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Transnet seeks private partners for port and rail freight network

Transnet is seeking private partners in the port and rail freight network by the end of the next financial year. Photo: File

Transnet is seeking private partners in the port and rail freight network by the end of the next financial year. Photo: File

Published Feb 24, 2022

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TRANSNET is seeking private partners in the port and rail freight network by the end of the next financial year. The government has in the past few months stated its intentions to bring in private players in the rail network.

The company has incurred a loss of R8.3 billion in the 2020/21 financial year. This was after a profit of R2.9bn in the previous financial year.

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The Covid-19 pandemic had played a part in the business and operations of Transnet during this period.

But it was hoping to record better results next year after business operations resumed with improved sales.

In the Estimates of National Expenditure, Transnet was looking for private sector players in port and rail.

“The company will actively seek private sector participation in port and rail freight. This investment in ports, which is envisaged to be in place by the end of 2022/23, is expected to contribute to the modernisation of and improvements in the capacity of the Ngqura container terminal, Durban container terminal pier 2, and the Kaalfontein automotive terminal.

“The cost of the Durban port expansion alone is projected to be more than R100bn. Private sector investment is also expected to contribute to the migration from road to rail and reduce the costs of logistics.

“The department will collaborate with the department of transport to ensure the implementation of the road to rail strategy,” stated the document.

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Transnet plans to invest R127.7bn over the next five years to expand its capacity.

The bulk of the money will be invested in rail, ports and pipeline infrastructure.

On the rail network, it was discussing with law enforcement agencies to tighten security because of the damage caused to infrastructure amounting to about R2bn.

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In his Budget Speech, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said state-owned entities were important in driving the economy.

He also said state entities must not rely on the government for support, but strengthen their balance sheets.

He added that they must implement sustainable turnaround plans.

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