Transnet to cover part of expansion

2012-05-17 08:35

Parliament - Transnet will cover two-thirds of its R300bn infrastructure programme with "retained earnings", Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday.

Gigaba said before delivering his department's budget speech in Parliament that R100bn would be raised "by the market", while the rest would come from Transnet's retained earnings.

"Quite clearly, this massive capacity growth should unlock pent-up demand for logistics capacity and serve as a much-needed stimulus to growth and job creation," he said.

The project would require "serious private sector participation".

Gigaba said in the next quarter, Transnet would introduce a seven-year fleet locomotive procurement, unprecedented in South Africa's history.

He said by 2020, 6 405km of rail would have been replaced for the general freight coal and ore lines, increasing the rail network capacity by 149.7 million tonnes.

"Some 1 317 new locomotives and 25 000 new wagons will have been procured in a manner that puts in place a world class, export-orientated rail manufacturing sector," he said.

Gigaba said Transnet's contribution to employment would increase from 369 000 to just above 570 000 in 2018/2019.

He said state-owned companies were taking "drastic measures" that would change the shape of the country.

Along with an improved rail network, there would be higher supply of electricity and cheaper and better broadband internet by 2020.

"By 2020, an extra 11 719 megawatts of electricity would have been added to the system, while 6 595km of a transmission network would have been installed to protect supply," he said.

Investments in cleaner technologies would also commence with the construction of a 100MW Sierra wind farm and the conclusion of a feasibility study for concentrated solar power in the Northern Cape.

Gigaba said 13 125km of fibre optic cable would be refurbished and strengthened to ensure "carrier grade status".

The broadband network would also be expanded to include "metros and under-serviced areas".

The West Africa cable system, which became operational on Friday, had increased bandwith capacity.

It would connect South Africa with 10 African countries and allow for a reduction in communication costs.