Plans are afoot to build a new logistics hub in Gauteng to streamline the movement of freight through South Africa and into the rest of the continent.
This movement of freight it part of the government’s Strategic Infrastructure Projects (SIP) of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission, and key to it is the planned Tambo Springs Logistics Hub Development in Gauteng, which the private sector and Transnet are partnering on.
Dr Herman Joubert, who works for Tech IQ Consulting Engineers and is part of the team tasked with developing this hub, outlined the importance of this SIP at the 35th annual Southern Africa Transport Conference taking place this week in Pretoria.
“This strategic integrated project is focused on the Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor,” says Dr Joubert.
“Its purpose is to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between South Africa’s main industrial hubs. At the same time improving access to Durban’s export and import facilities which will increase the efficiency along the corridor.
“Transnet will also establish dedicated trains to the terminal so freight can be offloaded from rail and distributed via the road network. It is part of the government’s plan to move more freight from the highways to rail,” he says.
“It will also integrate the Free State Industrial Strategy into the corridor. This will allow the integration of businesses in the surrounding areas along the corridor, which are isolated from the main logistics system.”
This is the fundamental purpose of this particular project, Dr Joubert says.
Gauteng, as the most populous province in South Africa and the smallest geographic area, is the economic hub of the country. According to Joubert, 60% of the country’s imports and export are either delivered to or originate from the province.
As part of the national government’s 25-year integrated master plan there are five freight key logistics hubs identified in Gauteng. They are City Deep (Johannesburg CBD), Vaalcon (south of Johannesburg), Pyramid (Pretoria as part of the au,tomotive cluster), the West Rand and the planned Tambo Springs hub as the gateway to Durban.
These identified logistic hubs, according to Joubert, will serve industries in Gauteng and support the country’s economic growth. Each hub has been identified as being ideally situated to enable this growth.
He points out that the Tambo Springs hub also forms an integral part of the Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads master plan in the development of the provincial transportation system in that region.
“In June this year Transnet issued a request for proposal for an inland terminal to be situated at the Tambo Springs Hub. This is to design, build, operate and then eventually hand it over to the state-owned enterprise as part of a public private partnership (PPP). It will be a 20-year concession expected to be in operation by 2019,” Joubert says.