by Isaac Chalumbira


Connecting SADC through regional economic integration


South Africa’s Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies officially opened the Musina Intermodal Terminal on Monday, 26 June 2017. This signalled a new era of promoting regional economic integration and trade by providing critical infrastructure and efficient intermodal logistics solutions, resulting in the lowering of transport costs.

Also present were the Premier of the Limpopo Province, Stanley Mathabatha; Limpopo’s MEC for Ecenomic Development Environment and Tourism, Seaparo Sekoati; Ambassadors and Consul Generals from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the DRC and Zambia; Her Worship, the Mayor of Musina, Mrs. Mihloti Muhlope; the Chairman of Musina Intermodal Terminal, Dr. Morley Nkosi; Transnet Group Chief Customer Officer, Mike Fanucchi; Barloworld Logistics Acting Managing Executive, Tebogo Kethupilwe; Barberry Holdings Group Chief Executive, Anand Moodliar; MAC Managing Director, Follie van Zyl; and Lionshare Holdings Chief Executive Officer, Isaac Chalumbira.

The origins of the development

A significant catalyst for the development of MIT was the recent designation of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by the DTI. MIT is closely aligned to the African Union’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa and the SADC Trade Protocol. It is also in harmony with the DTI’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and the SEZ’s strategic objectives of boosting both South Africa’s and SADC’s industrialisation and manufacturing capacity—specifically in the sectors of agro-processing and the extraction and beneficiation of minerals.

Regional benefits of the terminal

The opening of the MIT facility will accelerate economic growth and development in the region, driving increased foreign and domestic direct investment, increased value-added exports, creation of jobs, as well as the building of industrial clusters and regional industrial hubs. The MIT, located on the N1 National Road in Musina, and some 10 kilometers from Beitbridge Border, was established during early 2017 to facilitate the interchange and use of road and rail as a catalyst to use either and or both, where commercially sustainable. The MIT can currently handle up to 3 million tons per annum of cargo, both bulk and containerised; this capacity can be increased with relatively low capital investment to over 8 million tons per annum. The MIT complex comprises four designated reas: the Musina Station property, a concrete pad, a covered warehouse and a hardstand facility, with all four areas interlinked with rail lines, connecting to the Transnet Freight Rail main line. All MIT stakeholders are committed to enabling the interchangeable use of road and/or rail transport where commercially sustainable.

Key players in the development

The promoters of the MIT are two established Musina-based businesses, Lionshare Developments, a property developer, and Musina Associated Carriers, a transport and logistics company. Barloworld Logistics and its joint venture partner, Barberry Rail, are strategic partners in the MIT and are focused on managing rail flows in and out of the MIT, working with Transnet Freight Rail to extract efficiencies from the rail system and lower the costs of logistics. Transnet has been a key partner in the development of the MIT through its Market Demand Strategy (MDS), where Transnet Freight Rail actively works with terminal operators and partners—in this instance MIT—to design appropriate rail and intermodal solutions to migrate road volumes to rail and vice versa. In addition, Transnet Freight Rail made the Musina Station available, under a Lease Agreement, to be incorporated in the MIT complex.

Road-rail migration

MIT estimates current cross border road traffic volumes of all cargo types is approximately 11 million tons per annum, and MIT is seeking to migrate some 10% of this volume onto rail-road or road-rail intermodal transportation. To this end Minister Davies will announce:

the test run of citrus to use MIT for the transportation of oranges to Durban for export; Coal of Africa’s new Makhado coking coal mine and later resumption of Vele Coal Mine will use MIT to transport coal for export and local use at Eskom and steel plants; Scania (SA) will be building and launching its service dealership to be rebuilt in MIT. Other commodities currently also on trial runs (or in negotiation) include export copper, chrome, imported fertilizer and platinum in transit.

In striving to deliver both innovative and comprehensive value-adding solutions to clients, MIT has successfully managed to have the facility classified as a Special Storage Warehouse, i.e. a Bonded Warehouse and Bulk storage. The MIT is focused on ensuring that the most appropriate transport mode is utilised for the specific cargo types from origin to destination, in so doing providing the capability and capacity to efficiently tranship cargo from one mode to another. In the short to medium term MIT is targeting to handle approximately 2.1 million tons of cargo per annum onto rail, including approximately 1.5 million tons per annum of locally produced coal. The intermodal movement of cargo from road to rail and vice versa will result in reduced carbon emissions, logistics costs and road congestion, as approximately 62000 vehicle trips per annum are removed from the region’s roads. The MIT initiative will result in the creation of about 500 new jobs in Musina and the greater Vhembe District, create opportunities in related value chain sectors and it is envisaged that other job opportunities will be created when volume throughput increases.

Isaac Chalumbira

Director: Musina Intermodal Terminal

Tel: +27 11 492 1474 / +27 84 400 1868 /

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Issue 93


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