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Transport News

Cable theft disrupts coal deliveries by rail to Majuba power station

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 5 hours ago Cable theft has critically constrained the delivery of coal by rail to the Majuba power station, as the portion of the rail network owned by State-owned power utility Eskom that feeds directly into Majuba has been severely damaged by the theft of overhead cables and critical overhead track... 

Sanral to implement temporary road closures on N3 for rock blasting

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 5 hours ago The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), as part of the upgrade of the N3 from Cato Ridge to Dardanelles Cutting to an eight-lane carriageway, will implement rolling closures on the N3 national roads in both directions between the Umlaas road interchange and Cato Ridge... 

Automakers ramping up investments into upstream nickel, cobalt

By: Darren Parker     6th July 2022 Market research firm Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch Solutions) says automakers are increasing their upstream investments and supply contracts to secure enough battery metals, such as lithium, cobalt and battery-grade nickel, to drive forward their respective electric... 

Lithium ion batteries

Trucks block South African road to Mozambique as fuel costs surge

By: Bloomberg     6th July 2022 Protesters in a city in South Africa’s north east blocked roads including a highway linking the country to Mozambique with trucks Wednesday morning as they demonstrated against fuel prices rising to a new record. The road between Mbombela, 350 km east of Johannesburg, and White River has been... 

SAHHA Conference announces keynote speaker – Aurizon’s John Woods

By: Simone Liedtke     6th July 2022 The South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) Conference will feature a keynote presentation by rail transport company Aurizon planning and scheduling head John Woods. Woods, who is based in Australia, will share Aurizon’s case study, titled ‘Integrated Rail Planning & Scheduling... 

SAHHA Conference announces keynote speaker – Aurizon’s John Woods

TFR offers deed of amendment to lift force majeure on coal exporters

By: Schalk Burger     6th July 2022 State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) is encouraging coal export parties to sign a deed of amendment for the remaining term of a long-term agreement, which expires in March 2024, to lift its force majeure on them, which was declared owing to a severe shortage of operational locomotives.... 

Coal being transported to port by TFR

Gibela celebrates completion of one-hundredth X’trapolis Mega train for PRASA 

By: Sabrina Jardim     4th July 2022 Rail transport consortium Gibela on July 4 unveiled the one-hundredth X’trapolis Mega commuter train it is building for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). Gibela, whose shareholders are Alstom, Ubumbano Rail and New Rail Africa, in 2013 signed a R53-billion contract to supply... 

The one-hundredth X'trapolis Mega commuter train to be produced by Gibela for PRASA's Metrorail service
Gibela chairperson Irene Charnley, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane and Gauteng Premier David Makhura address media and dignitaries during the celebration of the one-hundredth X'trapolis Mega train to have been built at Gibela's Dunnotar factory in South Africa. Video: Shadwyn Dickinson; Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Metrobus gets R60m allocation for new buses

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th July 2022 The City of Johannesburg has allocated R60-million to its Metrobus company to buy new buses in the coming financial year. Transport MMC Funzela Ngobeni says the new bus purchases are part of a longer-term strategy to renew the entity’s fleet.  

Major airframe and aeroengine groups jointly conduct 100%-sustainable fuel test flight

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th July 2022 Brazil-based major aerospace group Embraer has announced that it has partnered with US-based major aeroengine group Pratt & Whitney (P&W) to successfully test-fly an Embraer E195-E2 airliner with one of its P&W GTF engines running on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The test flight was... 

Public Enterprises considering legal action over 'false and distorted' reports on SAA process

By: Rebecca Campbell     4th July 2022 The South African Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) on Monday affirmed, in a press release, that it was “seeking legal advice on action to be taken on the leakage of official information and the peddling of false and distorted information” on the process of selecting a strategic equity... 

Photo of an SAA aircraft

TFR signs cross-border agreement with Railways of Mozambique 

By: Schalk Burger     1st July 2022 State-owned rail agency Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has signed a cooperation agreement with Mozambique State agency Ports and Railways of Mozambique (CFM) to implement an immediate train run-through model that will result in the export of chrome and ferrochrome moving seamlessly from Belfast, in... 

City of Cape Town pursues reinstatement of joint rail enforcement unit  

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2022 The City of Cape Town says it is keen to help revive the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) rail enforcement unit (REU), which operated as a three-way government partnership between October 2018, and July 2020.  The REU was launched by then Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande at a... 

Image of a vandalised Metrorail coach

Feasibility study on the City of Cape Town’s takeover of Metrorail gets under way

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2022 The City of Cape Town will, on July 1, start a feasibility study on the devolution of the city’s passenger rail system from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to the metro. PRASA currently operates all commuter passenger rail systems in the country, with the exception of the Gautrain. 

Third-party rail access unlikely to unlock private investment, owing to restrictive terms – ARIA

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2022 African Rail Industry Association (ARIA) CEO Mesela Nhlapo says the association has serious concerns regarding the restrictive terms and conditions Transnet has imposed on the use of the national rail network by private third-party freight operators. A key element of the newly unveiled National... 

DBSA tasked with overseeing Sanral tender reappointment process 

By: Donna Slater     30th June 2022 The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has appointed the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as an independent and lead adjudicating body after Sanral’s board in May declined the contracts previously entered into for five strategic projects. As such, the DBSA will act as... 

An image of Sanral leadership
Photo by Creamer Media
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Sanral chairperson Themba Mhambi and Sanral acting CEO Lehlohonolo Memeza at a briefing on June 30.

Gautrain ridership recovers to 42% of pre-Covid numbers

By: Irma Venter     30th June 2022 Ridership on the Gautrain has recovered to 23 358 average weekday rail trips, which is 42% of pre-Covid-19 numbers, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) communication and marketing senior executive manager Dr Barbara Jensen. Average weekday bus trips are currently at 8 681, which is 46% of... 

Image of the Gautrain

Port Elizabeth Car Terminal sets new record amid expansion project

By: Irma Venter     30th June 2022 The Port Elizabeth Car Terminal has moved 5 700 export vehicles in a single vessel.  This is the highest volume ever moved through the terminal, including the previous record of 4 500 export units moved in a single vessel, set in September, 2019. 

Vehicles being loaded at the Port Elizabeth car terminal
Vehicles being loaded onto the MV Silver Ray for export

Mbalula promises e-toll solution 'for sure' this time  

By: News24Wire      30th June 2022 Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula says that a solution to e-tolls will be announced in October, this time "for sure".  Mbalula has been promising an announcement on e-tolls since he took office in May 2019 with several deadlines come and gone. Speaking at a press briefing in Pretoria on... 

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula

PRASA awards R7.5bn in contracts for rolling stock overhaul 

By: Irma Venter     27th June 2022 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has awarded five companies general overhaul contracts for its older rolling stock to the value of R7.5-billion. The agency says the five-year contracts will allow for the heavy maintenance and repairs of its existing train sets, while also... 

A Metrorail train

South Africa’s Airlink signs codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th June 2022 South African regional airline Airlink has entered a codeshare agreement with major Middle East-based international airline Qatar Airways, it was announced on Monday. This will allow the customers of both airlines to book connecting flights with a single reservation, so opening Qatar’s global... 

TNPA embarks on ambitious R9.1bn seven-year infrastructure development programme 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th June 2022 Further to Transnet National Port Authority’s (TNPA’s) “reimagined” operational model, launched in November last year, and increased efficiency initiatives that are under way, the State-owned utility has announced it will spend R9.1-billion over the next seven years on capital projects in the... 

Port of Ngqura
Port of Ngqura

Reform, State capability, corruption must be addressed before South Africa can progress – Mavuso

By: Donna Slater     24th June 2022 Three critical issues stand in the way of South Africa moving forward in terms of developing and attracting investment, Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso said at the Southern Africa France Business Forum on June 22. Hosted by Business France, French Foreign Trade Advisors and the... 

An image of Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso

Sanral success stories

By: Tracy Hancock     24th June 2022 Despite the negative impact of its recent tender cancellations, South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) says it continues to improve, manage and maintain the national road network. In Limpopo, the R37 improvement project between the Modikwa mine and Burgersfort worth R616-million is... 

CHANGING IT UP The Kokstad Interchange project along the R56 provincial route will take 33 months to complete
CHANGING IT UP The Kokstad Interchange project along the R56 provincial route will take 33 months to complete

Maintenance of ageing road network a top priority – JRA

By: Tracy Hancock     24th June 2022 The deterioration of Johannesburg’s roads is a key concern in terms of the general maintenance of the city, with inclement weather, vandalism and theft, as well as ageing infrastructure, the key challenges hindering service delivery, says Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) acting road infrastructure... 

Limited financial resources and rapidly ageing road infrastructure make it challenging to carry out all maintenance activities
CASH CONSTRAINTS Limited financial resources and rapidly ageing road infrastructure make it challenging to carry out all maintenance activities

Majority of Sanral road network exceeds design life

By: Tracy Hancock     24th June 2022 With 83.6% of the national road network under South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (Sanral’s) jurisdiction exceeding its 20-year design life, there is increased risk of rapid deterioration during the wet season, owing to the old, cracked surfaces being susceptible to moisture ingress,... 

To be considered a well-maintained road network, it is the in-house norm at Sanral that not more than 10% be in a poor to very poor condition
CUSTOMARY CONDITIONS To be considered a well-maintained road network, it is the in-house norm at Sanral that not more than 10% be in a poor to very poor condition

South Africa sued over sale of national airline in $3 deal

By: Bloomberg     23rd June 2022 South Africa’s government and national airline are being sued by a little-known investment firm, which wants the sale of a majority stake in the carrier scrapped and re-run due to a lack of transparency. This year’s acquisition of 51% of South African Airways by the Takatso Consortium -- made up... 

Sasol signs agreement with aircraft company to develop sustainable aviation fuels

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd June 2022 South African chemicals and energy company Sasol signed, on Wednesday, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German aircraft manufacturer Deutsche Aircraft, on developing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) technology. The MoU is specifically focused on the development of technologies for green... 

Zondo calls for new inquiry into how SA's passenger rail was left on brink of collapse

By: News24Wire      23rd June 2022 The final report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has recommended that a new probe be instituted to get to the bottom of why SA's state-run passenger rail agency was allowed to "slide into almost total ruin".  Despite dedicating 250 pages to wrongdoing and failures at the... 

Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana
Photo by Creamer Media
Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana

Opportunities abound in transport, logistics if challenges can be addressed

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd June 2022 There are considerable challenges facing the country’s commuter transport, freight and logistics sectors, which are impeding economic growth; however, there are signs of improvement. This was a key message from speakers during a transport and logistics panel discussion, on day two of the... 

Satsa calls on Presidency to urgently intervene in licensing debacle

By: Darren Parker     22nd June 2022 The South African Tourism Services Association (Satsa) has called on the Presidency to urgently intervene and declare an immediate moratorium on new and renewal applications for accreditation, operating licences and permits within the tourism sector for the sake of saving jobs and preventing the... 

New mindset at SAA will lead to a profit being turned in future, says CEO

By: Donna Slater     22nd June 2022 The mindset of South African Airways (SAA) has changed with its restructuring and the airline will turn a profit at some point, states SAA CEO John Lamola. In an interview with CNN international business correspondent Richard Quest on the Quest Means Business show on June 20, Lamola said SAA was... 

S&J Industrial Estate development applies for EcoDistricts certification

By: Darren Parker     22nd June 2022 The new S&J Industrial Estate, situated on the south-eastern corridor of Johannesburg, has applied to become the first EcoDistricts-certified precinct outside of North America. EcoDistricts promotes new models of urban development to empower just, sustainable and resilient neighbourhoods.... 

S&J estate traffic circle

Operation Vulindlela making progress in driving priority structural reforms  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st June 2022 The Presidency’s Operation Vulindlela (OV) has made markable process on accelerating implementation of priority structural reforms since its establishment in October 2020. Presidency project management office head Rudi Dicks addressed delegates during the Manufacturing Indaba, held in Sandton on... 

Solar PV panels
Presidency private office director Saul Musker explains how far Operation Vulindlela has come with assisting structural reform

Iata calls for governments to strengthen regulations on the air transport of lithium batteries

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2022 On Tuesday, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) again called for governments around the world to strengthen their enforcement of safety regulations concerning the air transport of lithium batteries. At its 78th annual general meeting, being held in Doha, in Qatar, Iata also called... 

FlySafair to add new routes across Africa after rival’s collapse

By: Bloomberg     21st June 2022 South African airline FlySafair plans to add at least ten new routes across sub-Saharan Africa to take advantage of a gap in the market left by the collapse of domestic rival Comair. The closely held carrier will fly to capital cities such as Nairobi, Lusaka and Maputo alongside holiday... 

Rail infrastructure thieves sentenced to ten years

By: Donna Slater     21st June 2022 Seven criminals, found in possession of Transnet railway tracks in January, were sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to tampering with, damaging and destroying essential infrastructure. In recent years, Transnet has experienced a sharp increase involving theft of cables and... 

An image of a rail line

Transnet to issue locomotive tender in July to address crippling port and rail backlog

By: News24Wire      21st June 2022 In a bid to improve on its operational performance, clear logistic backlogs, and claw itself out of its financial predicament, Transnet has confirmed that it will issue a tender for the procurement of new locomotives next month. This comes after Transnet Group CEO Portia Derby told Business Day... 

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