South Africa's key corridor solutions: Transnet plans to upgrade five key corridors and ensure that rail capacity talks to ports capacity. Tom Nevin reports.

Author:Nevin, Tom
Position:Down to the sea in trains
 
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To achieve our growth strategy--our horizon for the next few years--we felt that the most logical and pragmatic solution was to prioritise transport corridors, says Moira Moses, chief executive of Transnet Capital Projects. "We have identified five key corridors as a focus for our energy and investment. Of South Africa's current 14 corridors, we are concentrating on the five that carry 80% of our freight to our ports and harbours."

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To meet quickly changing global maritime dynamics, Transnet has embarked upon a massive overhaul of its assets, concentrating on its ports and harbours and rail services. "This illustrates the fundamental shift in aligning Capital Projects to service these corridors. So whether it's a new project, or a maintenance project or it's about planning for the corridors, we're doing it in an integrated and well-managed way that ensures rail capacity is talking to ports capacity."

Strategists foresee a South Africa networked with transport corridors that will not only move goods and people from one point to another, but will nurture and economically enhance the territory in between and around the points of departure and arrival.

Transport corridors have been around for centuries, but it is only in the last few decades that they have been recognised for what they are and, more importantly, what they can become and the value they can add in economic growth as a means of delivery and communication.

South Africans first became fascinated by the concept when the plan to upgrade the road and rail transport link between Johannesburg and Maputo, the Mozambique port city capital, was unveiled in 1995 with much fanfare.

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Suddenly, hype about the widely vaunted Maputo Corridor was on everyone's lips as the new "economic corridor" catchphrase was born. Soon thereafter, corridors were sprouting throughout South Africa and spilling over neighbouring borders, as countries in the region became willing partners in this new fast-track economic build.

Today, 14 corridors are in various stages of completion, becoming a natural and integral part of southern Africa's development and probably the most effective in delivering visible and measurable growth. Five are receiving priority attention. They carry around 80% of the freight from the interior to the ports.

Natal Corridor

Designed as a rail expressway from the Gauteng industrial heartland to the port of Durban, the multipurpose facility at...

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