Pioneers by pengxiang


									Book: Pioneers of the Lowveld
Hans Bornman

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
         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.

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.

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
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)

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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