The South African Prime Minister, Mr. John Vorster, officially opened a new harbour and coal?
The South African Prime Minister, Mr. John Vorster, officially opened a new harbour and coal loading facility at Richards Bay, about 110 miles (175 kilometres) north of Durban on Thursday (1 April).
Mr. Vorster said the deepwater harbour was destined to become South Africa's biggest and most modern port. The port and its facilities have cost more than 700 million rands (GBP420 million sterling). Mr. Vorster arrived at Richards Bay in the South African ship, Vaal, the first passenger ship to sail into the harbour.
At the opening ceremony he said the export of coal, which started on Thursday, would be at the rate of 10 million tons a year by October. he said coal exports through Richards Bay in its first year of operation would earn South Africa at least 100 million rands (GBP60 million sterling) in foreign exchange, and the total would be about seven times that by 1980.
A new railway line which connects Richards Bay with the coalfields of the Transvaal, was opened on Wednesday and is expected to be operating at full capacity soon. The port can now handle bulk carriers of up to 150,000 tons and will later be able to handle carriers of up to 250,000 tons.