hoW To save a year in man-hours every day BIG Who is next

Cross Border SPECIAL feature
Who is next
in one-stop race?
The next BIG thing –
The Cross Border
single transit bond
How to save a year
in man-hours every day
Brighter future for road freight – Barney Curtis
FEBRUARY 2010 | 1
Joy Orlek
Consulting Editor
Alan Peat
Assistant Editor
Liesl Venter
AdvertisingCarmel Levinrad (Manager)
Yolande Langenhoven
Gwen Spangenberg
Jodi Haigh
Division Head Anton Marsh
Managing Editor
David Marsh
DurbanTerry Hutson
Tel: (031) 466 1683
Cape TownRay Smuts
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Carrie Curzon
Tel: (021) 674 6935
Port ElizabethEd Richardson
Tel: (041) 582 3750
SwazilandJames Hall
[email protected]
Layout & design
Printed by
As the one-stop Chirundu border post
heralds a new era in efficiency,
it provides a blueprint for the rest of
the continent.
FTW takes a closer look.
Page 2
One-stop Chirundu border will provide
a blueprint for the future
Page 11
‘Sars to be commended for proactive
Page 16
Beitbridge action plan proposes onestop border post
Page 4
Portuguese-speaking staff mitigate
Page 12
Strong moves to address non-tariff
Escalating power costs a major
challenge to mining industry
Page 5
clearance system
designed for
BLNS countries
Page 13
Strong rand cuts overborder profits
Page 19
Move to single transit bond gains
Tracie Barnett, Paula Snell
Dirk Voorneveld
[email protected]
JUKA Printing (Pty) Ltd
Page 20
An audience with Zuma for logistics
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Page 18
Researchers raise questions over
benefits of single African currency
Page 6
Feasibility studies ensure constant
improvement on Walvis corridors
Page 7
‘Too many cooks spoiling the border
efficiency broth’
Page 8
‘Africa offers significant growth
Page 9
SAA focuses on
partnerships to
expand reach
Page 21
Swazi operators continue to lobby for
24-hour border opening
Page 14
Lack of
among customs
officials remains
a problem
Page 22
Vicious cycle of corruption continues
Swazi Rail looks at creating demand to
grow the business
Page 23
Abnormal load specialist plans fleet
Cover photo: Barney Curtis, executive
director of Fesarta. Photo: Tijana Huysamen.
Page 10
Awakening economies keep airfreight
Packaging specialist sets expansion
sights on Africa
Page 24
Regional corridor concept falls short of
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2 | FEBRUARY 2010
Chirundu border will provide a blueprint for the future
‘Saving a year in man-hours every day’
By Liesl Venter
t Africa’s first-ever one
stop border post it is not
business as usual – in fact,
business is better than it has ever
been before.
The long-awaited opening of
the Chirundu one-stop border post
between Zambia and Zimbabwe
was finally achieved on
December 5, heralding a new
era for African border posts.
The first of its kind, it has
been a long time in the making.
Identified and earmarked as the
pilot phase of the one-stop border
post initiative in southern Africa
several years ago, Chirundu is the
ideal border post to lead the way.
“It has not all been smooth
running,” says Barney Curtis,
executive director of the
Federation of East and Southern
African Road Transport
Associations (Fesarta). “Its
opening was postponed several
times, but it was an important
process to work through because
role-players now know exactly
what is needed to make a one-stop
border post a reality.”
And while most people are
expecting teething problems in
the beginning, Chirundu – with
its strategic location as a node
of trade between southern and
eastern Africa – will act as a
prime example for other countries
wanting to implement one-stop
“It is an ideal choice as a pilot
site for the one-stop border control
programme,” says Curtis.
Speaking at the opening,
Zambian president Rupiah Banda
said it would certainly enhance
trade between Zambia and
“Reducing the time one spends
at the border will reduce the cost
of doing business," said Banda.
“The development of the structure
we are seeing today is a milestone
in facilitating trade in the Comesa
region and beyond.”
By reducing the crossing time
for trucks from three days to three
hours, the Chirundu border post
will save about a year in manhours every day at what is the
busiest transit post in the region.
It deals with 270 trucks every
24 hours.
Barney Curtis … ‘It is an ideal choice as a pilot site.’
We’ll smooth the way
regardless of the challenges
Cross border road transporters specialising in Malawi, Mozambique & Zimbabwe
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FEBRUARY 2010 | 3
‘SADC must be involved
in implementation’
Swaziland breakbulk
road freight operator
Three steps to a one-stop facility
he one-stop concept is
clearly the answer for some
of Africa’s congested and
tired border posts – but unless the
correct procedures are followed
they will be doomed to fail.
Barney Curtis, executive
director of the Federation of
East and Southern African Road
Transport Associations (Fesarta),
says while one-stop border posts
are for the most part the answer,
it is important that SADC be
involved in the implementation.
“Several years ago SADC
decided to draw up a strategy
for one-stop border posts and
earmarked Chirundu as the pilot
project for the first such facility.
This strategy ensured there was
no duplication and that everyone
knew who was doing what.”
With Chirundu having achieved
one-stop status in December,
the next one on the list will be
Since 1974
earmarked by SADC.
“Several countries have tried
to go it alone and have failed.
There are just too many processes
involved, while funding is crucial.
If the right organisations are on
board, the funding comes along.”
Curtis says it is much more
fruitful to join the SADC initiative
than to try to go it alone.
“There are three processes
involved of which the first is legal.
This means that you need to have
a Memorandum of Understanding
signed by the two countries
involved and parliamentary laws
that allow for a one-stop facility.”
The second process is
procedural and just as important.
“This is all about the decisionmaking – who is going to do
what and when, while the third
infrastructural process is about
ensuring that the right systems and
infrastructure are in place that can
allow a one-stop border post to
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4 | FEBRUARY 2010
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Innovative freight solutions
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Portuguese-speaking staff
mitigate delays
Integrated border posts will improve efficiency
By Liesl Venter
ntegrated border posts will go
a long way to improving the
efficiency of the supply chain
while also addressing some of
the biggest challenges freight
forwarders and transporters face on
a daily basis.
“Borders where staff from
neighbouring countries can use
common facilities and common
control methods in line with global
standards will no doubt lead to
more efficient operations,” says
Hannes Rust, managing director
of Johannesburg-based Chavda
The company often uses border
crossings such as Skilpadshek/
Pioneer Gate between South Africa
and Botswana, Oshikango/Santa
Clara between Namibia and Angola
as well as the Buitepos border post
between Botswana and Namibia.
“The biggest challenges we deal
with besides the border delays
– which are often due to import
duties and taxes not being paid on
time as well as the poor state of
the roads and the ever-increasing
traffic congestion – are around
capacity and communication.”
In an effort to address the
language barriers the company has
employed several people fluent in
“We are also sending a great
deal of cargo to Maputo and so
are frequenting the Komatipoort/
Lebombo border post between
South Africa and Mozambique.
Having skilled people at the border
post who can speak Portuguese,
especially when working in Angola
and Mozambique, has helped
a great deal in rising above the
Rust says the new one-stop
border post recently opened at
Chirundu is setting a good
example for Africa. It is proof that
delays can be minimised and transit
times improved.
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FEBRUARY 2010 | 5
Electronic clearance system
designed for BLNS countries
Direct EDI link with customs
By Alan Peat
n the past few years an extensive
involvement with road freight
into neighbouring member
countries of the Southern African
Customs Union (Sacu) has led
Compu-Clearing to develop a
special system for the job, according
to account manager Gavriel
“This targets the BLNS countries
(Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia,
Swaziland) and, in particular, the
Asycuda system that they use,”
he told FTW. “Based on our
experience we have developed a
system specifically designed for the
capturing of customs documentation
for these countries.”
The current BLNS system, he
added, is extremely quick, accurate
and powerful.
He also pointed to various
features which he felt underlined its
“These include creating road
manifests; details of all the different
tariff headings which are linked to
our online tariff book that is updated
daily; and a dynamic national
credit limit check, which instantly
suspends the entry if the credit limit
is exceeded.
“The system also creates a unique
UCR number as per the SA Reserve
Bank (SARB) requirements.”
Another of the more recent
developments to the system is a
direct electronic data interchange
(EDI) link with customs - making
the entire process paperless, and
ensuring a quicker, more effective
and accurate practice all round.
Another of the features
highlighted by Rootshtain was the
enquiry screen. “This,” he said,
“shows exactly what is happening
with the user’s shipment, updating
them on how far along the process
is, or why it was rejected. The user
will no longer have to wait for
documentation at the border or have
shipments delayed.”
Amongst Compu-Clearing’s latest
enhancements is a working interface
Gavriel Rootshtain ... ‘National credit limit
check instantly suspends the entry if the
credit limit is exceeded.’
with the Asycuda system – allowing
the user to directly interface local
data into the Asycuda system.
“This means that, with one click,
the entire entry is now copied into
Asycuda and can be sent to both
sides of the border,” said Rootshtain.
“This interchange of data disposes
of any need for double-capturing or
having to struggle on the Asycuda
system because of slow lines and
down time.”
He saw the entire system as
“a seamless solution” – helping
companies to generate better
communication and manage their
business procedures more efficiently.
And the system development is
an on-going evolutionary process,
Rootshtain added.
“It is only through constant
innovation and development that
we can find ways to make these
processes simpler and rule out
mistakes in the work place.
“This will allow businesses to
retain a healthy relationship with our
neighbours across the border and
continue to build strong economic
growth throughout Africa.”
6 | FEBRUARY 2010
Feasibility studies
ensure constant improvement on Walvis corridors
By Liesl Venter
he Walvis Bay Corridor
Group (WBCG) is changing
the mindset of both
importers and exporters about
the benefits of using the Port of
Walvis Bay.
Ongoing information sessions
as well as the establishment
of a branch office in Gauteng
are paying off as importers and
exporters increasingly become
more aware of the advantages –
savings in travel distance and time
translating ultimately into savings
across the whole supply chain.
Agnetha Mouton, WBCG
business development officer,
says it remains a challenge to
change perceptions.
The WBCG, a public private
partnership, aims to increase
the utilisation not only of the
three corridors it serves through
the port of Walvis Bay – the
TransKalahari, the TransCaprivi
and the TransCunene.
“We have seen some major
developments in recent months,”
says Mouton. “This includes
several feasibility studies that have
been conducted and concluded as
well as a major port expansion
project that will see us increasing
the port capacity from the current
200 000 TEUs per year to
500 000 per annum.”
The conclusions of a feasibility
study around a one-stop border
post between Trans Kalahari
and Mamuno border posts were
presented to the governments of
Namibia and Botswana recently,
as was a proposal for a corridor
performance management system.
“A feasibility study is also in
progress regarding the extension
of the railway lines along the
TransKalahari Corridor. A separate
study has been completed on the
upgrade of the Okavango River/
Divundu Bridge which proposes
increasing the carrying capacity of
the bridge from its present 60 tons
and widening it from a single to a
double lane bridge.”
Mouton says all of this
continues to show importers
and exporters the commitment
of the WBCG to the corridors
and the port. “We have more
direct shipping lines calling
from Europe, North and South
America, the Middle East, the
Far East and Africa, which also
results in increased opportunity
for importers and exporters.
There is no doubt that the Walvis
Bay Corridors provide an ideal
opportunity to add economic
value to countries like Angola,
Botswana, the DRC, Zambia,
Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
FEBRUARY 2010 | 7
‘Too many cooks spoiling the
border efficiency broth’
One-stop Chirundu post a model to be emulated
By Alan Peat
ttempts to alleviate the major
problem of border post delays
in Africa may just be a case of
“too many cooks spoiling the broth”,
according to Lawrie Bateman, director
of MSC Logistics.
“The volume of cargo, both
international and local, moving overborder has increased considerably over
the past decade,” he told FTW. “But,
unfortunately, so have the delays
and costs.
“While there are concerned
organisations involved in efforts to
alleviate the problems, the question is:
Are there too many?”
Among others, there are the
Southern Africa Development
Community (SADC); the East African
Community (EAC); the Common
Market for East and Southern Africa
(Comesa); the Federation of East and
Southern African Road Transport
Associations (Fesarta); and the New
Partnership for Africa’s Development
(Nepad) – all involved in attempting to
solve the border delays hassle.
But, he asked, even with all their
regular meetings and conferences,
are they actually solving the major
problems that exist for importers
and exporters?
He believes the required solutions
include: reducing the cost of crossborder trade; overcoming the
administrative hurdles; somehow
simplifying the complex customs
procedures, clearance and cargo
inspections; cutting down on border
post delays; improving security and
reducing corruption; and standardising
the currently different requirements at
each border.
What is needed to unlock the
growth potential of trade through the
Southern African transport arteries
(especially the north/south corridor),
Bateman told FTW, “is high-level
political commitment, together with
private sector involvement from major
transport and logistical companies.
“At the same time, we must not
forget development banks and world
aid organisations – as funding will be
required to develop and refurbish the
presently ailing infrastructure of the
road and rail networks throughout
the region.”
To see the required principles in
action, and the benefits of mutual
co-operation and overseas funding,
one just has to look at the new “onestop” Chirundu Border Post between
Zimbabwe and Zambia,
he added.
“Although truck delays have
not been completely eradicated,”
Lawrie Bateman ... ‘What we need is highlevel political commitment, together with
private sector involvement.’
said Bateman, “there is certainly an
improvement on the previous delays of
up to a month – or more on occasion.
“Let’s hope that we will soon enjoy
similar innovation throughout all of
southern Africa.”
Fesarta and trucking bodies join forces to fight crime
By Liesl Venter
Crime remains an ongoing concern
for transporters moving goods
across Africa.
In Chirundu operators have
warned against night driving as
bandits jump on slow moving
trucks and cut tarpaulins to get
hold of cargo, while syndicates
operating at the border post are
alleged to target truck drivers
directly, offering them money for
the loads.
“It is not anything new,” says
Barney Curtis, executive director
of the Federation of East
and Southern African Road
Transport Association (Fesarta).
“Traditionally loads have come
under attack by people who
jump on the back of trucks in the
Chirundu escarpment where the
trucks have to slow down. We are
seeing a trend where trucks are
being targeted in the Lusaka area
itself. When they slow down at
traffic lights, loads are grabbed.”
With copper and cobalt along
with other mineral commodities
often being transported under
strict surveillance, crime is a
major concern.
“There are certain guidelines that
drivers can follow to minimise the
risk - like not driving at times when
these incidents happen. In some
cases armed escorts are a way of
stopping the disappearance of an
entire truck and its load.”
Curtis said various initiatives
were under way to address crime
– such as working together to find
solutions. “For a long time people
have not talked about it because
theft, corruption and smuggling
have been difficult to deal with.
But more organisations are coming
forward and taking a stand.”
He said Fesarta and several
trucking associations were now
working together to find solutions
to crime. “As national organisations
we can possibly address the matter
and find ways to ensure the safer
transportation of cargo.”
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8 | FEBRUARY 2010
‘Africa offers
significant growth potential’
Qatar upbeat about the year ahead
ast year was a challenging
one for the airline industry,
but growth potential exists in
numerous locations, including Africa,
according to Dileepa Wijesundera,
senior vice-president of Qatar
Airways Cargo.
While many carriers have been
reducing capacity and offering low
rates to generate cash flow, he told
FTW in an exclusive interview that
his cargo operation had managed to
perform well.
“This,” he said, “through having a
diverse network and numerous trade
lanes feeding the overall business.
“Although growing at a rapid pace,
we continue to operate in a flexible
manner. This allows us to react to
shifting market dynamics quickly,
either with pricing initiatives or
moving capacity allocations from one
trade lane to another.”
He also pointed out that the cargo
carrier’s home base at Doha was
at the crossroads of East and West.
“This allows us to connect the
Diverse network and numerous trade lanes feeding the overall business.
markets of Europe to the Middle East,
the Far East, Indian subcontinent,
Africa and Australia,” he added.
“With dedicated staff, the Doha
hub and its facilities ensure all
transhipments are processed in an
efficient, seamless manner.”
And, despite the generally tough
time for airfreight cargo volumes,
Qatar Airways Cargo has noted some
distinct points of good growth.
Said Wijesundera: “We are
continuing to see growth in Asia,
particularly South Asia, as well as
USA and Europe where frequencies
and destinations have been increased.
“Potential for growth exists in
numerous locations, particularly
in Africa.”
Looking ahead, Wijesundera is
relatively confident about
the prospects.
“The upcoming year,” he said,
“will determine whether recent
improvements in demand are
temporary or whether there is solid
growth across the industry.”
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FEBRUARY 2010 | 9
SAA focuses on partnerships to expand reach
Ready for the upswing
By Joy Orlek
s the world emerges from
recession, developing
economies will be the primary
drivers of recovery. And Africa,
as a developing continent that has
serious limitations in terms of road
transportation, has become a key area
of focus for SAA Cargo.
“We need to try to expand our
reach beyond the current points of
operation,” says SAA Cargo acting
divisional head Justice Luthuli.
“And to achieve this we must try
to find partners in Africa to help us
fly to points currently not served in
our network.”
Luthuli concedes that the current
state of the aviation industry in Africa
remains a challenge. “But we believe
that by co-operating and sharing
skills and resources we can help to
resuscitate some of the requisite routes
by helping to re-establish airlines.
“SAA is a leading airline in
Africa. By sharing our capacity
and expertise we would not only be
helping ourselves but helping Africa
to reconnect – and this is where we
believe our focus should be.”
Luthuli is hopeful that the
turmoil is over and that an upswing
is on the way.
“For us it’s important to move
quickly. As much as there has been
By co-operating and sharing skills and resources SAA believes it can help to resuscitate some
of the requisite routes.
too much capacity we may find
that the capacity available has been
misappropriated so we have to choose
the routes we believe are going to be
the leading routes in Africa.”
Over the past year Lusaka has
been one of the airline’s key growth
markets. With perishables moving
out of the country and essentials from
South Africa and the rest of the world
flying in, it’s a bi-directional trade.
Luanda, another top performer, on
the other hand is one-directional.
“It’s a developing country which
is importing most of its goods – and
with all the construction taking place,
spares for the mining industry as
well as ICT like cell phones are big
export business.”
SAA launched its freighter service
to Luanda in August this year, an
initiative linked to the revision of
the aero-political regime between
the two countries. “It’s allowed us to
operate a cargo aircraft on a full-time
basis – and we see significant growth
The challenge however lies in
Africa’s infrastructural limitations.
“We have not been able to activate the
outbound service but are in discussions
to establish how we can collaborate
Justice Luthuli ... sharing skills and resources.
to bring the security measures up to
standard so that we can make sure that
they benefit from inter-border trade.”
While the airline lists Kinshasa,
Maputo, Accra, Lagos and Dakar
as additional key performing routes
on the continent, connecting with
intercontinental destinations through
Johannesburg, it remains intent on
extending its reach.
And this will be achieved through a
strong focus on hubs – with a central
African, West African and East African
hub all part of the mix.
10 | FEBRUARY 2010
Awakening economies
keep airfreight buoyant
By Joy Orlek
olumes on Airlink Cargo’s
strengthening African network
are on an upward trajectory, says
managing director Alwyn Rautenbach.
“Things are looking up in Zimbabwe
at the moment, with particularly good
volumes to Bulawayo and Harare.
“And with the mining industry in
Zambia and Zimbabwe also beginning
to reopen, mining spares into those
countries are showing a steady increase.”
The same is true of Beira in
Mozambique. “There’s so much
activity in the mining industry which
– along with the movement of textiles
and clothing as well as cell phone
accessories, all sorts of goods from
China and the courier industry – is
keeping the airline buoyant.”
Because of the significant growth in
courier business, Airlink has streamlined
operational procedures. “In May this
year we introduced an electronic waybill
for regular customers so they can
complete the waybill online. In addition,
cut-off procedures for early morning
flights before the aircraft departure are
extremely attractive.”
In a further upgrade the airline has
set up a new export warehouse at OR
Tambo International Airport. “We
introduced a screening process upstream
rather than downstream where it used
to be, and the entire operation has been
streamlined for faster handling.”
In a further move to improve
processes for the benefit of its
customers, the company’s electronic
data interchange system interfaces in
standard Iata-type freight messages with
its customers so that there is no need to
fill in two waybills.
“The system also offers a pre-alerting
facility so that the customer is aware of
what cargo to expect – cutting down on
human error.”
For the year ahead, Rautenbach
remains bullish, with more destinations
in Mozambique on the planning boards
for 2010.
This will complement its current
service network covering Zambia,
Alwyn Rautenbach … streamlined
operational procedures.
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho,
Swaziland and Antananarivo.
Transporters can expect massive food volumes to Swaziland
By James Hall
MBABANE – At least
70 000 metric tonnes of maize
will be transported from
South Africa to food-insecure
Swaziland this year, agriculture
officials tell FTW.
“The national requirement
is about 140 000 metric tones
annually. Last year’s harvest was
71 000 metric tonnes. We don’t
foresee a production increase this
year, so the shortfall will come from
South Africa, either maize produced
there or through South Africa as
a transhipment route for food aid
originating overseas,” said Sipho
Simelane, chief agricultural officer
for the Ministry of Agriculture.
The problem isn’t a lack of
rainfall – in fact too much rain in
November swamped many fields –
but impoverished farmers’ inability
to purchase inputs like seeds and
fertiliser. Government’s scheme to
provide inputs has been sidelined by
a budgetary crisis.
[ C BC ]
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CPT: Tel: 021 982 8761
JHB: Tel: 011 397 2889
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FEBRUARY 2010 | 11
‘Sars to be commended
for proactive stance’
g Solutions
Simply Super ior Shippin
EDI making a big difference
By Liesl Venter
ustoms clearing is not always
the bane of transporters’ lives.
In fact much is being done
by customs in various African countries
to ensure speedy processes that are
user-friendly, effective and efficient.
Kitty Hewitt, owner of Botswana
Consolidators, which consolidates
cargo in its warehouse in Johannesburg
for various destinations in Africa
including Botswana, Swaziland,
Lesotho and Zambia, says one such
system that is making a difference is
the South African Customs’
EDI system.
“It has been in place for several
years now and I have to admit that
being able to clear online has made
a difference. EDI is speeding up the
clearing process, which means
quicker delivery and ultimately a
better service.”
There is no doubt about the
importance of efficient systems not
just for private companies, but also
for governments.
“Sars has been very proactive in
Kitty Hewitt ... efficient and user-friendly
Customs processes are key.
finding solutions and implementing
means that ensure a quicker, more
efficient service around clearing and
that is commendable,” says Hewitt.
And as cross-border opportunities
continue to grow and more goods
are moved by road, it is now more
important than ever to have Customs
processes in place that are efficient and
on Projects into:
Namibia • Botswana • Lesotho
Mozambique • Swaziland
Moving continents a little closer
Head Office
20 years experience in general haulage
Containers • Breakbulk
Abnormal Loads • Full & Part Loads
Tel: +27 31 465 7913
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E-mail: [email protected]
E-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]
Tel: +27 11 396 9067/45
Fax: +27 86 615 1947
E-mail: [email protected]
12 | FEBRUARY 2010
Strong moves
to address non-tariff barriers
‘Income tax’ costs transporters dearly in Katanga province
By Liesl Venter
on-tariff barriers in several
countries continue to
pose major challenges to
transporters who have to work their
way through a bevy of restrictive
and punitive legislation, levies and
Most recently the Democratic
Republic of the Congo implemented
an income tax for transporters
regardless of whether they are
registered in the country or not.
“The freight forwarder or the
agent is the registered company
in the DRC and should be paying
the income tax, but in the Katanga
province legislation requires the
trucking company also to pay
income tax. This has been gazetted
and if transporters do not want to
have their trucks impounded, they
must pay,” says Barney Curtis,
executive director of the Federation
of East and Southern African Road
Transport Associations (Fesarta).
And pay they do – in some cases
tax of up to $100 000 is charged to
the transporters.
“The matter has been taken up
with the DRC central government
Transporters liable for income tax, regardless of whether they are registered in the country or not.
as it is becoming increasingly
problematic,” says Curtis.
But rumours have it that the
central government has no way of
stopping Katanga province charging
this income tax unless they move the
entire border post to another region.
“We have in the past just not
placed enough emphasis on the
non-tariff barriers,” says Curtis.
“Comesa, SADC and the East
African Community (EAC) have
set up a non-tariff barrier system
to address these barriers. At the
moment though the system has no
teeth and countries can get away
with the charges they are levying.”
Curtis says the challenge lies in
getting the system functioning to
its maximum level. “The system
must have the authority to address
countries that are not following
procedures and that are offenders.
It must also have a means of
ensuring that action is taken against
a country that introduces a punitive
He says that would bring about
much more clout when dealing with
transgressing countries instead of
dealing with issues one at a time in a
shotgun approach.
“Much work is currently going
into the development of this system
so that it has the ability to bring
countries into line,” he says.
Tel: +27 11 918 6645
Fax: +27 11 918 6618
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FEBRUARY 2010 | 13
Shoprite in Luanda, Angola ... one of countries in which the supermarket operates.
Strong rand cuts
overborder profits
for food retailer
SADC agreement benefits Shoprite
By Liesl Venter
hoprite Holdings makes no
secret of it – the company
makes hay while the sun
shines. Growing from a small chain
of supermarkets in the Cape area in
apartheid South Africa in the sixties,
the group has grown to an African
phenomenon with the Shoprite
group of companies now Africa’s
largest food retailer.
Operating more than 800 outlets
in 17 countries across the continent,
the Indian Ocean islands and
southern Asia, there is no stopping
its cross-border activities.
With stores in Angola, Botswana,
Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia,
Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe
in southern Africa, Tanzania and
Uganda in East Africa, Egypt in
North Africa and Ghana in West
Africa, its strategy of supplying
customers in the broad middle to
lower end of the market with basic
foods and household requirements
in a no-frills fashion has paid off.
Africa is an important market to
the retailer.
“Due to the weakening of most
non-South African currencies against
the rand the turnover of the Group’s
non-South African supermarkets in
rand terms declined by 4.3% in the
last six months of 2009,” said group
chief executive Whitey Basson.
“And, on a like-for-like basis, by
9.3%. At constant currencies an
acceptable rand turnover growth of
16.3% was however achieved.”
According to a spokesman for
Shoprite, a major development
during 2009 was the implementation
of the Southern Africa Development
Community agreement, allowing
member countries to export goods at
reduced rates of import duty within
the SADC.
“In the short term the agreement
has positively impacted the Group’s
trade with Mozambique, Malawi
and Zambia in particular. It has
also levelled the playing fields in
that contraband no longer enjoys
a price advantage. To improve
service levels outside South Africa,
the Group has created a special
distribution centre in Centurion
outside Pretoria where products for
export are licensed by the customs
authorities before leaving the
country,” said the spokesman.
As the effects of lower
commodity prices hit Africa during
the latter part of 2009, there is no
doubt that supermarkets across
the continent, like many other
businesses, felt the pinch.
14 | FEBRUARY 2010
Lack of consistency
among customs officials remains a problem
By Liesl Venter
Anthony Lee ... ‘Punitive penalties among greatest challenges.’
here’s been significant
improvement in cross-border
relations over the past year, says
Anthony Lee, managing director of
Transport Holdings Limited.
“Working more closely with customs
officials has helped a great deal in
improving the set-up,” he told FTW.
“But we still have some issues to
overcome – for example every time
the staff changes due to their rotational
system, the whole process begins
again. In addition to that new officials
also have their own interpretations of
customs codes.”
Representatives of Imperial Logistics
in Botswana servicing the bulk fuel,
general consolidation and mining
industries in the country, THL frequently
uses the Martins Drift, Gaborone and
Lobatse border posts.
“Punitive penalties, inconsistencies
in tariff code classifications as well as
delays associated with repair and return
items remain our greatest challenges,”
says Lee.
“The elimination of the ‘discretion
of the customs office’ would also
contribute significantly to more efficient
operations. Along with that all DTI/
EDI entries should be paperless and
have no delays,” he says. “A simplified,
streamlined process for handling
repair and returns as well as longer
border hours would be a great feat to
He says another boon would be if
combined customs and immigration
procedures could be put in place for
both countries as well as standardised
road and vehicle legislation between
SADC countries.
“We have been informed that
paperless border processes are being
implemented in the near future,” says
Lee who believes the implementation
of new fines and procedures for
cross-border operators by the new
Administrative Adjudication of Road
Traffic Offences (Aarto) in South Africa
is set to have major implications for
foreign operators.
“Another aspect we are keeping
a close eye on is the South African
authorities’ intention to limit
axle masses and possibly ban the
transportation of certain commodities
from certain roads.”
Also serving the rest of Africa
Dedicated Roadfreight Service
1 ton - 32 ton loads
Contact Hannes Rust
Tel +27 11 262 0135
+27 11 262 3809
email [email protected]
FEBRUARY 2010 | 15
Packaging specialist
sets expansion sights
on Africa
Infrastructure challenges add extra demands
South Africa Tel: +27 11 824 1033 Fax: +27 86 633 8896
Botswana Tel: +267 392 4845 Fax: +267 392 4743
Services offered:
Warehousing & Consolidation
Customs Clearing
Securing cargo into
crates, then into
containers, and
then onto trucks, is
the most important
part of the packing
By Alan Peat
he cross-border market is
one of growing potential, but
has tricks all of its own to
play on unwary cargo transporters,
according to Ryan James, MD
of the cargo packing specialists,
You have to recognise that it is a
market that raises many problems
for those who are unfamiliar
with it.
“In my experience,” said James,
“cross-border cargo needs extra
attention if it is going to travel and
arrive safely.
“For example, most destinations
have limited equipment to handle
the cargo. This means that thought
has to be applied as to how the
client is going to offload containers
and unpack, and how he will
handle breakbulk loads and so on.”
Traversing cross-border nations
also highlights the fact that much
of the transport infrastructure
network is still underdeveloped,
poorly maintained if at all, and
often inadequate to handle modernday freight vehicles.
Freight Forwarding
Said James: “These bad road
conditions travelling cross border
also affect the cargo en-route.
This means that securing
cargo into crates, then into
containers, and then onto trucks,
is the most important part of the
packing process.
“Case markings and shipping
information is also critical –
because, should any cargo go
astray, it can at least be identified.”
With its extensive experience in
this often awkward marketplace,
Cratelogic has built ways of
satisfying clients’ needs into its
cross-border product package.
“As an added service to clients
sending cross-border,” said James,
“we have the facility to receive
and consolidate cargo then pack
and load, either onto trucks or into
containers. All this under-roof at
our Boksburg facility.”
And Cratelogic has its sights set
on an on-going development of this
promising market.
“We do target all export areas,
including cross border,” James
said, “and will be focusing more on
it in 2010.”
Road Transportation
Fuel Distribution
Abnormal Loads
16 | FEBRUARY 2010
action plan proposes one-stop border post
… but achieving it is a long way off
By Liesl Venter
hile several plans to address
the numerous issues at
the Beitbridge border post
between South Africa and Zimbabwe
are in the pipeline, talk that it will
become a one-stop border post within
the next year is premature and not
So says Barney Curtis, executive
director of the Federation of East and
Southern African Road Transport
Associations (Fesarta), who has
drawn up a six-page document on the
problems and the potential solutions for
the Beitbridge border post.
“This document was presented at a
workshop in May 2009 where SADC
endorsed and adopted the project.”
Several workshops have since
followed resulting in an action plan
being drawn up and circulated to
stakeholders. “Part of this action plan
includes a one-stop border post, but
there is still a long way to go before
this becomes a reality.”
Other documents that have been
drawn up include a Memorandum of
Understanding between South Africa
and Zimbabwe as well as terms of
reference for the task team taking the
process of the border post forward.
Probably the busiest border post
in Africa in terms of commercial
traffic, Beitbridge has been under
severe pressure for several years. “It
‘Traffic has increased
ten fold in the past twenty
years and had nothing been
done, it would take weeks
to get through.’
is definitely the busiest border post
in the region,” says Curtis, who has
spent much time investigating it.
“The infrastructure and systems are
particularly old and have for some
time been struggling to cope with the
increased traffic.”
Add to that the congestion issues
with the increase in traffic, and most
Congestion getting worse.
people who use the border post on a
regular basis say it is getting worse
and is nothing more than a ticking time
“We must remember though that the
traffic at this border post has increased
ten fold in the past twenty years and
had nothing been done, it would take
weeks to get through. The problem is
that all the interventions and efforts
have not gone far enough and we are
just not keeping pace. Ultimately it is
heading for disaster,” says Curtis.
But with SADC finally on board
much is expected in coming months,
even if it is not the much-anticipated
and wanted one-stop border post.
With the Regional Trade Facilitation
Programme having come to an end in
October 2009, its replacement Trade
Mark SA is set to kick off soon.
“At the moment SADC is waiting
for comment on the three documents,
especially the action plan from the
stakeholders. They have also requested
some much-needed funding that will
be used to implement some of the
recommendations of the action plan. A
one-stop border post is definitely a part
of the future of Beitbridge, but it won’t
happen soon. Too much work still
needs to be done.”
Your Cargo Crossborder Transport
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SA Cell: +27 83 278 3683
Zam Cell: +260 966 996 944
Small enough 2 care, large enough 2 carry
FEBRUARY 2010 | 17
Escalating power costs
a major challenge to mining industry
By Liesl Venter
lectricity supply remains one
of the major challenges facing
the mining industry – not just in
South Africa, but also in Africa.
“Most of sub Saharan Africa cannot
guarantee adequate electricity supply
to the mining industry,” says Frost
& Sullivan mining analyst Wonder
Electricity remains an important
input for all forms of mining. A major
energy source for the transport of
personnel, material and ore, as well as
for production machines and mineral
processing. Load shedding and blackouts continue to have a negative effect
on the industry across the continent.
According to the South African
Chamber of Mines, Eskom and the
mining industry in South Africa
specifically have developed a thorough
understanding of each other’s needs and
concerns that resulted in several formal
agreements, negotiated through the
Chamber. But with electricity increases
continuing, the Chamber has in recent
months become outspoken in its
criticism of the power utility, warning
that further electricity increases could
have dire results.
“It is imperative that the South
African mining industry has access
to an effective and reliable electricity
supply,” said Chamber of Mines CEO
Zoli Diliza shortly after the Chamber
called for a new electricity dispensation
for the country in November 2009,
preferring to now work directly with
the government and bypass the power
Experts have agreed that Eskom’s
proposed tariff increases of some 35%
per year for the next three years, revised
from the initial 45% request to the
National Electricity Regulator of South
Africa (Nersa), remain extremely high.
“The challenge for the mining sector
is that we have a basket of goods
and services whose costs are rising at
double digit figures in an environment
of low commodity prices. This means
that a number of mining companies are
battling for survival and extra costs add
to the burden of the pressures they face
in the short term,” said the Chamber.
Mining companies are battling for survival
and extra costs add to the burden of the
pressures they face.
18 | FEBRUARY 2010
Researchers raise questions
over benefits of single African currency
Selective approach recommended
ith African countries
having set a 2021 deadline
for the introduction of a
single currency, questions are being
raised about who is likely to benefit
A recent paper by Trade Law
Association researchers Johan
Fourie and María Santana-Gallego
points out that the benefits are likely
to be greater for a select few.
The gains in terms of trade will
depend on how open the country is
and the intensity of trade flows with
the other members of the currency
union, say Fourie and SantanaGallego.
Creating a currency union may
result in large trade gains – an
increase in trade by a factor of up
to three according to some research
– but this is based on the belief that
lower transaction costs would lead
to large increases in intra-regional
trade volumes, augmenting growth.
“The central idea is that a
common currency implies more
than an elimination of exchange
rate volatility among its members.
It also reduces transaction costs,
information asymmetries and
uncertainty, increases transparency
relevant to international trade and
provides a commitment device for
macroeconomic policies.”
While many African countries
stand to benefit significantly from
a shared currency, there appears
to be evidence that two of the five
regional groupings within Africa –
Comesa and SADC – would realise
substantial gains, and these gains
would be greater for a small number
of countries within these groups.
“This supports a selective
approach to adopting a currency
union, rather than the (politically
untenable) objectives of the linear
approach,” according to Fourie and
Fewer people,
more goods
Travel through Mpumalanga’s
border posts decreased by at
least 17% compared to the
same period last year, but
imports and exports increased.
In a statement released by
the Border Control Operations
Coordinating Committee for
the Lebombo and Ressano
Garcia border post, officials
said there was no doubt the
recession had left its mark
and affected the traffic
“Mpumalanga saw a
decrease of 17% of travellers
compared to the same period
last year. There has, however,
been a sharp increase of trade
goods exported and imported
to the country compared to
the same period last year.”
Another reason given for
the decline in the number of
travellers was the closure of
several mines in South Africa
during 2009 meaning people
left for their country of
origin earlier than usual,
said a spokesman.
We’ve earned our stripes
through quality personalised service
InternatIonal aIr & ocean • local dIstrIbutIon
Tel: (+267) 3923327 • Fax: (+267) 3924913
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Durban Tel +27 31 465 5003
Johannesburg Tel +27 11 918 5942
[email protected]
Angola • Botswana • DRC •Malawi •Mozambique • Namibia • Zambia • Zimbabwe
“Africa Just Got Smaller”
FEBRUARY 2010 | 19
Move to single transit bond gains momentum
Big challenges – but even bigger benefits
By Joy Orlek
ne of the most significant
cross-border issues of the
moment is the move towards
a regional transit bond.
Welcomed by all as an essential
ingredient in streamlining trade, it’s
been several years in the planning
and is likely to take some time to
reach fruition. But countries in the
region are increasingly realising that
it’s an economic imperative.
“There are 13 countries involved
– and it’s largely related to road
bonds,” says Lombard Insurance’s
Francis Kingston.
“The idea is to have one road
bond issued in the country of origin,
allowing the haulier to transit within
each of those countries instead of
requiring a separate bond for each.
“All countries realise it needs
to be done to promote trade in the
region and at the moment the biggest
beneficiary would be the DRC which
sends big volumes into South Africa
that have to transit through Zambia
and Zimbabwe to reach the port of
exit,” said Kingston.
There are several stakeholders
involved – from the customs unions
Dean Burscough ...‘The time-saving is huge.’
Francis Kingston ...‘It needs to be done to
promote trade in the region.’
in the different countries to freight
forwarding associations. Lombard
is involved on the insurance side as
one of the key players in terms
of guarantees.
For the single bond to operate, you
need a guarantee. “If goods are lost
along the way customs wants their
VAT and duty and that’s the aspect
of the guarantee that we look after,”
• Containerised Shipments
• Breakbulk Shipments
• Reefers and Non-Operating Reefers
• Cross Trade Bookings
• Project Cargo
• Vessel Chartering
• Freight All Kinds
• Minerals and Metals
Manju Pather or Siva Pather
Tel: (+27 11) 679 1651 Fax: (+27 11) 679 1655
[email protected]
[email protected]
Roadfreight to/from
• Full Loads
• Part loads
• Consolidations
Mike Attwell
Tel: (+27 31) 266 5227
Fax: (+27 31) 266 5968
[email protected]
We take the hassle out of
Full Loads
hazardous cargo
Full & part loads • Consolidations • Breakbulk
to Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe,
Zambia, Malawi and DRC
says Lombard’s Dean Burscough.
But while everyone accepts the
significant benefits of a single bond,
there are huge implications.
“There are different duties and
VAT rates for various countries – and
the question is how to reduce this to
one form to cover duty and VAT in
South Africa and everywhere else.
“Another obstacle is language,”
says Kingston. “The three languages
are English, French and Portuguese
which means you would have to
have all information in triplicate.”
There are huge obstacles, he
says, but a pilot project undertaken
recently worked very successfully
– although it did involve very small
The objective is to implement a
full test run in the next two years
– although all concede that there is
still a lot to be done.
In the pilot run, the typical border
waiting time of three days was
reduced to two hours.
“Clearly the time-saving is huge,”
says Burscough.
“The point of the regional
bond is to promote trade and by
making trade easier we will
increase volumes.”
South Africa
Tel: +27 11 221 3300
Fax: +27 11 334 5567
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +27 11 869 1585 Fax: +27 11 869 4524
e-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +263 446417/8, +263 486208
Fax: +263 486393
Email: [email protected]
Associated offices Harare | Beitbridge | Mutare
20 | FEBRUARY 2010
An audience with Zuma
cargo will kickstart
airfreight growth
for logistics newcomer
By Liesl Venter
By Joy Orlek
he BBBEE-rated ICM Group
is pushing ahead to become
a globally recognised brand,
with the country’s president
sitting up and taking notice of
this growing new generation
logistics company.
2010 kicked off extremely
well for the Bedfordview-based
company, which has been operating
for just over a year, with a request
for a meeting from President
Jacob Zuma.
“It was probably one of the
most significant moments in my
business life to date,” says CEO
Kiall Marsh, who along with Kriba
Naiken met Zuma at his homestead
in Nkandla in the first week
of January.
“He was very interested in who
we are and what we have been
doing in the past year.”
Marsh said they took
Zuma through their business
backgrounds, their decision to
start their own business as well
as the progress made in their first
Meeting the president … Kriba Naiken, President Jacob Zuma and Kiall Marsh.
12 months of operation and the
global market impact. He said the
45-minute private audience with
the president boded well for ICM
Group, which is planning to go full
tilt in 2010, signing new contracts
and expanding.
The company has grown
significantly in its first year, having
already opened offices in Shanghai,
Taking the load
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Aircraft Ground Handling
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Aircraft Broking
Offices and operational bases throughout Zambia
China, and in the Indian capital
of Mumbai. Two more offices
are being opened in Sao Paulo in
Brazil and Houston in the US.
The competition is starting to
take notice, says Marsh. “We have
brought on board several key
players to boost the company and
to ensure we are ready for the
next step.”
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It e delivery
Swazi operators continue
to lobby for 24-hour
border opening
By James Hall
ill Swaziland’s borders with
South Africa ever achieve the
24/7 operations once promised
for 2010 – a promise likely to be
deferred again?
While transport officials in both
countries suggested to road cargo
hauliers that the key border post
at Oshoek would continue with its
expanded holiday operating hours
come the New Year, shorter hours
returned nonetheless.
For road transport firms like Chrisilda
Transport in Matsapha, this means
ongoing efforts to convince government
authorities of the need for landlocked
Swaziland to enjoy unfettered road
access to South Africa the way the
roads are always opened to and
from Mozambique.
“When you are in a dark room, you
shoot in all directions,” said Chrisilda
managing director Sikelela Vilakati,
referring to road transport firms’
multi-prolonged approach to lobby for
expanded border post hours.
“Concerns have been raised through
Swaziland Truckers’ Association, a
government-accredited local trucking
group that speaks with the home affairs
ministry responsible for borders. We
also pressure the transport ministry
and individual MPs. The MPs can put
forward motions in parliament on border
hours,” Vilakati said
“With Mhlumeni (the Swazi border
post at Mozambique’s Maputo province),
you can see how well it works with the
24-hour opening. It would be great if
they could extend all hours on the South
African side,” he said.
Swazi transport operators believed
that once Mozambique signed on to
24/7 border operations with Swaziland,
South Africa would quickly follow suit,
allowing for road transportation from
Gauteng to Maputo via Swaziland on a
round-the-clock basis.
“South Africa is taking its time. We
acknowledge it’s a costly and involved
exercise – security and personnel to
operate the border post. But we will still
push. We need to look into a regional
lobbying group,” said Vilakati, whose
firm moves Swazi timber to Gauteng
along with a medley of other cargo.
FEBRUARY 2010 | 21
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22 | FEBRUARY 2010
Vicious cycle of corruption continues
‘Operators just pay up and bill it into their charges’
By Liesl Venter
fter a difficult 2009, freight
forwarders and transporters
are cautiously optimistic about
the coming year.
Transworld Road Freight says
while volumes may have only picked
up slightly in recent months, the
company remains optimistic that
cross-border volumes will grow
significantly in the next few months.
“The recession affected our cross-
border projects greatly and turnover
was down. In many African countries
there were many mining companies
that closed and all of this impacted
heavily on cross-border operations
and on the flow of traffic,” a
spokesman said.
Add to this the lack of the usual
“silly season” and an increase in
volumes is needed for 2010. “We
were busy toward the end of the
year, but not in comparison with
the previous year. We are however
confident that things will pick up and
that 2010 will be a better year than
the last.”
Mainly transporting between
South Africa and Namibia,
Transworld Road Freight has seen
much improvement in Africa’s
infrastructure and border post
“A major concern remains
corruption, which is not being
addressed at all,” says the spokesman.
“Most operators just pay the money
asked and bill it into their charges
so that a vicious cycle just continues
and the expectation is that everyone
must pay.”
Another problem he said, was
the lack of fencing along the Trans
Kalahari, especially in Botswana
where animals are allowed to
migrate freely. “Ironically the
problem is not the game, but rather
the domesticated animals such as
donkeys, horses and goats that are
causing very dangerous conditions.”
Swazi Rail looks at creating demand to grow the business
By James Hall
Whether countering a challenging
economic climate that has seen
a decline in cargo shipments
or anticipating a more robust
business environment, Swaziland
Railway operates under a proactive
philosophy espoused by CEO Gideon
Mahlalela, past president of the
Southern Africa Railway Association.
The key is to encourage development
of new industrial sectors that when
established can use rail for transport.
Under the previous more passive
approach, clients would come with
orders to move cargo, and the rail
line would work to accommodate the
demand, acquiring new equipment or
expanding routes as needed.
“I’m doing it differently. I’m
trying to create demand. Local or
transit, wherever it comes from. I
look at opportunities where they may
be, and work to make those happen,”
Mahlalela says.
As an example, he mentions
Swaziland’s large coal deposits.
The mineral is most economically
transported by rail. Indeed, all of
Swaziland’s coal is exported, directed
to Mpumalanga on Swaziland
Railway trains.
“Coal deposits in Swaziland are
one and a half billion tonnes. This is
a large amount of material that can
be transported.
To make such new business
a reality for the rail company,
Mahlalela is working with
government and private sector
players on initiatives to get the
mineral out of the ground.
Other countries’ rail systems
should adopt a proactive strategy that
seeks out new opportunities, in part
to correct the region’s over-reliance
on road transport, he said.
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FEBRUARY 2010 | 23
Abnormal load specialist plans fleet expansion
BY Joy Orlek
bnormal load specialist Frits
Kroon is upbeat about the
year ahead with business in
December and January showing
positive signs.
“We’re expecting a very good
year,” director Frits Kroon told FTW,
and are planning to expand the fleet
to cater for the expected increase in
“We only started feeling the impact
of last year’s recession in June/July,
but by December volumes were
picking up and we’re very positive
about the year ahead.”
The company’s specialised fleet of
lowbed abnormal trucks caters mainly
for the mining industry.
“The yellow metal industry is our
major focus – and the recession we
felt was mostly related to the fall in
the copper price and its impact on the
mining industry.
“But by December things were
already looking up.”
The company adapts its transport
routes to suit the types of cargo and
the bridges and ferries that can be
used, and for the most part there
are few complaints about border
“Our biggest gripe is the cost of
The company’s specialised fleet of lowbed abnormal trucks caters mainly for the mining industry.
Zambian permits. They’re not difficult
to get – just very expensive and
there’s little hope of a change to the
status quo.
“If we move goods to the DRC we
go through Zambia – to route through
Angola is not worth our while.”
And according to Kroon, transiting
borders is generally smooth going. If
the paperwork is up to speed, things
usually go without a hitch.
It’s largely about experience and
knowing the route.
Frits and his wife Tanya frequently
travel to Zambia.
“The more often you go there the
better you get to know the problems
that lie ahead.
In Botswana and Zambia the roads
have been significantly improved, in
his view, and a strong police presence
during the recent December holiday
period provided a welcome boost for
law enforcement on the roads.
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24 | FEBRUARY 2010
Regional corridor
concept falls short of expectation
Maputo corridor seen as only successful blueprint
By Alan Peat
or two decades one of the
buzz phrases in the SA freight
and road transport industries
has been “regional development
corridors (RDCs)” – mentioned
with its sister concept “spatial
development initiatives (SDIs)”.
The two ideas sprang up
alongside each other in the early
‘90s – designed to address SA’s
transition from the inward-looking
import-substitution economy it
had become during the apartheid
years. The idea was to focus exportoriented industrial development in
areas close to or along the coast, to
maximise on transport efficiencies
and position the country to compete
in global markets.
But it soon gained popularity
around the whole Southern African
sub-continent, and more than 20
areas of the region were considered
as being potential RDCs or SDI.
The concepts developed a
whole host of grand-sounding
words supporting them, all of
which promised better times
for the economic future of the
selected regions.
The concept was first put into
practice in the Southern African
Development Community (SADC),
where – for the purpose of linking
transport more closely to general
economic development – the
member countries initiated a
regional SDI programme. The
Common Market of East and
Southern Africa (Comesa) soon
followed suit, fully embracing the
Finally, the African Union (AU)
accepted the strategy for the rest
of Africa.
In the meantime, conversations
around the freight and road
transport industries emphasised
the idea that these development
initiatives would lead to first-class
highway systems being developed
across the southern and eastern
African regions – making crossborder transport in the region easy,
high-speed and cost-efficient.
That, at least, was the optimistic
hope of the times.
But, in the 20 years since then,
where have all these transport and
development corridors gone?
Only in four of them has road
development come anywhere near
highway levels. These are the
Northern and Tazara Corridors in
the northern section – where foreign
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lead to first-class highway systems being developed across the continent.
aid and expertise has been applied.
For the Northern Corridor, for
example, USAID together with
the New Partnership for Africa’s
Development (Nepad) and Comesa
supported a “High Level Workshop
on the Northern Corridor Spatial
Development Programme” in
Kampala in 2008.
‘It’s only in two of the four
corridors that there has been
any really significant spatial
The corridor transport route
starts in the Kenyan port city of
Mombasa, going through Nairobi
and into Uganda. There it is
intended to split into two legs, the
first running through Kampala and
into Rwanda, Burundi and DRC, the
second running to Gulu, and then
splitting again going into northeastern DRC and to the southern
Sudanese city of Juba.
But it’s done little up to now
except develop the road between
Mombasa and Uganda.
For the Maputo and TransKalahari Corridors in the southern
region, there has been intergovernment co-operation between
the SA and Mozambique authorities
in the first case, and between
SA, Namibia and Botswana in
the second.
But it’s only in two of the four
corridors that there has been
any really significant “spatial
development”. And, in the first –
the Walvis Bay or Trans-Kalahari
Corridor – this development has
been largely confined to the region
in and around the Namibian port
city of Walvis Bay itself.
But in the second – the Maputo
Corridor – there has actually been
highway development (in the form
of the new N4) and it has proved
to be the only area where a true
SDI has been implemented at the
regional level.
It involved a partnership between
Mozambique and SA – and, at
the time, this represented an
unprecedented level of economic
co-operation between the two
countries. It was first conceptualised
as a transport corridor by the
transport departments of the two
governments, but the eventual
intervention of SA’s Department of
Trade and Industry turned it into the
first of the regional SDI initiatives.
Overall it has been viewed as a
success, and a demonstration of the
potential of transport corridors and
SDIs in Africa.
The corridor links SA’s most
industrialised, but effectively
landlocked northern and eastern
regions (Gauteng and Mpumalanga
provinces) to the Mozambican port
of Maputo, and centres on a system
of road, rail, border posts, port and
terminal facilities.
But, with the exception of the
MDC, SDIs in Africa have not
been able to translate transport
infrastructure development into
broad-based growth – and not even
too much road development has
been activated.
So the Southern African
“highway network” still remains
only a dream.
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