A DEAL FOR TWO HELICOPTERS- R250 MILLION

DURBAN- Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has made an agreement to receive two helicopters that will service the KwaZulu Natal Port in Durban and Richards Bay, costing R250 million.

Shulami Qalinge chief executive at TNPA said the negotiations and agreements had concluded and the manufacturing , supply of the two helicopters should be completed by June 2019.

“The AgustaWestland (AW 109) helicopters, valued at around R250m, are being procured from Leonardo SpA, formerly Leonardo-Finmeccanica, Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland,”

“Richards Bay and Durban are the only ports in our complementary port system which use helicopters to transfer marine pilots on and off visiting vessels. We have an existing fleet of three AW109 helicopters and this purchase forms part of the Fleet Replacement Programme.”

The manufacturer is an Italian hi- tech company and is one of the leaders in the industry of aerospace, defence and security.

Qalinge said the partnership will have socio-economic benefits, “These would include job creation, skills development and, where possible, use of local, empowered companies and local materials or parts.”

Progressive Youth in Business (PYB) chairman, Buhle Mkhwanazi said the process of this deal and project was not transparent at first, “We would not know who would benefit from the 25%, but would prefer it to be previously disadvantaged individuals,”

“Transnet has since opened the table for talks. We are seeing changes because now there are projects that are ring-fenced for previously disadvantaged individuals, youth, women, military veterans and people with disabilities.”

Qalinge added that, “Richards Bay and Durban are the only ports in our complementary port system which use helicopters to transfer marine pilots on and off visiting vessels. We have an existing fleet of three AW109 helicopters and this purchase forms part of the Fleet Replacement Programme.”

Photo Credit- SA Shipping News

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