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Old September 11th, 2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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SWAZILAND | Railways


Swaziland confident of raising R9bn to fund cross-border railway line

SWAZILAND is confident it can raise the R9bn it needs to fund its share of the construction of a new 146km rail line between Lothair in Mpumalanga and Sidvokodvo in Swaziland before construction starts next year, Swaziland’s Public Works and Transport Minister Nthuthuko Dlamini has said.

The new line will remove general freight cargo from the export coal line, which will boost coal export capacity by 15-million metric tonnes a year, according to Transnet. It is the first large-scale rail investment South Africa has undertaken since the line to Richards Bay was built in 1976.

"Many banks are showing interest in taking part in the development of the rail line," Mr Dlamini said last week.

His department had been approached by all the private "big banks" in South Africa, including development finance institutions such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation, Mr Dlamini said.

South African commercial banks which had shown interest in funding the programme included Nedbank, Standard Bank and First National Bank. Swaziland’s government pension fund had also shown interest, he said.

Swaziland had raised R50m and invested about R10m in the feasibility study for the new line, Mr Dlamini said, and had already negotiated a R2bn loan from Transnet, which left its commercial funding requirement for the programme at about R7bn.

"After the track has been completed, Swazi Rail will pay back what has been borrowed," Mr Dlamini said.

The feasibility study was meant to be concluded "before the end of this year".

Transnet Freight Rail CEO Siyabonga Gama said the "stakeholder engagements had commenced" as had the environmental approval processes, both of which were "critical path issues" for construction to begin "by the third quarter of 2014".

"I am not worried about the funding for the programme. What I am worried about is finalising the environmental impact assessment and getting the approvals in time so that we are able to move with speed," Mr Gama said.

From the comments made by Mr Dlamini it appears that some Swazi citizens will have to be relocated as they are living close to or on the route.

When the project was announced in January last year, Transnet said it planned for construction to begin by the middle of this year.

"We expect the first train to run in three years time after the necessary land purchase agreements and environmental approvals have been resolved," Transnet CEO Brian Molefe said at the announcement of the project 18 months ago.

Mr Dlamini said Swaziland planned to upgrade other parts of its rail stock to bring it up to the standard for the new line.

Transnet plans to invest about R308bn under its market demand strategy over the next seven years to boost capacity and stimulate economic activity.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 01:26 AM   #2
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Johannesburg - South African logistics group Transnet and Swaziland Railways have agreed to build a new rail line via Swaziland that would ease congestion on a main coal export line and boost trade in the region, the companies said on Thursday.

The total project, estimated to cost up to R17bn, includes the construction of a new 146 km rail line from Lothair in South Africa to Sidvokodvo in Swaziland, and upgrades to existing infrastructure linking the new line with ports in South Africa and Mozambique.

Coal producers in South Africa including Anglo American [JSE:AGL], BHP Billiton [JSE:BIL], Exxaro Resources [JSE:EXX], Optimum Coal and Xstrata have been eager to export more coal to meet rising demand from India and China but have been limited by bottlenecks on the lines leading to the port.

Transnet has been investing heavily to upgrade its lines and rail cars, but export figures are still far below the expanded capacity at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) of 91 million tonnes.

The project could provide a major boost for Swaziland, Africa's last absolute monarchy which analysts said has been run for years almost as a personal fiefdom by King Mswati III and now teeters on the brink of financial collapse.

South Africa has offered a bailout loan but Swaziland has refused, seeing attached conditions calling for political reforms as too stringent, government officials said.

Coal exports from RBCT stood at 65.5 million tonnes in 2011.

Transnet CEO Brian Molefe said with the Swazi line, which will take all general freight off the coal export line, and other upgrades he expects capacity to rise sharply.

"That should take our capacity on the coal line beyond 91 million tonnes, closer to 100 million tonnes," he said.

Construction of South Africa's first new rail line in several decades and upgrades will begin next year and are expected to be completed by 2016.

A large portion of the costs, up to R12bn, would be covered by South Africa and the remainder by Swaziland.

Gideon Mahlalela, chief executive of Swaziland Railways, said there would be funding available for the project despite the impoverished country's economic woes.

"The banks are actually coming to us. We are not going to them. They say they have money available," he said.

Transnet said a planned rail link to the Waterberg coal fields would be completed within the same period. Waterberg is expected to become the country's next coal hub as reserves in the Witbank area near depletion.

The Waterberg line is expected to initially carry over 20 million tonnes, but could eventually handle up to 80 million tonnes of coal a year if there is sufficient demand.

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Old April 16th, 2016, 10:39 AM   #3
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From Railway Gazette:


Swaziland Railway wagons delivered
16 Apr 2016

SWAZILAND: Transnet Engineering has handed over to Swaziland Railway the first 45 vehicles from an order for 50 fuel tank and 40 container wagons. The rest are scheduled to be delivered in May.

The 1 067 mm gauge wagons suitable for use across southern Africa are being manufactured at Transnet’s plants at Germiston and Bloemfontein in South Africa

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Old April 17th, 2016, 08:53 AM   #4
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The logo looks like a very professional job.
You know what capitalism is? Getting fukt!

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