Doing Business in KwaZulu_Natal

  • Transport Networks

Transport and Networks

Infrastructure development is crucial to South Africa's strategy of progress.

The country's extensive trade expansion in recent years has resulted in roads, railways, airports and seaports being further developed in order to attain new levels of efficiency. Additional major new projects and large contracts involving both transport and electricity networks are in the development pipeline.

Ports, roads and rail

  • South Africa is positioned on the world's major shipping routes, a natural stop en-route to Europe, Asia, Australasia and the African continent. South Africa has seven commercial ports, providing the largest and best-equipped harbour network on the continent. Two of Africa's biggest and busiest seaports - Durban and Richard's Bay - are located in KwaZulu-Natal. These ports provide complementary services, Richard's Bay being the largest bulk coal terminal in the world (more than 80 million tons of coal a year are routed through the port), whilst Durban harbour is South Africa's busiest, providing the largest container facility in Southern Africa at 2,6 million TEUs per annum, accounting for 64% of South Africa's container traffic;
  • The South African Government has implemented an R11 billion investment programme for major port, rail and road improvements going forward, effectively taking growth and productivity to the next level. Companies manufacturing for export are able to locate in one of four Industrial Development Zones (Export Processing Zones), strategically located to minimise logistics cost and maximise profit potential for investors. A R1,26 Richards Bay Coal Terminal expansion project has also seen an increase in the port capacity from 79 to 91 mtpa; and
  • South Africa's rail network ranks 10th in the world in terms of freight carried, handling 113 BT per annum, and is the 13th longest in the world. Transnet, a state-owned corporation responsible for managing the rail network, has introduced significant development programmes to ensure that the network remains the best-maintained in Africa and continues to provide a mission-critical service to South African exporters.

KwaZulu-Natal air transport facilities

  • Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the largest airports authority in Africa, operates the country’s 10 principal airports, including O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airport in Durban. Together, ACSA-operated airports handle more than 200 000 aircraft landings and 23 million arriving and departing passengers annually;
  • King Shaka International Airport, opened in 2010, at La Mercy 35km north of the port city of Durban, has quickly developed a reputation for handling dignitaries and delegates professionally and efficiently. This ground-breaking airport is the third busiest in South Africa. In the first year of operation, King Shaka International Airport handled 4,8 million passengers, an impressive 10,7% increase over 2009/10 at the old, outdated airport. Linked to the airport’s state-of-the-art air freight component is Dube TradePort, a business-operating environment set to become a major business and trade hub. This facility, coupled with the province's seaports and access to many destinations world-wide, inclusive of important Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, come together to make KwaZulu-Natal a strategically significant and sizeable business point in South Africa;
  • International connectivity between Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and international destinations is growing rapidly. Currently, the following airlines provide direct international flights to and from Durban's King Shaka International Airport:

IT and Telecommunications

  • World-class tele-communications are provided in South Africa, with 99,8% digital networks offering fixed-line, wireless and satellite communication, making-up the most sophisticated tele-communications infrastructure in Africa. The GSM cellular phone market is in the top quartile globally, in terms of growth, offering clear opportunities to innovators in this sector. Benefits of their significant investments are being experienced currently by major players, such as Siemens and Vodafone;
  • Telkom, the major fixed-line operator in South Africa, has been a key player in a US$630 million optical fibre undersea cable project. Almost 40 nations and a number of international tele-communications became part of this SAT-3/WASC/SAFE initiative, linking African nations with Asia and Europe. The cable is capable of transmitting 80 gigabits per second between two points, and will link to KwaZulu-Natal in the vicinity of Dube TradePort.