ports; and
to provide aids to navigation and assistance to the maneuvering of vessels within port limits and along the coast.

The National Ports Act creates a dual role for the National Ports Authority whereby it is responsible for the port regulatory function at the ports - i.e. controlling the provision of port services through licensing or entering into agreements with port operators to ensure that efficient port services are provided.

  • Richards Bay
  • Durban
  • Saldanha
  • Cape Town
  • Port Elizabeth
  • East London
  • Mossel Bay
  • Ngqura (Coega) in the Eastern Cape
Eight of the country’s major seaports are controlled and managed by NPA

The National Ports Act also establishes the Ports Regulator of South Africa who is charged with the responsibility of exercising economic regulation of the ports system in line with government’s strategic objectives;

promoting equity of access to the south African commercial seaports and to the facilities and services provided by these ports;
monitoring the activities of Transnet National Ports Authority to ensure that it performs it functions in accordance with this Act;  and
hear complaints and appeals under the National Ports Act.

The national ports authority’s service offering is targeted at mainly port users (which include terminal operators, shipping lines, ship agents, cargo owners and clearing & forwarding agents). As such, it manages the eight commercial seaports along South Africa’s 2 954-km coastline.  These ports are Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Saldanha. 


Its service offering is divided mainly in two categories: (1) the provision of port infrastructure; and (2) the provision of maritime services. Maritime services include dredging, aids to navigation, ship repairs and marine operations.  Port infrastructure is provided in five commodity sectors:



Containers / TEUs

Dry bulk [such as coal, iron ore, manganese, sugar, chrome ore, copper, lead, woodchips]
Liquid bulk [such as petroleum products, chemicals, vegetable oils]
Break-bulk [such as fruit, steel, scrap steel, Ferro alloys, pig iron, fish & fish products]; and
The automotive sector.

In view of evolving developments in the maritime industry, the National Ports Authority seeks to continue to enhance its role in facilitating trade, influencing growth through the provision of port infrastructure capacity ahead of demand; and aligning its core activities to changing market dynamics.

The National Ports Authority has developed a three-tier strategy aligned with TRANSNET’s Four-point Growth Strategy, with an emphasis on providing port infrastructure capacity; efficient port and port operations management; and enhancing the ports’ geographical positioning as a leading gateway for trade emanating from the eastern and western seaboards.

The strategy aims to meet the growth demands of the South African port system and focus on delivery in three main areas:

Timely delivery of capital investment projects to sustain and increase existing port infrastructure and marine capacity;
Improved efficiency in port services to promote productivity; and
Revenue growth and cost-effectiveness.

Transnet national ports authority handled 188 million tonnes of cargo and 13 000 vessels called at the eight South African commercial seaports for the period April 2009 to March 2010. 

Business facilities and resources

Key basic infrastructure facilities-Berths and Channels

19 container berths;
36 dry-bulk berths;
29 break-bulk berths;
13 liquid-bulk berths; and
8 entrance channels with supporting breakwaters, turning basins, networks and utilities.

Key maritime resources

26 tugs;
9 pilot boats;
2 pilot helicopters;
7 work boats;
4 dredgers; and 3 survey boats.​

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Contact Details
Communications and Media
Tel: +27 11 351 9001
Fax: +27 11 351 9007
Physical Address
National Ports Authority
30 Wellington Road