South Africa President unveils EUR 30bn rail and port investment push.

By bne IntelliNews February 13, 2012
South Africa plans to invest ZAR 300bn (EUR 29.6bn) in railway and port projects over the next seven years in an effort to create more jobs and boost mining and exports, Africa Review reported, quoting the countrys President Jacob Zuma. The project is aimed to connect key inland regions to the sea and expand the capacity of the nation's ports, which include Africa's busiest port in Durban. The project will be carried out by state-owned freight and logistics group Transnet with the aim of boosting mineral exports like iron ore and manganese. Port charges for manufactured goods will be slashed by ZAR 1bn, Zuma said in his 2012 State of the Nation address. Some ZAR 200bn will be allocated to rail projects and the majority of the balance, to projects in the ports, said the president, who also announced other infrastructure projects targeted at roads, water and electricity. The spending was the centrepiece of Zuma's proposals to combat what he calls the "triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality". The mining industry is seen as a key driver against unemployment, which has plagued South Africa despite steady economic growth, with jobless rate at 23.9% at the end of 2011.

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