South Africa-Botswana Partner to Revamp Rail Link

Work will be done to revamp parts of the 126-kilometre line between the two countries.

By Chriselle Moraes on
24th August 2022

South Africa and Botswana have agreed to jointly fund the rehabilitation and extension of the rail link between the two countries. 

Since Botswana is landlocked, it has trouble getting its minerals, like thermal coal to the market. This project is expected to help Botswana connect to export markets and improve trade, according to a statement by South African state-owned logistics firm Transnet. 

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) will work with Botswana Rail (BR) and revamp parts of the 126-kilometre rail line between Swartruggens, in South Africa’s North West province, and Mafikeng, also in the North West province near the Botswana border. 

Transnet Freight Rail is a division of the Transnet group.

The revamped rail line will enable heavy haul trains to move between Botswana and South Africa’s ports of Richards Bay and Durban. There will also be a connection between Mamabula in Botswana to Lephalale in South Africa’s Limpopo province.

The financial details of the project have not been disclosed. However, the project is expected to be up and running within 24 months.
South Africa and Botswana have been making efforts to strengthen their trade relations. This was confirmed at the South Africa – Botswana Business Round Table on 3 August 2022. The session looked into a variety of trade and investment opportunities, as well as joint venture partnerships. The Heads of State of both countries chaired the event. 

The meeting identified trade and investment barriers and measures to strengthen government and private sector cooperation in maximizing localization, export promotion efforts, and industrialization. 

Top Photo: Railroad through central business district of Gaborone, Botswana (Vadim Nefedov | Dreamstime)

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