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South Africa: Transnet & mining sector join hands to resolve bottlenecks at rail and port

By Xolisa Phillip, in Johannesburg
Posted on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 16:09

Container ships wait to load and offload goods in port during a 21-day nationwide Covid lockdown in Cape Town, South Africa, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Amid an unexpected surge in demand and price boom for commodities, some miners in South Africa are sitting on stockpiles and struggling to reach 2019 export targets because of bottlenecks on rail and capacity problems at the country’s ports.

State-owned logistics company Transnet is responsible for the major rail lines used to transport bulk commodities and the ports through which the materials are exported via its operating divisions: Freight Rail and Port Terminals.

The leadership of the Minerals Council South Africa (formerly the Chamber of Mines), a mining industry employers’ organisation, recently met with that of Transnet to work on solutions to resolve the bottlenecks. According to Transnet, the Minerals Council is the representative organisation for its largest customers in mining and most of the smaller mining companies.