No houses will be demolished when the development of a dug-out port south of Durban gets underway says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
He said the surrounding community's concerns about their houses being demolished were wrong.
"We will consult with communities meaningfully and genuinely. We hope they will be interested in listening to us," he said.
Gigaba was briefing reporters in Durban on Thursday (6 December) after the Airports Company SA handed the old Durban International Airport site to Transnet for the development.
Gigaba said he met with some residents who would be affected positively or negatively by new port. The residents had voiced displeasure at the manner in which consultations had taken place.
The groups were concerned about the environmental effects, truck congestion and prostitution.
Gigaba said their concerns would be addressed through public hearings in a formal process starting in January.
The proposed R75bn project will be funded by the private sector but is not catered for in Transnet's current R300bn, seven-year capital investment programme to rejuvenate and expand South Africa's ports, rail and pipeline infrastructure.
"We are hoping the private sector comes to the party. We have detected a great deal of interest from the private sector," Gigaba said.
He said in the long term, the existing Durban port would not be able to deal with the increasing volumes of trade.
"South Africa has ambitious plans. Economically, South Africa needs capacity for the future," Gigaba said.
He said this was a long term project which would be developed over a period of 30 to 45 years.
Gigaba said the project was expected to create 64,000 jobs during construction and 28,000 permanent jobs once it was operational.
"Today represents the start of an exciting chapter in South Africa's infrastructure development programme and the critical role state-owned companies, especially those the department of public enterprises, are playing in transforming our economy," he said.
The proposed dug-out port will be built in four phases, with the first phase starting in 2016. It will be operational by 2020.
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