Monday, October 25, 2021

Regional trade set for boost with New Trans Kalahari Corridor truck ports

WALVIS BAY ÔÇô Botswana and its neighbours, Namibia and South Africa are hoping to boost regional trade by improving the  HYPERLINK “http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/efficiency” efficiency of the Trans- HYPERLINK “http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/kalahari” Kalahari Corridor network, the Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat (TKCS) Executive Director Leslie Mpofu has said. 

According to Mpofu, this should happen through the establishment of a number of new truck stops along the TKC which traverse all the three countries. He said that generally transport corridors are important to ensuring the safe and efficient movement of goods between the neighbouring countries. 

The corridor ÔÇô a tripartite trans-boundary between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana ÔÇô is a road network spanning approximately 1900 kilometres across the territories of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It starts in the Gauteng Province in South Africa and continues through Rustenburg and Zeerust in the North-West Province, through Lobatse and Kanye in Botswana, the Mamuno and Trans Kalahari Border Posts, through Gobabis, Windhoek and Okahandja in Namibia and right through to the Port of Walvis Bay.

Last week, Mpofu said that already places such as Walvis Bay, Gobabis on the Namibian side as well as CharlessHill, Kang, Sekoma, Jwaneng, Lobatse (Botswana) and Zeerust (South Africa) have been identified as places that will get truck ports. 

It has also emerged that the viability of establishing the truck stops has been confirmed by a feasibility study and investors are now investigating the opportunities for involvement. 

Mpofu told a group of journalists touring the corridor this past week that the TKC is known for providing a short transport link across the entire breadth of the South African Sub-continent. 

Compared to the traditional routes via southern Namibia to South Africa’s Gauteng, the corridor cuts the distance by 400 kilometres making it a more preferred route and providing cost effective logistical advantages to users.

On the other side, trade volumes along the Corridor for the Botswana market are said to have hit a record high of more than 2 000 tonnes in 2015. It has shown significant growth year on year, with many more consumables and especially a steep increase in motor vehicles being imported through the port of Walvis Bay.

The Trans-Kalahari Corridor was jointly built by the Namibian and Botswana governments in the 1990s with an initial investment of approximately P650 million.

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