Transnet proposes GP rail ring

14 June 2007

State-owned logistics company Transnet is conducting a feasibility study on building a railroad ring around greater Johannesburg, in an effort to reduce delays and boost rail freight capacity.

Business Report reports this Thursday that the company also wants to develop a new inland terminal using a large tract of Transnet-owned land in Springs, on Gauteng’s East Rand.

According to the paper, the new terminal would possibly replace Transnet’s existing City Deep facility to the south of Johannesburg.

“We want to build a new hub,” said Transnet’s group executive in charge of projects, Moira Moses, at the South African Chamber of Business’s mid-year convention in Durban.

“This is important, because part of the reason for delays is that freight trains have to cross metro lines. As passenger trains have right of way, this can lead to a lot of delays,” Moses said.

The proposal still needs to be presented to the Transnet board.

Business Report reports that when using 2004 as a base, it is forecast that 50.1-million tons will be transported on the Durban to Gauteng route in 2009, rising to 69.4-million tons in 2019 and 84-million tons in 2025.

Over 40-million tons of goods were transported between Durban and Gauteng in 2004, with just over 10-million tons being transported by rail freight and the majority – almost 32-million tons – being transported by road.

The paper added that Transnet’s plans for rail between Johannesburg and Durban include a focus on cars and containers, which are forecast to grow substantially.

“Our mission is to take business away from road,” Moses told Business Report.

As part of the South African government’s infrastructure spending programme, Transnet will spend R78-billion on revitalising the country’s railroads, ports and pipelines. Transnet’s strategy also calls for the sale of non-core assets.

According to Business Report, about R20-billion of this amount will be spent on pipelines, ports and rail infrastructure for the KwaZulu-Natal – Gauteng corridor.

SouthAfrica.info reporter

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