A proposed rail freight link between South Africa and Swaziland is nearing construction after proving its viability.
Transnet and Swaziland Railway will now commence the next stage of the project after completing the FEL3 feasibility phase.
The 150km railway (100km in Swaziland and 50km in South Africa) between Lothair in Mpumalanga and Sidvokodvo, Swaziland, will significantly increase capacity along the route.
Twelve 81-wagon trains currently operate a day in both directions along the Swaziland Railway Komatipoort-Golela line.
The new line, which is being delivered through a public-private partnership (PPP), will more than double the overall capacity of the corridor, allowing an additional 12 200-wagon trains to operate each day.
Transnet says the project will help create additional capacity on the eastern mainline and the North-South Corridor.
Transnet said it was in the process of finding “suitable partners” to help deliver the scheme.
Preparatory works are already underway, including land acquisition, resettlement planning and grave relocation – 500 graves have already been relocated on the Swaziland side.
The construction of the new line will coincide with a modernisation of the existing lines. Altogether, the project is expected to create almost 10,000 jobs across the two countries.