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South Africa’s State-owned Lender to Help Ports and Rail Company Attract Private Investors

The Development Bank of Southern Africa is working with Transnet to help the embattled South African state ports and freight-rail operator prepare projects for private participation. Transnet has come under severe criticism from miners and other industries dependent on its services after the amount of freight, including key export commodities such as iron ore and coal, railed to and from ports plunged by a third over the past five years. Its container terminals are also among the world’s least efficient. The state company has gone some way toward including private participation on its networks. It’s finalising an agreement with the Philippines’s International Container Terminal Services to help run and expand Africa’s biggest container port in Durban. It’s also seeking private operators for a citrus terminal and the key rail-freight line between Durban and South Africa’s industrial heartland of Gauteng, the province where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located.