The transportation industry on its own covers sectors from passenger ferries through to road haulage. At Quad our primary focus is on the Rail Sector and hence our analysis specifically looks at the Rail Industry within South Africa and the African Continent.

Goods and services worth billions of rands are traded each year, both within South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the rail industry is one of the most important players in the transportation of these goods. Spoornet (a division of Transnet) is the largest player in the rail industry and whose rail infrastructure represents some 80% of Africa’s rail infrastructure.

Other key players in the African Rail industry include, GE Transportation Rail, Transwerk, Siemens Transportation Systems, VAE, Ringrollers, Lucchini, and Bombardier Transportation.

Transwerk and Spoornet are divisions of Transnet that have an annual turnover of R13.1 billion and utilises 30,400 km of track 2,410 locomotives 88,000 wagons and 2,097 passenger coaches.

Well functioning rail transport systems are crucial to the success of the industry sector. In gold and platinum mines extensive rail bound transport systems support operations by efficiently transporting people, material and broken rock to sites of extraction, development and processing.

Rail also provides the means to transport much of the output of mining and other industries to sea ports and markets.

On a commercial level the South African Rail Commuter Corporation transports 2 million people daily from 374 stations with 4,638 coaches and manages assets valued at R4.66 billion on behalf of the state.

Although underinvestment, inadequate maintenance and inefficient utilisation of locomotives and wagons, infrastructure neglect and operating deficits continue to affect much of the rail sector across the whole of Africa, a number of recent developments point towards new and positive trends. These include an increase in diverse, cross-section ownership structures of railway authorities, and concessions, leasing contracts, management contracts as well as both BOT (build, operate and transfer) and BOO (build, own and operate) options have emerged too.