Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



  • pg 1
Working Paper Series
2008, no. 13

                                  Enhancing the Port Infrastructure
                                Maintenance System of the Transnet
                             National Ports Authority in South Africa

                       T. Mneney
                       D. Yell

                                            Water knowledge for the new millennium
    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the
        Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

                                                          Authors: T. Mneney 1 and D. Yell 2

    MSc Candidate; UNESCO-IHE, Delft, PO Box 3015, 2601 DA, The Netherlands (mnene1@unesco-
    Lecturer; Westlands, Somers Road, Lyme Regis, Dorset, DT7 3EX, UK ( 
The WaterMill Working Paper Series

The WaterMill Working Paper Series is part of the WaterMill project (Water Sector Capacity
Building in Support of the Millennium Development Goals), which has been implemented by the
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands, since 2004. The WaterMill
Project is a capacity building project for the WaterSector responding to the targets as laid down in
the Millenium Development Goals and by the Commission on Sustainable Development. The
project offers several advanced training programmes at the post-graduate level to 72 professionals
originating from the partner countries of the Netherlands.
As part of their training each of the 72 professionals had undertaken a 6-month research project
which focuses on the achievement of the MDGs in their home country. The WaterMill working
paper series presents the research outputs of these projects.
Contact information
For more information regarding the WaterMill project and the WaterMill Working Paper Series
please contact Prof. Dr. Pieter van der Zaag (email:

The main goal of this study was to identify ways to enhance the management and implementation
of maintenance within Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA). This was achieved by means of
a maintenance audit at a major port in South Africa. The audit was conducted with the aid of a
questionnaire. The objective of the questionnaire was to ascertain the Inspections and Maintenance
(I&M) system and strategy of the TNPA as well as the current performance of I&M. Based on all
the information gathered during the audit, the effectiveness of the existing I&M system at TNPA
was established. Areas with strong and weak performance were identified. More importantly, areas
that present opportunities for improvement were highlighted.

Following the audit as well as port visits and interviews at selected European ports,
recommendations were made for enhancing I&M. If implemented, the suggestions should offer
TNPA significant opportunities to clarify their overall objectives for I&M. They will also allow
TNPA to achieve improvements in staff/labour performance and to deliver better and more
economical standards of I&M. In addition, through corresponding improvements in management
systems, TNPA will be able to maintain better control and records. This in turn generates the means
to achieve continuous improvement in subsequent performance.

Keywords: Inspections, maintenance, maintenance audit, port infrastructure

1   Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 1
2   Background............................................................................................................................... 2
    2.1   Objectives ........................................................................................................................... 2
    2.2   Methodology....................................................................................................................... 2
    2.3   Audit ................................................................................................................................... 2
    2.4   Responses ........................................................................................................................... 3
3   Audit Analysis........................................................................................................................... 6
    3.1 Current System ................................................................................................................... 6
    3.2 System Effectiveness .......................................................................................................... 6
    3.3 Areas Of Weakness............................................................................................................. 7
4   Recommendations .................................................................................................................. 10
    4.1 Maintenance Manual......................................................................................................... 10
    4.2 I&M Management And Execution ................................................................................... 11
    4.3 Sustainable Practices In Ports ........................................................................................... 14
5   Conclusion............................................................................................................................... 17
6   Acknowledgements................................................................................................................. 18
7   References ............................................................................................................................... 19
    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 1

1 Introduction

Over the past decade the port industry has seen significant growth in operations. According to
Thomas & Roach (1989), this leads to major investments in cargo handling equipment and even
bigger investments in infrastructure. It is therefore imperative that these assets be continuously
inspected and maintained to ensure that they function at optimum levels throughout their life cycle.
This task usually lies with the maintenance department. The duty of the maintenance team is to
ensure that the required availability and performance capability of the port’s assets can be achieved
safely, economically and without detriment to the environment. This requires the implementation
of an effective inspections and maintenance (I&M) management regime that is integrated within
the port’s management structure.

The effectiveness of the maintenance performed at many ports has lagged behind that of its
operations (Brown & Hamilton, 2005). As a result, inspite of its apparent importance, inspections
and maintenance (I&M) is often not given the attention and priority it deserves to be an effective
tool to manage assets. The traditional perception of maintenance's role is to fix broken items.
Taking such a narrow view means that maintenance activities are confined to the reactive tasks of
repair and/or replacement Very little time or no time is then spent on implementing measures that
would reduce the probability of failure.

2 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

2 Background

The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is a division of Transnet Limited. It has a landlord
function at seven South African ports in its care. I&M standards and the required infrastructure
conditions at TNPA are set and maintained by the Chief Engineer’s Office. The actual management
of I&M within the ports is handled by the maintenance units within the port engineering

I&M management at TNPA is done with the aid of the SAP system. This computerised system
facilitates I&M procurement and cost management as well as reporting. It is interesting to note that
studies on computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) show that companies use only
a fraction of the capabilities of their systems (Wireman, 2001). This is also the case at TNPA.

The under-utilisation of the CMMS is not the only challenge facing the maintenance departments.
An InCom (2006) report listed some of the common problems that ports experience with I&M.
These problems are also familiar to the ports in SA and tend to relate to:
    •    A general lack of financial and human resources,
    •    The need for an extended asset lifespan in comparison with the original design lifespan and
    •    An often rapidly deteriorating condition of the infrastructure.
Performing maintenance in ports facing the above problems can be quite overwhelming. If left
unchecked however it could lead to even more serious problems that adversely affect port
operations. Maintenance is seen by the World Bank’s Transport Development Division as possibly
the biggest difficulty facing port management (Thomas & Roach, 1989).

2.1 Objectives
The main goal of this research was to identify ways in which the port infrastructure I&M
management system within TNPA can be enhanced. A large amount of money is allocated to I&M
each year and there is a need to spend it wisely and effectively. Identified enhancements to the
existing system were targeted at improving the way I&M is currently done. Special attention was
also paid to ensure that environmental sustainability practices are integrated into the system.

2.2 Methodology
The research methodology consisted of a number of tasks. Initially a desk study was undertaken to
gain an understanding of the key philosophies of an effective I&M regime. It was then followed by
the establishment of the effectiveness of the existing I&M system at TNPA by means of an audit.
This in turn allowed for the formulation of an improvement programme based on items identified
in the audit. Figure 1 below schematises the process that was followed.

2.3 Audit
A big part of the maintenance audit was the preparation of the audit questionnaire. The main
objective of the questionnaire was to establish the current state of I&M at TNPA ports. As such, an
attempt was made to ensure that all aspects of I&M activities were covered. The questionnaire was
set up in such a way that the required responses were a simple “yes”, “no” or “no comment”. The
underlying theme was that a positive “yes” answer reflects a favourable I&M condition while a
negative “no” answer reflects an area that requires attention. The following themes were covered:

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 3

    •   Port management review,
    •   I&M Policies and records,
    •   I&M current performance,
    •   Health, safety, environment and security,
    •   Personnel and contractor management and
    •   Cost and contracts management.
It was important that the audit questionnaire be distributed to the right employees. Therefore in
selecting the survey respondents, a request was made to the ports for employees working on
different areas of I&M. In addition, a request was made to ports to distribute the questionnaire to
people in general management as well as operations.

Figure 1 – Research Procedure
[Source: Adapted from Raouf & Ben-Daya (1995)]

2.4 Responses
Completed questionnaires from the port of Cape Town were received from I&M managers in three
divisions; Buildings, Roads and Perways as well as Water and Sewer Networks. The
Environmental Manager completed the section on health, safety, environment and security.
Unfortunately, no questionnaires were received from general management or operational
In an ideal situation all the responses to the questionnaire should have been positive, which would
indicate that I&M is being conducted in the most effective manner. The completed questionnaires
though showed a mix of both good and bad I&M practices. Whilst good I&M practices are to be
commended, the negative responses draw attention to areas that are not faring as well as they
should be. In several cases an I&M aspect received a unanimous positive or negative response
(table 1). Some of these unanimous responses were on areas that are considered to be the backbone
of I&M management.

4 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

    Table 1 – Unanimous Responses

                          Positive                                               Negative

                                           Port Management Review

    Full asset list, which identifies all items Formal staffing structure currently not filled
    requiring I&M, available.                   with adequate personnel.

    Port has policy of I&M records it wishes to I&M ideas and data not shared between
    be maintained for each asset.               ports to help improve performance.

                                           I&M Policies and Records

    Overall plan for asset inspections needed to No policy of sharing staff                             between
    meet statutory obligations exists.           operations and I&M activity.

    Policy to carry out port imposed inspections Record system not set up to generate a
    of assets exists.                            logical data trail.

    I&M tasks assessed and prioritised at the Current programme for planning                                   &
    planning stage wherever practicable.      scheduling of I&M is flawed.

                                           I&M Current Performance

    Inspections considered to be effective way No policy to ensure all statutory I&M work
    of managing & optimising I&M.              planned & implemented.

    Existing management system can plan, No fail-safe system to prevent missed
    schedule & allocate I&M jobs.        inspections.

    I&M schedule can be changed rapidly to
                                           No policy for continuous improvement.
    facilitate emergency work.

    Cost data used to monitor I&M cost The work order system does not have a
    performance against budget.        priority rating system.

                             Health, Safety, Environment & Security Issues

    I&M staff aware             of   the    OHS      Act Not all statutory inspections have been
    requirements.                                        identified for each asset.

    I&M employees use prescribed safety No indicators to measure health, safety,

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 5

                        Positive                                                Negative
    equipment.                                             environment and security performance.

                                                           Work orders do not record implementation
    There are mandatory safety meetings.
                                                           of risk assessment.

                                 Personnel & Contractor Management

    There is a         good     labour/management I&M management and staff not sufficiently
    relationship.                                 motivated.

                                     Costs & Contracts Management

    I&M budget not just estimate based on Costs associated with statutory maintenance
    extrapolating previous expenditure.   not separately identified.

    Labour and materials estimated before work
                                               No standard cost performance indicators.
    begins (except for emergencies).

    Maintenance work performed charged to Not everyone is aware of I&M contractor
    operating department requesting work. selection process.

6 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

3 Audit Analysis

3.1 Current System
Based on the audit results, which included one-on-one interviews, it can be concluded that there is
largely a combination of inspections and corrective maintenance work. Civil engineering assets are
generally inspected once a year to determine their condition. This is done using the inspection
sheets found in the TNPA Maintenance Manual. On completion of the inspections an assessment is
made on the condition of the asset. Required maintenance work is then identified and a budget
drawn up. Once the budget is approved, the corrective maintenance work is carried out by an in-
house maintenance team.

Since there are no dedicated I&M planners, the day to day work scheduling is done by one of the
engineers in the I&M team. To start in motion a maintenance task, a work order is placed on the
SAP system. The work order specifies the planned cost and duration of the work. When
maintenance work is going to affect operations, terminals are then forewarned. If materials have to
be procured they are procured through the SAP system. Once the materials have been received, the
planning engineer sends out the maintenance team to do the repairs. On completion of a
maintenance task the supervisor reports back and the work order is closed.

One of the aims of this study was to establish TNPA’s I&M strategy and/or objectives. The
Maintenance Manual does not explicitly state the I&M objectives. It only provides a “Guiding
Principle Statement”. The principle statement states that TNPA will undertake to maintain its
infrastructure at optimal condition and functionality at minimum life cycle cost. Interviews
conducted during the port visit also failed to establish the port’s I&M strategy. It is therefore not
clear whether TNPA is aiming for minimum costs or for optimum asset performance. One gets the
sense that if an I&M strategy and/or objectives exist, they are merely words in a report and have
not been embraced by employees. As far as the I&M team goes, as a landlord, their main objective
is to conduct maintenance of assets owned by the TNPA to ensure they serve their required
operational purpose.

3.2 System Effectiveness
There are features of the TNPA I&M management system that are considered good practice. Effort
should be put into sustaining and advancing these practices as they will help enhance I&M
management. Some of the effective aspects of I&M are discussed below.
I&M policy and standards
It is important for each asset group to have prescribed I&M standards. At TNPA these standards
have been set in the Maintenance Manual. For certain groups of assets the Manual even specifies
the I&M records it wishes to be maintained. Having I&M standards means that ports have
procedures for I&M as well as a basis for tailoring port-specific guidelines. The question though is
whether or not the Manual has the best format. Specifying in the Manual details of how and when
I&M should be done might not be very effective. Ports should be allowed to look at their own
assets and having local knowledge and experience, determine what would best work for them.
Otherwise there is a danger that ports would just tick boxes in order to comply with policy.
Planning & scheduling
As far as planning and scheduling goes respondents indicated that TNPA’s short and long term
strategic plans included I&M requirements. Moreover, the whole port management team had

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 7

agreed on a plan for implementing the required I&M standards for all assets over the coming year.
As is common practice, I&M requirements were assessed and planned by priority and significance
to the port’s operations as well as by groups of assets to achieve continuity in implementation.
Existing computerised system
The use of the SAP system for human resources, procurement, financial and capital project
management is invaluable. Work orders are placed on the system and spending can be easily
tracked against budgets. Computerisation in this instance facilitates management and makes it
easier and more efficient.
The I&M budget is not just an estimate based on extrapolating the previous year’s expenditure.
Budgets are based on corrective maintenance work that has been identified through inspections. In
addition, labour and materials are generally estimated prior to the commencement of work. To
facilitate cost recovery, maintenance work performed is charged to the operating department that
requested the work. This is not always possible though.
Health and safety
There is confidence in the fact that I&M employees are aware of the Occupational Health and
Safety (OHS) Act requirements. The OHS Act stipulates the occupational health and safety
requirements at work. As required by the act, mandatory safety meetings are conducted on a
regular basis and employees use the prescribed safety equipment.
I&M managers
Some departments are headed by managers who have come up the ranks and therefore have much
needed insight into I&M mechanisms. They have a good grasp of issues within their departments.
Given the appropriate resources and support, they are most likely to succeed at motivating their
Weekly meetings
It was good to note that the various maintenance managers and supervisors have a weekly internal
meeting with the port engineer. This is valuable in encouraging I&M awareness and ensuring I&M
is given the attention it deserves.

3.3 Areas of Weakness
There are a few key areas where I&M management appears to be floundering. If nothing is done to
improve the situation I&M at the ports would become an overwhelming burden over time.
Statutory inspections
The most significant weakness identified in I&M involves compliance to legislation. There is no
port policy to ensure that all statutory I&M work is planned and implemented. As such, there was a
sense that not all statutory inspections had been identified. In addition, risk assessments, a
requirement set in the Construction Regulations, are not formally conducted prior to each I&M job.
Communication lines
It was noted that regular planning meetings were not being held with general management,
operations and I&M staff to monitor performance, set targets and review problems. Neither were
they being held between operations and I&M staff to set weekly schedules, allocate daily tasks and
to ensure release of assets for the I&M work to proceed without disruption. This was in
contradiction to the views of some of the respondents that there was a clear line of communication

8 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

between the terminal operators and the port I&M section. There is quite an apparent lack of
communication between the I&M engineering team and the port general and operations
Ageing workforce
The most challenging area of I&M seems to be the aging workforce. Most of the workers have
been in I&M for over 20 years. They are neither motivated nor wholly dedicated to maintenance
work anymore. This major lack of dedication does not bode well for the port as scheduled
maintenance work cannot be completed as effectively and efficiently as it should be. To make
matters worse, there is no programme to bring in apprentices who are then trained to replace
employees who are about to retire.
A formal staffing structure exists but in some cases is currently not filled with adequate personnel.
Some I&M divisions have considerably lower numbers of employees compared to the past few
years. Since most of the I&M work is done in-house, this presents a major problem. It means that
the volume of I&M work keeps increasing and employees have to work overtime to get the
workload to a manageable level. Understaffing is also linked to the problem of having an ageing
workforce and no trainees. As people retire their positions are not filled with new workers.
Staff productivity
There is a need to address productivity of staff. This issue is not dealt with in TNPA’s Maintenance
Manual. Labour is normally the single biggest cost in I&M. It can only be managed if there are
established means of assessing productivity, which is where KPI’s come in.
Maintenance backlogs are common in most ports around the world. TNPA ports are no exception.
All I&M divisions indicated the presence of a sizeable maintenance backlog. Some of the divisions
stated that they had plans to reduce the backlog. These plans though did not necessarily include
purging to eliminate work no longer required. At present overtime work is being used to deal with
the backlog. Overtime work however has known drawbacks;
    •    Overspending on the I&M budget as a result of exceeding the budgeted overtime hours,
    •    Overtime work is expensive since wages tend to be significantly higher than those during
         normal working hours,
    •    It is inefficient if one considers that employees have had a full day’s work. After a full
         day’s work employees should be too tired to perform at optimum levels in overtime,
         particularly if they are approaching retirement age!
    •    Very often there is an inadequate level of supervision available during overtime work.
Data sharing
There is insufficient information sharing between I&M divisions within a port. If information was
shared the various I&M divisions could very well find solutions to their problems from their
counterparts. Furthermore, there are seven ports within the TNPA but no formal structure for
sharing I&M ideas and data amongst these ports. Data sharing helps with performance comparisons
as well as the achievement of improvements.
SAP maintenance module
Whilst SAP is being used for financial, human resources and procurement management, the
available Maintenance Module is not yet being used for I&M management. This is a pity since the
basic information required to set up the Maintenance Module is already there. All port assets have

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 9

already been loaded into the SAP system. This is usually one of the first tasking assignments. A
resolution has to be taken to now set and upload the I&M requirements for each asset.
Asset management
As mentioned previously, preventative maintenance and inspection requirements have been set for
each asset. The port however does not have a management system for assessing asset availability in
relation to I&M activity/cost. Neither does it perform an assessment based on the relationship
between I&M costs and asset performance/availability. Respondents also indicated that there was
no capital asset management system or policy, like life cycle costing, in place. Without proper
systems and controls, the cost of maintenance could be out of proportion to the value of the asset.
In such cases, management would have no means of knowing.
Performance indicators
There are no performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of I&M departments. There is
also no process that involves the setting of benchmarks for I&M activities. While performance
appraisals are present for employees and financially, expenditure is measured against budgets, it is
crucial that some KPI’s be put in place for actual maintenance work. KPI’s facilitate a process of
continuous improvement. There was a strong sense that there was no policy for continuous
improvement at the port.
There appears to be a reluctance for the I&M divisions to use contractors for routine I&M. This
was partly attributed to previously bad experiences with contractors. There was also a sense that the
in-house employees had better knowledge of the assets. Taking into account the considerable I&M
work load, it might be worthwhile packaging some of the I&M work into contracts.
Environmental sustainability
An environmental sustainability policy exists. However, it is focused on protecting the natural
habitats and sensitive ecosystems that are usually found in port areas. It does not place much
emphasis on integration of environmentally sustainable practices into I&M work. It actually does
not state the sort of environmentally sustainable measures that should be considered within the
engineering sector.
Results of the I&M audit show that the port of Cape Town’s I&M team does not know of the
United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Interestingly enough neither does the
port’s environmental manager. Since no-one knows of the MDGs there is no awareness that they
are linked to environmental sustainability. This does not in any way mean that the port does not try
to achieve environmental sustainability. A lot of time, effort and money is put towards
implementing, monitoring and developing environmentally sustainable practices.
There are no standard cost performance indicators for I&M work. In addition, costs associated with
statutory maintenance are not separately identified. Cost allocations have to be improved to allow
for the separation of inspections as well as statutory, preventative and corrective maintenance. This
in run would facilitate better cost control.

10 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

4 Recommendations

Based on the audit results a range of recommendations that could enhance the way in which I&M is
being done have been formulated. Some of the suggestions were obtained from people who
participated in the audit as well as from port visits and interviews. The recommendations are
focused on two aspects of I&M at TNPA:
    •    Founding principles laid out in the Maintenance Manual and
    •    Various aspects of I&M management and execution.

4.1 Maintenance Manual
The Manual could benefit from a re-assessment of what it is exactly seeking to achieve. The
foreword to the Manual states that it’s purpose is to “record and consolidate the best practices used
in the ports”. This is not the ideal way to introduce the document that is supposed to set and define
TNPA’s I&M strategies. The manual also makes mention of “Fundamental Principles”. Sections 3
and 4 of these Fundamental Principles could provide a good starting point for the actual I&M
policy that TNPA head office intends to impose.
With those basics, then much of the remaining content of the Manual could be guidance for the
ports on specific I&M requirements and on maintenance methods. This would then form the I&M
Business Process. The Process would set out very carefully considered guidelines on the standards
and monitoring requirements. It could set out some guidance for how the port should design
inspection frequencies, but it would not actually fix them. The Business Process does not require
the existing reams of detailed instructions on how to undertake specific maintenance tasks. A basic
business process for I&M execution is proposed and shown in the figure 2 below.

                                        Figure 2 - Proposed I&M Process
The ports can use the Business Process as a basis for developing their own port specific I&M plans
in order to comply with the maintenance policy. This would help to ensure the ports move away

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 11

from I&M being simply a box ticking exercise, and give it the prominence it deserves across the
whole of TNPA.
Some of the founding philosophies within the manual could benefit from some minor revisions to
improve clarity and entrench basic I&M principles. Overall, the manual should look at
incorporating the following principles:
    •    Reference should be made throughout the manual to “Inspections & Maintenance” as
         opposed to just “Maintenance”.
    •    A section clearly outlining TNPA’s maintenance strategy and objective should be included
         after the fundamental principles section.
    •    Emphasis should be made throughout the manual on preventative maintenance.
    •    Full standard maintenance should be imposed on all assets, including those on controlled

4.2 I&M Management and Execution
A lot of insight and ideas were gathered from the port audit in SA as well as port visits and
interviews in Grimsby/Immingham, Rotterdam and Antwerp. An understanding of the current I&M
system, it’s strengths and shortfalls, was obtained and a broader perspective on how other world
ports conduct I&M attained. This information makes it possible to suggest measures to improve the
state of I&M management at TNPA ports. The suggestions, and the reasoning behind them, have
been compiled and are listed below.
    •    A move should be made away from the principle of “annual” inspections to just
         inspections. Some assets require more frequent inspections, daily, weekly or monthly.
         These inspections are just as important as the “annual” inspection.
    •    Ideally, inspections should not be done by people doing the repairs. This is in order to
         avoid the problem of people not reporting on their own poor workmanship.
    •    Manufacturer/ designer requirements for each asset (group) should be listed to ensure all
         I&M requirements are being met.
    •    Electrical safety rules should be continuously updated and made available on a potable
         device. This allows for easy and continuous access.
Statutory inspections
    •    All statutory inspections and other legal requirements should be identified. This should be
         done as a matter of priority to ensure compliance to legislation.
    •    Statutory inspections should be scheduled to take precedence over routine work.
    •    Where necessary, inspectors should be hired for statutory inspections. It eases the workload
         of the I&M department and ensures that no statutory inspections are missed.
Planning & scheduling
    •    In order to clearly define and separate the two functions, it is recommended that planning
         be used for long term activities and scheduling for daily/weekly work.
    •    Maintenance or repair issues identified in inspections should be ranked by significance as
         well as by urgency for remedial action.
    •    Safety related issues should be given special prominence in the record.
    •    A major opportunity lies in the conducting of planning and scheduling of I&M using the
         available Maintenance Module in the existing SAP programme.

12 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

Computerised maintenance management system
    •    Full advantage should be taken of SAP especially since it is already integrated with human
         resources, procurement and financial management.
    •    Pressure should be put to ensure that the maintenance module is used as the benefits are
         overwhelming. Some of the known benefits of using a CMMS are highlighted below:
                 It facilitates data sharing between ports,
                 Easily generated and accessed records of I&M activity,
                 It is vital for the generation of KPI’s,
                 Helps generate data for improving productivity of the work force,
                 Facilitates reliable control of contractor resources and
                 Provides useful records of health, safety, environment and safety issues,
                 particularly useful in the even of accidents
    •    It should be noted that it takes years and tremendous effort to get such a system up and
         running. The entire I&M team has to fully understand the value of using the system and
         acknowledge that it is essential in I&M management.
    •    The CMMS should be set to ensure that records can generate a logical trail of data.
    •    When fully implemented the CMMS can be almost paperless. During the development of
         the CMMS however the generation of paper should be strenuously controlled. There is a
         tendency to generate too much paper for people to read during this time which could
         ultimately result in failure of the system.
    •    The CMMS should be both a planning/ recording tool and a facilitator for improving
         scheduling of resources and for cost management.
Data sharing
    •    Each of the seven ports in SA has a wealth of I&M knowledge and experience. Ports also
         have in their possession copious amounts of data. All this information should be available
         for sharing through a formal structure.
    •    As a first step it should be made mandatory that all I&M work files within a port be saved
         on the intranet and accessible to all. This is important as a data back-up measure and it
         allows for employees within the port to access data easily as and when required.
    •    I&M divisions should have access to data from other ports’ intranets. Information should
         never be held by one person when it could be much more beneficial shared by all.
    •    Co-ordination between I&M divisions within a port should be encouraged.
Ageing workforce
    •    For an immediate solution, the hiring of experienced workers could be considered.
         Alternatively, some of the I&M work could be packaged into small contracts.
    •    In order to overcome the ageing staff problem in the long term, a training programme
         should be introduced where youngsters are recruited for vocational training straight from
         school. This is crucial in order to have a workforce that cuts across all age groups.
    •    Young graduates should be hired to do I&M planning and scheduling.
    •    Since I&M work is really suffering in some cases, the possibility of a pay-off to retire staff
         early should be seriously considered.
    •    The core aim of motivating staff is to decrease the unit cost of productivity. Team building
         is the most common method used to motivate staff. If done correctly it leads to increased

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 13

    •    Improving productivity is never easy. Having the required data available is very useful but
         good management and expertise is the starting point. More often than not both are lacking
         at the necessary level.
    •    One other way to motivate staff is to introduce productivity bonuses. These should be set
         up with the involvement of the trade unions to ensure employee buy-in.
    •    Succession planning should be clearly set right down to trade-hands. Employees will then
         be able to see their potential for advancement.
    •    Port managers should work towards finding ways to develop positive attitudes in the
         employees. A genuine attempt at finding solutions to existing problems will help improve
    •    Management should be more visible and do walk-abouts. It is good for employees to be
         aware that management acknowledges their contribution to the company.
    •    As is currently being done in Roads & Perways in Cape Town, short daily sessions with the
         workers prior to the commencement of work should be introduced. The daily “pep talk”
         makes the workers aware of their contribution to the department’s targets and the greater
         port environment.
Communication lines
    •    In order to raise the importance of I&M regular meetings with the general port
         management to discuss I&M performance should be introduced.
    •    Regular meetings between the I&M teams of TNPA and terminal operators to discuss I&M
         matters should also be conducted.
Contract management
    •    For cases where emergency work is required, there should be a mechanism to bring in
         vetted contractors quickly.
    •    A list of possible contractors that could be used for I&M work should not only have vetted
         financial assessments but safety assessments as well. This will help ensure compliance to
         legislation during actual I&M work.
    •    Contract management requires specific engineering management knowledge. This
         knowledge should be available within I&M departments to allow meaningful contract
    •    The deployment of small contractors to handle some of the I&M may be a useful policy for
         TNPA. The contractors would however need continuous management as they can be prone
         to generating more problems than larger firms.
I&M costs
    •    I&M costs associated with regulatory compliance & preventative maintenance should be
         separately identified. It helps to monitor where the bulk of I&M spending is. It is valuable
         for formulating improvements.
    •    Cost records should be used to compare actual labour and materials cost of I&M tasks with
         planned costs.
    •    Cost records should also be used to log I&M costs for each asset in order to provide an
         indication of cost trends.
Performance measurements
    •    KPIs for actual I&M work should be set up. These should then be used to monitor the
         effectiveness of I&M as well as labour, materials and contractor costs. It should be noted
         though that KPIs are never easy to set up. Some examples of KPIs that could prove
         valuable to I&M are:

14 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

                   % staff days lost through sickness (lower is better)
                   % staff days lost through other unplanned absences (lower is better)
                   % cost of planned maintenance to total maintenance cost (higher is better)
                   % unavailable time for key assets (lower is better)
                   % of maintenance work orders requiring rework (lower is better)
                   Ratio of overtime work against planned work (lower is better)
                   Ratio of preventative to corrective maintenance (higher is better)
                   Preventative maintenance backlog man-hours (lower is better)
    •    Audits should be arranged and conducted as they provide a useful subjective assessment of
    •    Audit should be conducted at all ports by one team; this allows them to compare best
         practices thereby making the audit more valuable.

4.3 Sustainable Practices in Ports
Port operations and all its supporting businesses are a significant part of the country’s economy. It
is therefore surprising that the ports have not been directly targeted in the country’s efforts to
achieve the MDGs. In particular the work the sector does in relation to environmental sustainability
could significantly contribute to the attainment of the MDGs. Even though ports are not aware of
the MDGs, it is quite possible some critical port measurements end up being used to compile the
country’s MDG progress report. It is therefore not too late for the port sector to be made aware of
the existence of the MDGs.

Ideally, sustainable practices should be implemented in design and construction, operations as well
as in administrative practices throughout the port (Long Beach, 2007). The main benefit of such
sustainable practices is an overall reduction of the port’s negative impact on the environment. At
the moment I&M work is not being assessed and managed to embrace environmental impact. One
of the port’s I&M objectives should be to ensure, so that as far as is reasonably practicable, that
I&M activities incorporate environmentally sustainable practices. Whenever an opportunity arises
to implement sustainable practices, it should be evaluated to see whether or not they are financially

There are numerous opportunities for integrating environmentally sustainable practices into I&M.
Below is a list of practices that are recommended for implementation during maintenance work.
They will go a long towards ensuring that I&M work is contributing towards an environmentally
sustainable port and thereby towards the achievement of the MDG’s.
Use of environmentally friendly construction material:
    •    Consider use of rapidly renewable plant materials like bamboo, straw, lumber from forests
         certified to be sustainably managed, dimension stone, recycled stone, recycled metal, and
         other products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and/or recyclable.
    •    Avoid use of non-sustainable timber in maintenance, especially in fender system.
    •    Instead of painting galvanise structures.
    •    Use local material to minimise energy embedded in their transportation.
    •    Minimise use of harmful chemicals.

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 15

    •    Minimise energy use and/or generation of carbon dioxide by optimising hydrocarbon fuel
         usage in maintenance work plans.
    •    Undertake selective collection of waste material.
    •    Crush all construction waste material and re-use.
    •    Re-use demolition waste material.
    •    Reduce paper usage by using electronic communication whenever possible.
Practical reduction in energy consumption in building:
    •    Phase out incandescent light bulbs in favour of energy-efficient light bulbs.
    •    Replace single window glazing with double.
    •    Improve insulation during refurbishment. Well-insulated windows, doors, ceilings and
         walls help reduce energy loss.
    •    Replace old boilers with more modern ones.
    •    Look into the possibility of installing solar panels for water heating.
    •    Optimize the heating and cooling systems by installing energy efficient machinery.
    •    Consider onsite generation of renewable energy through solar power, wind power, hydro
         power, or biomass.
Light maintenance:
    •    Replace quayside lights with low sodium more energy efficient, light bulbs.
    •    Arrange for lights to operate in working areas at two levels of intensity; lower intensity for
         security and general access when no work is in progress and higher intensity only when
         there is actual work in progress.
Water network:
    •    Conduct pressure tests to identify areas with leakages.
    •    Redesign network where necessary to minimise water losses.
Maintenance of waste water system:
    •    Seek to achieve optimum standard of discharge.
    •    Check storm water to ensure there is no contamination.
    •    Ensure no ground water is contaminated during/after maintenance.
    •    Promote control of storm water runoff from port properties.
Dredged material should ensure compliance to legislation:
    •    Check dredged materials.
    •    Handle and dispose in an appropriate manner to minimise environmental impact.
    •    Reuse of dredge spoil.
Asbestos pipes/ sheets:
    •    When removing and replacing asbestos materials ensure that appropriate protective
         measures are taken to avoid contact with asbestos dust.

Whilst some of the above practices can be immediately implemented, others require a policy
review. The review should take into account the following:
    •    Review the environmental criteria incorporated in procurement policy.

16 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

    •    Instil "green" practices into purchasing and procurement practices.
    •    Develop sustainable building techniques.
    •    Consider and minimise the environmental footprint for assets over their whole life cycle
         (including I&M issues) at the design stage.
    •    Include review of sustainable issues in I&M audits.
    •    Include sustainability and environmental issues in risk assessments.
    •    Assess potential of port users to use each other’s raw materials and by-products.
    •    Develop a ‘sustainability’ criterion in the port’s tariffs.
    •    Increase sustainability of the port’s own fleet.
    •    Increase reporting of environmental sustainability issues to port management.

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 17

5 Conclusion

The goal of this study was to identify ways in which the management and implementation of
maintenance at TNPA could be enhanced. This required an understanding of the existing I&M
strategy and system. An I&M audit was therefore conducted at the Port of Cape Town. The audit
results provided a good sense of the effectiveness of the current I&M system for Buildings, Roads
and Perways as well as Water & Sewer Networks.

It should be noted that the recommendations are made based on the audit of one port. It would have
been much more valuable to have audit results of at least two ports. However, since a planned I&M
audit of a second port did not materialise, the results of the one port are considered to be generally
representative. Naturally the nuts and bolts of how I&M is implemented cannot be assumed to be
identical at all ports. Nevertheless it is hoped that the recommendations made in this report could
be found to be of value by other ports.

18 / Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa

6 Acknowledgements

I would like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Mr. Yell during the course of this study.
I thank everyone who participated in the Maintenance Audit at the Port of Cape Town. I would also
like to expressly thank Mr. Blissett, the Engineering Manager and Mr. Aisthorpe, the Maintenance
Manager for giving of their time and experience. I also thank Mr. van der Toorn from TU Delft for
providing valuable information on maintenance at the port of Rotterdam. In the same light, I thank
Mr. Autgaerden for granting me an interview on Inspections and Maintenance at the port of

    Enhancing the Port Infrastructure Maintenance System of the Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa / 19

7 References

Brown, S. R., & Hamilton, C. O. (2005). The Application of Maintenance Planning & Control
     Techniques to Port Maintenance. Retrieved November 2007, 5th, from Performance
     Associates International:
InCom. (2006). Maintenance & Renovation of Navigation Infrastructure. Brussels: PIANC.
Long Beach. (2007). Sustainability. Retrieved March 6th, 2008, from The Port of Long Beach:
Raouf, A., & Ben-Daya, M. (1995). Total Maintenance Management: A Systematic Approach.
      Quality in Maintenance , 6 (14), 6-14.
Thomas, B. J., & Roach, D. K. (1989). Management of Port Maintenance: A Review of Current
    Problems and Practices. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO).
Wireman, T. (2001). Why Strategic Maintenance Initiatives Fail. Retrieved September 25th, 2007,
     from Terry Wireman:

The WaterMill Working Paper Series
is part of the WaterMill project (Water
Sector Capacity Building in Support of
the Millennium Development Goals),
which has been implemented by the
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
in Delft, the Netherlands, since 2004.
The WaterMill Project is a capacity building
project for the WaterSector responding
to the targets as laid down in the
Millenium Development Goals and by the
Commission on Sustainable Development.
The project offers several advanced training
programmes at the post-graduate level
to 72 professionals originating from the
partner countries of the Netherlands.
As part of their training each of the 72
professionals had undertaken a 6-month
research project which focuses on the
achievement of the MDGs in their home
country. The WaterMill working paper
series presents the research outputs of
these projects.

Contact information
For more information regarding the
WaterMill project and the WaterMill
Working Paper Series please contact
Prof. Dr. Pieter van der Zaag

Water knowledge for the new millennium

To top