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Transnet opens up freight rail network to private operators

President Cyril Ramaphosa has ruled out privatising Transnet but in February directed the state-owned company to allow private rail operators to operate on the country's core network.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has ruled out privatising Transnet but in February directed the state-owned company to allow private rail operators to operate on the country's core network.
Image: Greg Hart

Transnet on Friday invited bids from the private sector to operate sections of its freight network, seeking a cash injection to improve the service.

Transnet, whose rail infrastructure has been underperforming after years of underinvestment, widespread copper cable theft and vandalism, will be taking bids from April 1 to May 31, the company said.

Transnet's total freight rail volumes declined by nearly 14% from 212.3 million tonnes in 2020 to 183.29 million tonnes last year, the worst performance in a decade, company records show.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has ruled out privatising Transnet but in February directed the state-owned company to allow private rail operators to operate on the country's core network. 

Reuters

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