Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has introduced a new operating model that will bring about greater efficiencies for customers, it says.
The model has decentralised key responsibilities to ensure a more responsive rail freight network that is better equipped to service the South African economy.
TFR is the largest division of State-owned utility Transnet and maintains an extensive rail network across South Africa, connecting to other rail networks in the sub-Saharan African region.
TFR’s rail infrastructure represents about 80% of Africa’s total capacity.
From August 1, TFR will implement six operational corridors, each with their own localised decision-making structures at operational level.
TFR CE Sizakele Mzimela says this will ensure higher levels of operating efficiency, a more dynamic approach to costs and pricing and greater customer satisfaction.
TFR has already appointed management executives that will be responsible for the corridors and drive operational performance, as well as volume growth for the business.
“We see the new strategic business corridors as the operational nucleus for TFR’s growth, and with it the growth of the South African economy. It will be where the key leadership and technical capacity is located, so we can pay greater attention to moving cargo with speed from production points to ports, and vice versa.
“This will enable us to regain market share, particularly in the general freight business, which has moved increasingly to road transport, while maintaining our presence in heavy haul commodities such as coal, iron-ore and manganese,” Mzimela says.
She adds that TFR’s new operational structure is geared to move TFR away from a multi-layered organisation towards a flat structure that delivers operational efficiency.
“The previous structure was cumbersome and top-heavy, at a time when we need increased technical capacity dedicated to operations and customer service.”
Mandisa Mondi will head up the North Corridor, to be based in Richards Bay, while Chuma Mokoena will oversee the Natal Corridor, to be based in Durban, and Lloyd Tobias will lead the Cape Corridor 1, to be based in Saldanha.
Further, Mashudu Makatu will head the North-East Corridor, to be based in Nelspruit and Rudzani Ligege the Central Corridor, to be based in Pretoria.
The appointment process for an executive to oversee Cape Corridor 2, to be based in Kimberley or Port Elizabeth, is under way.