JOHANNESBURG – Transnet and Botswana Railways on Thursday announced that they have resuscitated discussions on the construction of the heavy haul railway line that links the two countries in Lephalale, Limpopo.
Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe said the discussions around the project date back to more than 10 years following a concept study that suggested that the most viable option to unlock the coal reserves from Botswana would be through the construction of this railway link.
A number of Transnet railway expansion programmes which will feed into the construction of the Botswana rail network are at an execution stage while others are at advanced planning stages – including the upgrade of the existing railway line from Lephalale in Limpopo to Pyramid South in Pretoria. This particular programme, which is in the construction phase is a step towards unlocking both Waterberg and Botswana coal.
The Botswana coal reserves are estimated at 212 billion tons.
Other projects in support of this programme include the upgrade of the electrical infrastructure on the coal-heavy haul system and the construction of the second tunnel at Overvaal in Mpumalanga among others.