Construction of US $9.5bn Trans-Kalahari railway to commence

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Botswana Railways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its Namibian Counterpart state owned TransNamib to facilitate the joint development of the Trans-Kalahari railway which will cost US $9.5bn.

TransNamib Corporate Communications Executive Ally, Hangula Paulino confirmed the reports and said railway line would complement the existing Trans-Kalahari corridor, which links Botswana to the port of Walvis Bay, but stretches 1 900Km from Walvis Bay, through Windhoek, Gaborone in Botswana and Johannesburg to Pretoria in South Africa.

The Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC) is a tripartite trans-boundary Corridor Management Institution that was established with a political and economic vision to pursue or contribute towards deeper regional integration programs of SADC, SACU and NEPAD. Trans Kalahari High Way which is a corridor that links Botswana, South Africa and Namibia is one of the infrastructures put up by the Governments and international partners to help enhance cross border trade in the region.

Also Read:Chipata- Mchinji- railway line complete on Zambian side

The Trans-Kalahari kilometers railway

This Corridor is known for providing a short transport link across the entire breadth of the South African Sub-continent. Compared to the traditional routes via southern Namibia to South Africa’s Gauteng, TKC cuts the distance by 400 kilometers, making it a more preferred route and providing cost effective logistical advantages to users. The TKC is a strategic route-of-choice that provides linkages between the Americas and East European markets and the Southern African hinterland.

The MoU agreement for the Trans-Kalahari railway line entails adding a coal terminal and associated loading facilities to the Namibia-Botswana corridor that would benefit other landlocked Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries like Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe by providing alternative transportation routes.

The railway line would connect Botswana to the Namibian Atlantic coast, traversing the vast semi-arid, sandy Savannah of the Kalahari Desert from Botswana to Namibia, with the sole benefit of connecting the land-locked Botswana to Namibia’s port of Walvis Bay, thus unlocking the value of coal mining in Botswana and power generation in the region.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Ditiro Rukamba for the words well articulated, people seem to be negative about things they don’t understand, if there’s a road that is running where the railway line is envisaged to run, what makes the environmental impact different. Others just rush to criticize having not read the article with much attention, it says the railway line budget is US$9.5 billion , NOT 9.5millon. Why do people feel certain things are not for some people in this world. We need that railway line big time. Thank you once again Ditiro.

  2. There is already a road so yes bushmen and wild life will be affected but not significantly more than they are currently affected by the road.

  3. we already have a Trans Kalahari Highway which is on the exact route the railway is going to be built,so it will affect them the same way the road did.we need this railway to access the sea(we are landlocked) so a little inconvinience to us won’t deter us from building it.you have underground railway lines and highspeed trains how did they affect you when they were built?

  4. One would like to know how Bushmen and wildlife are affected by a high handed project like this.

  5. The figures cannot be correct. US$ 9.5 million is less than the consulting fee for a project of this scope.

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