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Aerial view of entrance of the port of cape town. Commercial docks of cape town harbour

Connecting the Rainbow

Manufacturing and export, rising living standards and growing consumption, plus status as a gateway to trade across sub-Saharan Africa have made South Africa’s container ports the target for massive investment in the last decade.

ProjectTransnet port major upgrade
LocationSouth Africa
ClientTransnet
ExpertiseEngineering, procurement and construction management

We provided engineering, procurement and construction management across the upgrade and expansion of 2000km of freight rail line and nine ports, including the ZAR6.2bn container terminal in the Port of Ngqura, and the ZAR4.7bn upgrade and extension of container terminals in Durban and Cape Town.

Working closely with national owner/operator Transnet, we were involved from initial planning and consultation, through design development and construction supervision, to handover. Among the various achievements, the team recorded 5M hours with no lost time injuries in the construction of various facilities at the Port of Ngqura.

Rudie Basson was directly responsible for Transnet’s ZAR340bn rail and port infrastructure expansion at this time, and has since joined Mott MacDonald as rail and port practice lead in Africa to promote best practice and support professional excellence networks.

“These are vital projects to safeguard South Africa’s position as a major transhipment destination,” he says. “Durban – the continent’s second largest container port behind Port Said in Egypt – is especially important, and Mott MacDonald is providing design work on feasibility for further incremental expansion around the old airport, where we aim to swap planes for ships.

“There are stiff environmental and social challenges, as the coast is a major breeding ground for fish, rare populations of chameleons, as well as a home to communities of subsistence farmers. Our breadth of disciplines allows us to come at the project from many different perspectives.”

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