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Trade security in supply chain: the roles of Customs and Port Authorities towards security and trade facilitation in South African ports.

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Since 9/11 and the fundamental growth of terrorism, the reauting security threats at the seaports, with potential loss of human lives and theft of goods means Supply Chains, must be addressed to secure and predictable, particularly given the growth in the volume of global transport. Increasing pressure has been invoked on the governments of many countries by the World Customs Organisations (WCO) and other global organisations, to actively strategise and ensure the safety and security of the ports through new strategies directed at effective Supply Chain management initiatives. These new Supply chain standards are focused on achieving effective seaport security measures. Christopher and Peck (2013) mentioned in their thesis that, one of the ways of managing the challenge of security threats at seaports is to galvanise and manage Supply Chain risk through the creation of a more appropriate approach. The universal trading system is susceptible to terrorist exploitations and attacks that have the propensity to endanger the total global economy and the social security of nations. Further, while this is being said, reports have shown that there is still a lack of empirical justification with respect to how security measures and Supply Chain management are related (Cavinato, 2010). This study thus focuses on Security in the Ports and examines the impacts from within the Customs Administration. It is hoped to culminate in adherence by the respective South African authorities in capturing and introducing compliance to security to the benefit of global traders for goods shipped to and from the Republic of South Africa. Through a desktop review of the literature, the study found that much is still expected from the ambit of the South African government and other government agencies to address the security challenges of seaports through appropriate and strategic interventions. The study concludes that there is an urgent need for more effective and robust monitoring functions by the South African Ministry of Transport, a genuine legislative review of seaport laws and regulations, as well as the need to address the challenges of security-related corruption in the operations of seaport activities. It is clear that Safety and Security in RSA Ports must be on par with global standards, for us, as a nation, to retain an economic advantage and continued participation in global trade.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.