Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has urged Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC) member states to focus on transformation policies which play a part in job creation.
South Africa recently took over the chair of the Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC), a road network that spans 1 900 kilometres across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
The TKC is known for providing a short transport link across the South African sub-continent. Compared to traditional routes, via southern Namibia to Gauteng, the TKC cuts the distance by 400 kilometres, making it a preferred route and providing cost-effective logistical advantages to users.
“South Africa is gratified to be handed the chairpersonship of the TKC. The corridor plays a pivotal role in the economic development of its member states and the region, particularly in anchoring the development of industries and business along the corridor,” said Minister Nzimande.
The Minister highlighted the key challenges that hinder growth and trade within the SADC region as poor infrastructure, low-density across transport networks, inefficient border processes and fragmented regulatory environments.
He said that if SADC is to achieve its goal of creating a seamless, cost-effective and fully-integrated region; road, rail and port systems are required to secure the region’s future. “The TKC development can serve as a good guide for the overall attainment of this regional developmental goal.”
“The corridor should help us ensure that we trade among each other and replace imports from the rest of the world, especially those coming from outside of our continent. Equally important, it should help us beyond trade liberalisation by reducing uncertainties, improving our credibility and making it easier for the private sector to plan and invest in it,” Minister Nzimande said.
South Africa is exploring the possibilities of establishing transport hubs, throughout its provinces, to serve as centres of excellence on transport-related matters. They will assist the region at large to better plan transport infrastructure.
“The TKC must move swiftly to harmonise transport regulations and ICT systems to ensure seamless movement at ports of entry. This will ensure that we are also able to deal with organised crime at these centres,” the Minister said.
“I think we will all agree that robust economic transformation is key to shaping our ability to generate inclusive growth and tackle serious challenges, such as poverty, inequality and unemployment,” he said.