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Transnet SOC Ltd.
State-owned enterprise
Industry Rail transport
Port management
Pipeline management
Founded 1990
Headquarters Johannesburg
Key people
Mafika Mkwanazi, Chairman[1]
Products Freight Logistics
Revenue ~ R38 bn (2010)
Number of employees
49 078
Slogan Delivering on our commitment to you

Transnet SOC Ltd is a large South African rail, port and pipeline company, headquartered in the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg.[2] It was formed as a limited company on 1 April 1990. A majority of the company's stock is owned by the Department of Public Enterprises, or DPE, of the South African government. The company was formed by restructuring into business units the operations of South African Railways and Harbours and other existing operations and products.

The business units of Transnet include:

The National Ports Authority provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight commercial seaports in South Africa. Transnet port terminals was established in 2000, when Transnet's then single port division, Portnet, was divided into operations and landlord businesses namely, SAPO (Transnet port terminals) and National Port Authority (TNPA). Since its setting up, Transnet port terminals has played a part in supporting the South African government's export-led growth strategy. Most Southern African import and export commodities are handled through South Africa's six largest ports: Richards Bay, Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London. In October 2009 the new deepwater Port of Ngqura was commissioned just 7 km outside of Port Elizabeth. Port Terminals not only handle these cargo but implement logistics management solutions for its container, bulk, break-bulk (multi-purpose) and car terminal operations.

Transnet Pipelines, formerly known as Petronet, the guardian of the country's pipeline assets and is currently servicing two key industries (fuel and gas) by transporting petroleum and gas products over changeable distances.

Transnet Freight Rail formerly known as Spoornet, is the biggest division of Transnet. It is an outstanding heavy haul freight rail company that specializes in the transportation of freight. It is the biggest outside United States and excluding India that is not a company but a Government Department.

Transnet Engineering is dedicated to in-service maintenance, repair, upgrade, conversion and manufacture of freight wagons, mainline and suburban coaches, diesel and electric locomotives as well as wheels, rotating machines, rolling stock equipment, castings auxiliary equipment and services.


  • History of development 1
  • South African Transport Services 2
  • Recent news 3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History of development

Railways were first developed in the area surrounding Cape Town and later in Durban around the 1840s. The first line opened in Durban on 27 June 1850. The initial network was created to serve the agricultural production area between Cape Town and Wellington. The news that there were gold deposits in the Transvaal Republic moved the Cape Colony Government (supported by British Government) to link Kimberley as soon as possible by rail to Cape Town as part of the colonial dream.[3]

In the Union of South Africa (31 May 1910 - 31 May 1961), consisting of the four earlier colonies: the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal; all railways in South Africa finally became unified as a state-owned railway system in 1916 when the Central South African Railways, the Cape Government Railways and the Natal Government Railways were all fused by an Act of Parliament. Thus was born the South African Railways and Harbours (SAR&H).[4]

South African Transport Services

On 31 May 1961 the Union became the Republic of South Africa. By 1981 government decided that the SAR&H should restructure itself along business lines in order to evolve from a state-owned corporation towards privatization. Later, when commercial aviation started, the South African Airways also became a part of this huge land, sea and air transport system. Integral to the process was a change in the name and image of the organization, which would reflect its new mission as a state business enterprise. In April 1981, the country's railway, harbour, road transport, aviation and pipeline operations became known as South African Transport Services (SATS). At the same time, the enterprise was restructured into units and divisions with strong emphasis placed on localized management. [5] The "Legal Succession to the South African Transport Services Act, 1989" transformed the South African Transport Services from a government department into a public company.[6] On 1 April 1990, after 80 years of government and parliamentary control, SATS received company status.

Recent news

In December 2013, Transnet appointed nine black-owned companies to supply it with fuel over the following five years in a $1.5 billion deal aimed at promoting the South African government’s black economic empowerment drive.

On 17 March 2014, Transnet's CEO, Brian Molefe, announced contracts of R50 billion with four international manufacturing companies to build 1,064 Locomotives. (465 Diesel and 599 Electric Locomotives). GE will supply 233 Diesel locomotives, CNR 232 Diesel locomotives, Bombardier Transportation will supply 240 Electric locomotives and CSR 359 Electric Locomotives. Of the total of 1064 locomotives, 70 will be imported complete and the rest will be built locally by Transnet Engineering in Pretoria and Durban.


A new company representing a vast transportation network was born, and appropriately named TRANSNET. Transnet Limited is a public company of which the South African Government is the sole shareholder. Both working and controlling South Africa's major transport infrastructure, Transnet is also responsible for ensuring that the country's transport industries work according to world-class principles and that they form an integral part of the overall economy. [7]

Transnet is currently made up of:

  • Transnet Freight Rail (formerly Spoornet)
  • Transnet Rail Engineering (formerly Transwerk)
  • Transnet National Ports Authority (formerly the NPA)
  • Transnet Port Terminals (formerly SAPO)
  • Transnet Pipelines (formerly Petronet)

See also


  1. ^ "NEW TRANSNET BOARD". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Transnet. Retrieved on 15 April 2013. "Transnet SOC Ltd Head Office Physical Address Carlton Centre 150 Commissioner Street Johannesburg 2001"
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

  • Transnet
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