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Agricultural exporters feel that tariff hikes is mistimed

Proposed new port tariffs have been widely opposed by agricultural exporters, who argue that additional costs will have a detrimental effect on the industry's competitive ability, as well as the economy in general.
In July, the Transnet National Ports Authority released its 2012- 13 tariff application for exporters and importers using the country's ports. Based on its projected R9,65m revenue, the TNPA proposed an 18,06% tariff increase - more than three times the inflation rate of 5,3%. The TNPA says that the revenue is needed in order to recover its investment in owning, managing, controlling and administering ports and its investment in port services and facilities.

The Agriculture Business Chamber manager for economic intelligence and finance, Lindie Stroebel, said that it was strange that Transnet - a state-owned enterprise - was profit-driven and that it is planning a drastic increase in cargo dues at a time when "the fragile local economy is highly dependent on state support". Stroebel added that there seemed to be a lack of understanding that the cost of doing business in SA needed to decrease so that exporting industries could increase market share.

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