SA and China to collaborate on Moloto Rail Development Corridor

Pretoria - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and China Communications Construction Company Limited have signed a MoU to explore various infrastructure development initiatives.

Key among them is the Moloto Rail Development Corridor, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

The MoU was signed at the 2nd Investment Africa Investment Forum attended by President Jacob Zuma in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, in China. The President has stopped over in Guangzhou from Hangzhou, where he participated in the G20 Summit.

The construction of the Moloto Rail Development Corridor is a direct response by government to excessive traffic congestion, numerous fatal road accidents and general economic underdevelopment in the area.

The Moloto Rail Project’s main objective is to ensure that passenger rail becomes the backbone of an integrated multi-modal transport system, using proven state-of-the-art rolling stock and equipment.

The project would serve as a catalyst for economic development initiatives within and around the corridor, resolving challenges of safety, efficiency, reliability, affordability and overall integration with other public transport services.

Speaking at the investment forum, President Zuma said the project is designed to change the quality of life for people in the area by cutting the long commuting distances from home to work.

He called on the Chinese business community to further explore investment opportunities in South Africa and Africa.

“Our message is clear. Africa is open for business. Africa is open for partnerships with China. A lot of economic interaction is already taking place between China and Africa with good results,” said President Zuma.

He assured the forum that the South African economy is resilient and has the potential to grow even more, despite the significant domestic and global headwinds it faces.

Yesterday Statistics SA, reported the South African economy exceeded expectations and grew by a seasonally adjusted 3.3% in the second quarter of 2016, which was more than the 2.7% which was expected by most economists.

The unexpected growth was driven by an 8% increase in manufacturing and 11.8% increase in mining and quarrying. Exports were also up by 18% and imports down by 5%.

President Zuma said government was encouraged by the development.

“We are putting our efforts in industrialisation as part of the Nine-Point plan we announced last year. Our industrialisation programme includes the expansion of our Special Economic Zones Programme, which offers competitive incentives ranging from tax allowances, employment incentives and a Customs Controlled Area,” he said.

The President is accompanied in Guangzhou at the investment forum by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; Trade and Industry Rob Davies and the Deputy Minister of Transport Sindi Chikunga.


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