Pit to port projects
Governments in Africa must create an environment where pit-to-port projects can get off the ground for the benefit of widespread development on the continent, said Frans Pienaar, Chairman of Inyatsi Construction, a company that has been involved in such projects in southern Africa.
Pit-to-port projects are part of a holistic approach to development with roads and earthworks contributing significantly to the lives of people on the continent. Africa does not have sufficient infrastructure for moving materials, as it remains an underdeveloped continent lacking logistics infrastructure. “Due to the huge capital cost of pit-to-port projects, several entities are usually involved, which makes it important for governments to take the lead. Projects of this magnitude can only be funded if the benefit base is wide enough. It requires governments to create the environment for these projects, but the lack of political will is often a challenge,” Pienaar said. He pointed out that red tape often stands in the way of projects that can benefit not only producers, but everyone who will use the infrastructure to move materials from the point of production to the closest point of export. “Roads play a major role in connecting customers with businesses. Efficient transport infrastructure helps to reduce costs and increase profitability, which in turn leads to more economic growth. Our involvement in various projects, such as the N4 bypass-highway around Nelspruit, upgrading of roads in Northern Mozambique, road works in Swaziland and upgrading of roads in Zambia has proven that that the whole region benefits from better roads that offer access to markets,” he said.
Inyatsi Construction has operations in Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique, as well as registered companies in Botswana and Namibia.