The 5,97% tariff will enable TNPA to achieve revenue of R12,185 billion versus the R12,321 billion applied for. “Albeit lower it will still ensure that the Authority is sustainable and provide the financial space to ensure that it’s R4,05 billion capital programme included in the application could be fully implemented,” said Fakir.

For the 2017/18 financial year all cargo dues will increase by 6% except marine services and related tariffs that will increase by 7.9%. Full container cargo dues are to increase by 4.9% and all RoRo (automotive) tariffs will increase by 3.9%.

A substantial R593 million was used from the Excessive Tariff Increase Margin Credit (ETIMC) in order to keep the increase in port tariffs to below inflation. Had the ETIMC not been used the tariffs could have increased by over 12,5%, said Fakir.

The Ports Regulator Record of Decision (ROD) handed to TNPA’s Chief Financial Officer Abdul Mohammed included an incentive for South African flagged ships. This incentive provides for a 30% discount on all marine tariffs, excluding ship repair and cargo dues, for existing commercial South African flagged cargo vessels as well as those registered in 2016/17 until the end of March 2019. Vessels registered in the 2018/19 year will receive a 10% discount on marine tariffs.

In receiving the ROD Mohammed said that the relationship between TNPA and the Ports Regulator was improving and that the receipt of the ROD on December 1 was a milestone achievement in the history of these decisions. In 2015 the ROD was delivered in February and in 2014 it was received at the start of April.

The reduction applies to vessels registered as part of chapter 4 part 1 of the Ships Registration Act (58 of 1998) and excludes all small vessels and all fishing vessels as defined in the Merchant Shipping Act and all non-cargo working vessels.

TNPA had put considerable thought into the 8,2% average tariff increase application made in August, said Mohammed. He accepted that since then factors affecting the tariff may have changed and the ROD and the updated factors would be taken into consideration by TNPA. The outcome of the ROD helped TNPA forge ahead with its Market Demand Strategy.

TNPA’s submission to the Ports Regulator included indicative tariffs of 25.11% for April 1 2018 to March 2019 and 9.54% for the 2019/2020 financial year.

This is the last tariff application in terms of the current multi-year tariff methodology and the Regulator has already started a public consultation process to update the methodology. Public consultation in October led to vibrant debate and sharing of important ideas towards a new methodology and submissions proposing changes have already been received from ports users.

The draft new methodology is expected to be published for public comment early next year and the process is expected to be finalized by the end of March 2017.