Rising traffic through Transnet-operated South African ports increased revenue by over 14 percent this year, laying the groundwork for the state-owned company to invest 31.8 billion rand (approximately US$2.98 billion) in its logistics infrastructure.
Transnet’s 2014 annual results presentation showed the company’s revenue was up 14 percent this year to 56.6 billion rand. The revenue jump was, in part, due to a 25 percent rise in auto volume and containers traveling by rail, Transnet said. The additional revenue allowed Transnet to put nearly 32 billion rand nto repairs and upgrades to its ports, rail and general infrastructure.
Transnet also reported that container traffic out of its eight commercial ports in South Africa — Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Saldanha — was up 6.3 percent this year.
The investment brings Transnet’s total expenditures for upgrades to a record high of 121.5 billion rand since 2010. Transnet said the added investment pushes the total from its seven-year plan to 312.2 billion rand.
Transnet highlighted the infrastructure projects in its yearly report. Port upgrades were a priority, with the company purchasing equipment to increase container-handling capacity at Ngqura port from the current 750,000 TEUs per year to 1.5 million TEUs per year. The company also purchased seven tandem lift cranes to be used in Durban, along with a ship loader and unloader to serve dry bulk customers at the Port of Richards Bay.
A large percentage of investment dollars went to upgrading the company’s locomotive fleet. Transnet purchased 1,200 new locomotives, all of which are set to be delivered in the next 36 months. Transnet maintains an extensive rail network, with its rail infrastructure representing about 80 percent of Africa’s total.
South African trade was substantially higher in the last fiscal year, from April 2013 to March 2014. The value of South African exports grew 25.6 percent year-over-year to 910 billion rand. Import growth followed a similar pattern, rising 19.9 percent to 1 trillion rand.