DRC boosts Walvis port

… as 400 bakkies will transit through port annually

• By Hilary Mare

Aconsignment of approximately 400 brand new bakkies is expected to be exported via the Port of Walvis Bay annually to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namport’s acting executive: commercial services, Tana Pesat has said.

This timely boost comes after RL SHIPPING SARL was awarded a contract from the Toyota DRC exclusive dealer SFCE CFAO Group to transit their regular fleet of brand new vehicles from the African distribution platform in Zeebruge (Belgium) to Lubumbashi and Kolwezi DRC using Walvis Bay for transit.

“The Namibian Ports Authority remains the ports of choice for vessels to make use of as it not only offers its cliental fast services but also safe storage facilities at the convenience of its clients,” Pasat said further highlighting that last week, another vessel carrying 355 vehicles called on the port.

“The Helios Ray RoRo Vessel called the Port of Walvis Bay to discharge 355 vehicles destined for various local and across the border customers and out of these, 52 brand new pickup Toyota Hilux vehicles were destined for CFAO Motors RDS, BP 59 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The consignment of these new vehicles to DRC comes after the successful pilot run of a similar operation that took place late last year when 25 previously owned vehicles were delivered to CFAO, the client opted to increase the cargo to the current 53 vehicles,” Pasat said.

The other vehicle units are destined for local and various SADC markets such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana.

Helios Ray is a Vehicles Carrier built in 2015 and currently sailing under the flag of Bahamas.

GROWING NAM-DRC TRADE LINKS

Recently, Lignes Maritimes Congolaises (LCM), the national shipping line of the DRC, has opened an office in Walvis Bay.

LCM collects royalties from shipping lines that carry cargo to and from the DRC.

At the time, Erongo governor Neville Andre said over the years, Namibia has exported a number of products to the DRC, while Namibia has imported refined copper, copper ore and raw copper from there.

“These activities contribute to the revenue of Namibia and create job opportunities for our citizens. It is a win-win relationship. We also recently established a technical team that is looking at technical aspects of cooperation between Erongo and Walvis Bay with the Kongo Central province and Matadi town.”

Andre said he was pleased that the DRC wants to operationalise its dry port in Walvis Bay, a move which will boost the local economy.

“For Africa to develop and take its rightful position in the world economy, we need to trade with each other to the maximum level before looking outside the continent.”