Book: Pioneers of the Lowveld Hans Bornman MAPUTO DEVELOPMENT CORRIDOR AFTER THE first Democratic Election in 1994 Dr Mathews Phosa realised the responsibilities that awaited him, one of them being the Premiership of the Mpumalanga Province. He was approached by a construction company who had a feasibility study done by Van Wyk and Louw, concerning the road between Witbank and Maputo, which was a major project. Phosa studied the report and incorporated it as one of his election promises in 1994. In his inaugural speech he referred to the need to establish a good infrastructure in the province and in particular give attention to the road between Maputo and Witbank. This was the start of the Corridor. The name Maputo Development Corridor was not used at that stage. After Phosa had been sworn into office he began to plan various cross points of the province and realised that the Corridor would form the backbone of activities and that Nelspruit was identified as the centre of the project. A further extensive study was carried out, sponsored by Genkor, the Mpumalanga government, Ingwe and other companies, on a voluntary basis. The study covered, not only the N4, but also the N2 from Durban to Maputo. Various angles were looked at from which Maputo could be approached and several sectors considered where there could be areas of cooperation. At the time there was a light influx of Mozambicans escaping from a dying war, which had many casualties; the economy having collapsed with the resultant high unemployment. The Corridor could, therefore, contribute to the economic growth in Mozambique and would also create employment on either side of the border. Once the study was finished more information was available than had been covered in the Van Wyk and Louw’s report. Phosa then decided to go to Mozambique and meet with the Governor of Maputo, Billa, and Nxumalo, the then Governor of Gaza province, because it links up strategically with Xai Xai. He was accompanied by a number of journalists as it was a mission that needed to be recorded as it went along. At that time a number of factors were also incorporated and an agreement signed with Governer Billa and Governor Nxumalo. The whole exercise was fully supported by President Joaquim Chissano and President Nelson Mandela who encouraged him to explore the possibilities. A point beyond exploration was reached and it was now necessary to plan. At that stage Mac Maharaj, who was the Minister of Transport, contacted Phosa and suggested that they worked together on this project. He organised a few ministers, the Minister of State Enterprise and others and with Phosa they went to Maputo. The Mozambican Department of Transport was approached suggesting that committees be formed to focus on various sectors of the economy and to join forces. It was at this meeting that the Maputo Corridor was named. A committee was established to do research in order to promote the Corridor and attract the private sector. This committee was given eight months to report back. It was realised that the government would have to create the climate and the private sector drive the economic opportunities that had been researched. The government participating in certain environments in promoting opportunities, both in South Africa and indeed worldwide, was the secret of success of the Maputo Corridor. Phosa and his delegation went to Portugal and met with chambers of commerce who were interested in reviving old economic links with Mozambique. They also had discussions with the Reserve Bank, and Banks in Lisbon. They went to Cannes, Edinburg, Bonn and London promoting the Corridor. They travelled the world over and came back and addressed seminars on the opportunities available. They had to sell Mozambique that had come out of a war, and explain that the peace was irreversible, democracy would hold, and invited investment there and also in South Africa that was a new democracy. The Mandela government would be succeeded by a stable government. These issues were important to worldwide investors. Phosa was the political champion who had to continue to promote opportunities on behalf of all the stakeholders, to open doors and create an environment to attract investment. He had the full support of the Cabinet. It was a mighty challenge having to deal with a multibillion Rand project like this one. It earned South Africa accolades across the continent. An invitation was extended by President Sam Nujoma at that time to spend a week in Namibia to share their experiences about the Maputo Corridor. They looked at Walvis Bay as a possible port with a road linking up to the Maputo Corridor. They also visited Botswana, at the invitation of President Sir Quett Masire, and visited Francistown to investigate links with the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Botswana used the Cape Town route and it was argued that the Maputo Corridor would be the shortest route to the coast. TRAC A year after Phosa’s visionary speech, the Governments of South Africa and Mozambique agreed to invite tenders for the transformation of the N4 into the Maputo Corridor Toll Road. The contract, for a 30-year concession period, was awarded to Trans African Concessions (TRAC). TRAC was initially controlled by a consortium consisting of the South African construction company Stocks & Stocks which holds 40 per cent, the French multi-national Bouygues (30%) and another local company Basil Read (30%). Bouygues also held a major stake in Basil Read. The concession document was signed in May 1997 by the three parties, South Africa, Mozambique and TRAC. The sponsoring shareholders have since sold their shares. Currently the South African Infrastructure Fund holds the majority shares in TRAC. The four key objectives of the Maputo Corridor were to rehabilitate the core infrastructure along the Maputo Corridor. This involved the upgrading of the road and rail links, the border post between Mpumalanga and Mozambique and the Port of Maputo. By December 1997 TRAC had raised the required R1.6 billion to finance the project. The N4 was the first major infrastructure project completed since the implementation of the Maputo Corridor agreement. Stretching from just east of Pretoria in South Africa to Maputo in Mozambique, the N4 provides a world-class trunk route, of some 630 km, between the two countries. The building of the first five toll plazas began on 6 March 1998 at Middelburg. The other plazas are Machadodorp, Nkomazi, Moamba and Maputo. A further toll plaza, Diamond Hill, has been built between Pretoria and Witbank. Between Machadodorp and Nelspruit the Route splits into the Schoemanskloof and the Elands Valley Routes, both form part of the N4. The Maputo Corridor was officially launched on 6 June 1998 by Presidents Nelson Mandela and Joaquin Chissano and was witnessed by some 6000 people at the Mozambican border town of Ressano Garcia. An important element of the port development program is the construction of a new link road, which will deliver port traffic to and from the N4 by the most direct route, and significantly ease congestion in the downtown areas of Maputo For importers and exporters alike the N4 is a fast, safe and efficient road to the international ports of Maputo and Matola The N4 offers round-the-clock response teams to deal with incidents, the latest technology, the safest road construction, tamper-proof SOS-telephones and a management policy that ensures continuous maintenance and upgrading. RAIL LINK An international consortium led by New Limpopo Bridge Project Investments (NLPI), together with Spoornet and CFM, the national rail operators of South Africa and Mozambique respectively, signed a 15-year Concession Agreement in 2002 to privatise the railway from the South African border through to the ports of Maputo and Matola. Unfortunately financial closure was never reached on this concession and the Mozambique Government cancelled it during July 2005 CFM has since started to rehabilitate the line, under a commitment of an investment of approximately US$12 million to rehabilitate the 80 km railway line from Ressanno Garcia to Machava and another US$6 million from there into the port of Maputo,, modernising and improving it to the same standard as the South African network and providing a seamless rail link along the Maputo Corridor to offer a seamless pit to port rail solution Maputo and Matola are also served by cross-border rail services to and from Swaziland and Zimbabwe PORT OF MAPUTO The Mozambican deep water ports of Maputo and Matola have been conceded to the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) for a period of 15 years The company is vested with the powers of port authority and will be responsible for marine operations, towage, stevedoring, terminal and warehousing operations as well as port planning and development. The status of the existing independent cargo terminals at Maputo and Matola will continue unchanged within the new port authority. MPDC’s development project has commenced with the implementation of a three year US$70m rehabilitation program designed to restore the port’s basic land and marine infrastructure. The long-term objective is to re-establish the ports of Maputo and Matola as key economic growth centres in Mozambique and as competitive transit ports for the vibrant import/export markets of South Africa, and the neighbouring countries of Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia. MPDC´s port development program, combined with the region’s rapidly improving cross- border road and rail links, is designed to enable importers and exporters to ‘add value’ to their trade by using a secure, modernized and cost efficient alternative to South African ports. Brenda Horne, founder and Chief Executive Offocer of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) MAPUTO CORRIDOR LOGISTICS INITIATIVE Brenda Horne is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) incorporated on 17 March 2004 as a Section 21 membership organisation (not for profit), with members from Mozambique, South Africa and in future also Swaziland. As an outflow of the LCBT Maputo Corridor Initiative (MCI), at a forum coordinated by Brenda, which was attended by 180 participants, to give an update on the infrastructure investments and constraints on the Maputo Corridor, Manganese Metal Company seconded Brenda, then their Marketing Administration and Logistics Manager, to set up MCLI, after an unanimous call for a single platform for freight logistics stakeholders to engage with the public sector to address barriers to trade on the Maputo Corridor. Founding funding members were secured and a model of multilateral, multi-stakeholder participation, communication and inclusivity thus MCLI, was founded in the true spirit of public - private partnership of cooperation. It is a grouping of infrastructure investors, service providers and users focused on the promotion and further development of the Maputo Development Corridor. MCLI strives to cooperate closely with organized business and relevant authorities of Mozambique, South Africa and the Kingdom of Swaziland, to develop and promote the strategic benefits of the corridor leading to the closest port of the region. MCLI also played a very active role to ensure the relevant focus on the Maputo Corridor, during the formation of the National Freight Logistics Strategy of the SA Department of Transport, and have seen the priority timeframe on the corridor move from 2007 to that of the now 2005 listed strategic corridors in Southern Africa. Brenda is also the current director at the SA Shippers Council responsible for engagement with the Department of Transport. MCLI, through its persistent principles of coordination and communication has established four successful focus workgroups where the relevant public/private sector stakeholders work together to address the high level constraints on the corridor and this has led to the National Department of Transport requesting MCLI to become the secretariat for the newly announced corridor management structure for this region, as was announced by Minister Radebe on 28 September 2005. This will include the private sector, organised labour, local, provincial and national relevant departments as well as neighbouring countries, Mozambique and Swaziland. MCLI has become the ‘non-official’ communicator of freight logistics and development in the region. The initial strategic focus of MCLI is to engage the South African, Mozambican and Swaziland governments to reinforce the Public-Private Partnership in the arena of freight logistics, to ensure that the remaining constraints are resolved and the Maputo Corridor becomes the first choice for the Corridor region’s importers and exporters alike. After five years Dr Mathews Phosa has been called back to chair the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative.
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