Technical approval for private rail terminal at Tambo Springs
Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway (Tambo Springs) has achieved a significant milestone with Transnet Freight Rail approving the technical layout for a private rail terminal and private rail siding unlocking southern Africa’s largest inland Port. The government’s support for Tambo Springs comes at a crucial time as the country needs to unlock large infrastructure projects in partnership with private enterprise.
It marks an important step for the overall development of this next-generation inland port as the rail terminal sits at the heart of the project. Previous plans for Transnet to develop and outsource the rail terminal to a concession were scrapped during lockdown last year when their particular concession process failed. “This forced us back to the drawing board to come up with an alternative rail solution,” said Tumi Mohulatsi, CEO of the Tambo Springs Development Company (TSDC), the landowner and master developer of the project. “We are very excited about the approval as it sets us on course to move the project forward without further delay.”
The 607-ha industrial development with bonded and secure zones is strategically located on the southern border of the Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metropolis, has been years in the making and is set to change Gauteng’s transport, logistics and warehousing scene for good. According to Mohulatsi, whilst the rail consortium failure was a considerable stumbling block, it has since been overcome and the project is back on track.
“The project’s intermodal rail terminal remains a key focus, and our decision to develop it privately showcases our commitment to delivering Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest intermodal terminal,” said Mohulatsi. “We submitted our drawings and engineering of how the rail terminal is envisaged to Transnet last month and received approval in record time. The next step in the process is obtaining the necessary Railway Safety Regulator approvals.”
According to Mohulatsi, once completed, Tambo Springs will have easy access to major road and rail networks linking strategic seaports, the OR Tambo International Airport and industries in the province. “Tambo Springs will be equipped to meet all manufacturing, warehousing and distribution needs and will double current freight logistics capacity in and out of Gauteng. It will provide customs clearance and the benefits of a Special Economic Zone, offering any business with a footprint in the precinct major advantages.”
According to Mohulatsi, the development of the intermodal rail terminal is critical to the overall success of the project. It will also ensure that current and future container traffic is efficiently and appropriately serviced on rail, alleviating the existing and projected pressure on the national road infrastructure.