The Handy Shipping Guide reports that SA's state owned freight and logistics carrier Transnet, has announced bold plans to boost its rail sector to be the fifth largest global carrier of its type.
The group also claims it will generate 588,000 jobs throughout South African industry by way of the Market Demand Strategy (MDS) announced by President Jacob Zuma in his February 2012 State of the Nation Address.
Transnet's R300 billion expenditure programme aims to facilitate the shift from road haulage to rail through an improved rail infrastructure. This will boost tonnage from 200 million tonnes currently carried to 350 million tonnes by 2019, increase Transnet's shipping containers market share by 13% to 92% and lower costs per tonne by roughly 25%. If this target is achieved, 7.6 million twenty foot equivalent unit containers (TEUs) would move each year through the country's ports, funded to cope with the increased rail traffic. Transnet says that improved rail and port Infrastructure can clear existing bottlenecks.
The government has undertaken to source 50% of the new locomotives scheduled for purchase through local suppliers. It also promised Transnet employee numbers will reach 74,000 in 2018/19 with the balance of promised jobs arising from indirect and 'economy wide' employment. The statement on the Handy Shipping Guide says successful implementation of the MDS will see Transnet's revenue almost triple from $5.8 billion to $16 billion over the next seven years, 'driven by strong volume growth'.
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