Upgrading the Kranzberg railway
02 December 2020 | Infrastructure
John Mutorwa; Minister; “This was also done to position Namibia as a logistics hub within SADC.”
The minister of works and transport John Mutorwa officiated the start of the upgrade of the Walvis Bay to Kranzberg railway line at Arandis on Monday.
Mutorwa said that the lack of a rail upgrade may have negative consequences on the investment at the port of Walvis Bay.
“Major shipping lines have indicated that a functioning rail system is a precondition for them to stop at the Port of Walvis Bay. A functional and efficient transport and logistics sector is the backbone for the realisation of the targets and desired outcomes in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, fisheries, rural and urban development and tourism,” he said.
According to statistics, currently only 48% of the total rail network (2 630km) meets Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) requirements, with a medium target to upgrade 70% of the network, in line with the long-term Vision 2030.
Mutorwa also said that government, through the ministry of works and transport, has taken deliberate sectorial policy decisions which aims to make Namibia a transport and logistics hub.
“Over the past years, government has heavily invested in transport infrastructure development including roads, rail, maritime, ports and airports in order to meet the national demand.”
This was also done to position Namibia as a logistics hub within SADC.
TransNamib CEO Johny Smith said that the upgrade of the railway line will be beneficial as it will reduce travelling time by 30%.
“This is an important railway line, as it moves bulk goods from the port of Walvis Bay to the rest of the country and to landlocked SADC countries.”
The CEO of one of the project contractors, China Group of Company Works Li Lijie, said that approximately 400 local jobs will be created in the process. The company will also embark on transferring skills and doing corporate social responsibility projects.
The Kranzberg station is located between Karibib and Usakos. It is part of the TransNamib railway and is where the railway line from Windhoek splits; one line continues west to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, the other continues north-east towards Omaruru and Tsumeb.