Construction on proposed Joburg Multimodal inland port to start next year

A new multimodal inland port and logistics gateway, aimed at servicing Gauteng and the rest of Southern Africa, is to be developed near Johannesburg over the next ten years, with the first R1-billion phase set to start early next year.

Cape-based property developer Inframax Holdings says the new facility – to be called Tambo Springs – will be built on a 630-ha site situated 25 km south-east of the Johannesburg central business district. The company plans to add at least a further 600 ha to this site over time.

Inframax MD Dr Willie Es says that the proposed new inland port and logistics gateway will increase Gauteng’s current freight logistics capacity in and out of Johannesburg nearly double to three-million twenty-foot equivalent units by 2015 and to four-million twenty-foot equivalent units by 2020, with further increases thereafter.

Els explains that, historically, the original logistics centres were developed on the periphery of cities. Over the years, however, the cities grew and absorbed the centres, making expansion and upgrading to accommodate new demands difficult.

“This is more or less what is happening to Johannesburg’s City Deep terminal, which was established in 1977 as a bonded inland container depot, where containers from Durban could clear customs in Johannesburg. While a significant role remains for City Deep, the time has come to have it operate in tandem with a larger inland port located on the new city periphery,” he asserts.

The new inland port will be built to accommodate the creation of an efficient inter- modal capability of road, rail, air and sea transport. Els says that it is essential for such a new-generation port to have fast, easy access to the country’s major road and rail networks linking it to the big industrial centres and the country’s major sea ports.

“Tambo Springs is well positioned in this respect as it is located on the southern periphery of Johannesburg, within the Johannesburg to Durban road freight and rail corridor. As such, it has access to the N3 freeway to Durban, the N1 to Cape Town and the R390 to Port Elizabeth and East London as well as to other freeways to the industrial centres just south of Johannesburg,” he points out.

Read the full extract from Engineering News of May 2010

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