Investors for Trans Kalahari truck ports
The governments of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia aim to boost regional trade by improving the efficiency of the Trans Kalahari Corridor network via the establishment of a number of new truck ports along the transport corridors spanning all three countries. Complementing the work of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group in Namibia, the Trans Kalahari Corridor Management Committee, based in Gauteng, South Africa, recently said it is looking for investors for a number of planned truck ports along the route in Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. The viability of establishing the truck stops has been confirmed by a feasibility study and investors are now investigating the opportunities for involvement, according to the Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat (TKCS).
The network consists of the Trans Kalahari, the Trans Cunene and the Walvis Bay – Ndola – Lubumbashi (Trans Caprivi) Corridors, linking the three countries with each other and with Angola and Zambia.
Primary and secondary sites have been investigated in detail in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa and four new truck stops have been recommended along the Trans Kalahari Corridor. The total investment for the development of the truck stops is estimated at around R55 million for all four truck stops. This excludes the cost of the land, which is expected to be priced at municipal value.
The Trans Kalahari Corridor Management Committee said that transport corridors are important to ensuring the safe and efficient movement of goods between the countries. The governments of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are therefore keen to take a closer look at the various transport routes through South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. “Industry has indicated that it will support well managed and operated truck stop facilities and that it is prepared to pay for these services. Further business opportunities exist for restaurant / take-away facilities; maintenance facilities; security services and fuel service stations,” the committee said.
An investor profile is available which provides detailed information on the various proposed truck stops including proposed designs, facilities per truck stop, assessments of proposed sites and financial analyses.
In Namibia and throughout most of southern Africa, the transport routes are mostly road based. Given the long distances associated with many of these routes, and the relative scarcity of urban settlements along the transport corridors, issues of road safety, driver fatigue and cargo security become important considerations.
The feasibility study engaged stakeholders including the transport industry, local and provincial government, government agencies and other allied industries. The investor profile includes detailed recommendations of the facilities required as well as key factors which should be considered. The Trans Kalahari Corridor was completed and commissioned in 1998 and links the Port of Walvis Bay to Lobatse in Botswana and from there to the heartland of South Africa’s industrial province, Gauteng. This corridor has been developed and services the two-way trade between South Africa, Botswana, Europe, the Americas and the Far East. It also consists of an efficient intermodal blueprint for the region, incorporating the ports, air, tarred road and rail networks, as well as being supported by efficient automated border post customs procedures and systems. The current transit time from Gauteng to the Port of Walvis Bay is 48 hours.