17th August 2018

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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State-owned rail enterprise Transnet has derailed its reputation by allowing six derailments – four for iron-ore and two for manganese – and rail cancellations to occur on what should be a problem-free line from the Northern Cape to the Port of Saldanha. As it is, South Africa’s logistics costs are very high and often dwarf the cost of longer-distance shipping. But the country has high-quality iron-ore and manganese that attract price premiums on global markets by users pursuing greater efficiencies and less pollution. But the shine was taken off those price premiums by Transnet going off track repeatedly, costing iron-ore producer Kumba Iron Ore more than R2-billion in lost opportunity in the six months to June 30. In this way, the State-owned rail company is derailing not only its own reputation but also that of South Africa and should be forced to make full public disclosure on how it is going to prevent these derailments going forward.


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