(i) WHY IS SUCH A GREATER PROPORTION OF FREIGHT
CARRIED BY ROAD
HISTORY OF FREIGHT RAIL TRANSPORT IN SOUTH AFRICA
The origins of rail in South Africa can be traced back to 1853, when the Cape Town Railway & Dock Company was formed.
The real catalyst for the country’s railway and harbour expansion can be attributed to the discovery of diamonds in Kimberly in 1867.
Five years later, the construction of the first railway in South Africa was launched via the signing of a contract between the Cape Town Railway & Dock Company and the Government of the Cape of Good Hope.
The rail network quickly expanded to other provinces and, by 1910, the Cape Government Railways, Natal Government Railways, Transvaal Government Railways and the Ports of the coastal provinces combined to form the South African Railways and Harbours (SAR&H).
With air travel becoming increasingly popular and viable, the South African Airways was incorporated into the SAR&H in 1934.
On 01 April 1981, the government restructured the SAR&H to become a state business enterprise known as South African Transport Services (SATS).
SATS in turn became Transnet Limited - incorporated as a company on 1 April 1990 with the State as its sole shareholder. As the national rail operator, Transnet Freight Rail (then Spoornet) became one of the major divisions of Transnet.
In July 2007, Transnet unveiled a new image which entailed adopting a monolithic brand and Spoornet was renamed Transnet Freight Rail.
A summary of key events that laid the foundation for the South African Freight Rail of today.
1835 - First meeting of the Preliminary Committee of the "Cape of Good Hope Western Railway" with Harrison Watson, prominent Cape banker as chairman.
1850 - Milne's wooden track oxen-powered railway between the Bluff and the Harbour, Port Natal, the forerunner of the railway in Africa.
1851 - Estimates for the construction of the Cape Town-Wellington railway submitted by the Cape Government, with a cost of 500 000...