Rail industry needs all hands on deck if it is to be saved – industry association

African Rail Industry Association CEO Mesela Kope-Nhlapo

African Rail Industry Association CEO Mesela Kope-Nhlapo

6th October 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


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The resignation of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) CEO Siza Mzimela just days after Transnet group CEO Portia Derby announced that she will be stepping down has highlighted the urgent need for key stakeholders across the industry to come together to craft the solutions necessary to save the country’s rail sector, African Rail Industry Association (Aria) CEO Mesela Kope-Nhlapo has said.

“As a country we need huge investment into the national track infrastructure and quickly, otherwise we’re not going to see efficiencies in our network or efficiencies in our train operations that are going to result in sustainable rail operations in South Africa into the future,” she said in a statement published on October 6.

Kope-Nhlapo said the answer lay in multiple private sector investment through concessions on the infrastructure. She further highlighted that private third-party access to, and participation in, the freight rail network’s performance was crucial to South Africa’s economy and the continued growth of the rail industry.

“We support government’s proposed structural reforms to the rail sector, and implore the new leadership of Transnet to take a wider view on the true challenges that face the freight rail sector and more meaningfully engage with the private sector,” she said.

Kope-Nhlapo said that the private sector was willing to invest and help rebuild a vibrant rail sector, on which many industries rely, but that it could only be achieved if it was done according to the National Rail Policy.


Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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