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SA, China collaborate on transport

Written by Bathandwa Mbola
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and China Communications Construction Company Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore various infrastructure development initiatives.

Key among them is the Moloto Rail Development Corridor. The MoU was signed at the 2nd Investment Africa Investment Forum attended by President Jacob Zuma in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, in China.

The Investing in Africa Forum, which is an initiative of the China Development Bank and supported by the Chinese Government, is a platform that brings together leaders from business, government and international organisations to discuss and explore opportunities for investment in the African continent.

 This year’s discussions at the forum focused on, among others, investment opportunities in the African continent in areas such as agriculture and agribusiness, infrastructure development, manufacturing, trade, tourism and renewable energy.

The construction of the Moloto Rail Development Corridor will help ease 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 will also resolve 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.