Korea is proud of this rail line to connect not only the two cities but join the two Koreas.
However, rail infrastructure in SA, especially for haulage and passenger, is a shadow of its peak in the 1970s. Within a very short space of time minibus taxis unseated Spoornet rail and bus infrastructure dominating passenger transport.
Within five years the taxi industry had grown so firmly that the South African Black Taxi Association was formed and became a dominant force in the transport sector.
The two-day trip from Wepener to Johannesburg was reduced to only six hours. The three-day one from Wepener to Cape Town came under 15 hours.
The rail and bus infrastructure was disrupted to the level never witnessed. The 200,000-strong "Zola Buds" donning the black-and-white stripe dominated the landscape, attracted interest from capital but also rivalry from emergent taxi associations.
Within 10 years the taxi industry declined into rivalry existential to this day and thus undermining what could have emerged as African excellence.
While this industry is not wholly owned in terms of manufacturing, petrol and finance, the most critical elements, it is however one where in terms of mobility Africans have the biggest share of the market.
The other resilient sector under African control is football. Most of the clubs are owned by Africans, the game is played by Africans and the spectators are largely Africans. The likes of Kaizer Motaung and Jomo Sono showed that they cannot only play the game, they in fact can be entrepreneurial about it.
However, fundamental economic flaws and significant value chains fall outside these sectors that have played and should continue to play a role of hope for Africans in SA.
Our policy space has not exploited where radical economic transformation would have been possible in execution and consumption.
In part this is to be placed at the doorstep of government. If this is not urgently addressed taxi wars are far from over. On the sports field, soccer regalia and sponsorship is big business which should have placed Africans in the space for radical economic transformation.
As we enter the next quarter of a century we should ask what will constitute African excellence.
Dr Lehohla is the former statistician-general.