Market Intelligence
State Owned Enterprises South Africa Information Management

South Africa Transnet Freight Rail

In 2021, state-owned rail utility Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) announced plans to introduce concessionary third-party operators into its branch lines- and later, main lines network.

The reforms by the South African freight rail operator were outlined in a draft National Infrastructure Plan 2050 that was published for public comment by the country’s Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. To achieve this goal, TFR is commercially separating rail infrastructure from operations, with a target date of 2023. This will ultimately enable the railway operator to formulate tariffs for third parties. TFR is also developing a hook-and-haul service to increase private freight rolling stock. 

South Africa has locally based, established private rail operators such as Grindrod Rail, as well as Traxtion (previously Sheltam). 

Grindrod Rail operates the following cross border concessionary freight corridors in southern and east Africa: North-South, Nacala, Tazara, Walvis Bay, Komatipoort and Chicualacuala Traxtion operates at Beitbridge Bulawayo Railway (BBR – Zimbabwe), NLL and Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) freight lines through Zimbabwe and Zambia, as well as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Both are prospects for U.S. service providers that wish to subcontract.Bac

TFR is the largest freight rail transport operator in Africa. The company maintains a rail network of approximately 31,000 track km (20,900 route km). The diverse rail network comprises 1,500 km heavy haul lines and 3,928 km of branch lines that serve as feeders to main lines. The rail network service provides strategic links between ports, terminals, mines and production hubs. It is also a pivotal link with other railways in southern Africa as a cornerstone of regional integration.

CS business development support services will be available at:
Africa Rail 2022 conference and exhibition
27-28 June, 2023
Sandton Convention Centre
Johannesburg, South Africa

For more information contact:
Johan van Rensburg
CS South Africa