Unlocking the landlocked regions of the Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and Limpopo Provinces, the Maputo Development Corridor is a true transportation corridor. Comprising road, rail, border posts, port and terminal facilities. The Corridor runs through the most highly industrialised and productive regions of Southern Africa.
Gauteng Province to Port Maputo
Gauteng, a seSotho word for “Place of Gold”, has traditionally been the largest gold producing region in the world. Nowadays Gauteng is the engine of the sub-continental economy and produces ca. 40% of South Africa’s GDP. As an industrial powerhouse, Gauteng is responsible for the highest concentration of manufacturing and industrial production in the country.
Via South Arica’s capital city of Pretoria, the Maputo Corridor connects South Africa’s industrial and commercial heartland of the Witwatersrand, comprising of the metropolitan areas of
- Ekurhuleni on the East Rand,
- Johannesburg (incl. the corporate headquarter cornubations at Sandton and Midrand)
- Mogale City Municipality (incorporating Krugersdorp) on the West Rand,
with its nearest deep water port in Maputo, Mozambique.
Limpopo Province to Port Maputo
The Maputo Corridor links the landlocked and northern most of South Africa’s nine provinces, Limpopo, named after the vast river of the same name, with its nearest deep water port via the Phalaborwa Spatial Development Initiative. Phalaborwa is also the site of major petrochemical production.
22% of Limpopo’s GGP comes from the mining sector, where diamonds, gold and the platinum group of precious metals make up the major mineral deposits. Limpopo is South Africa’s third largest mining producer, generating 9% of the country’s income arising from mining activities.
Bordering on Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, Limpopo is also the transit point for most of the trans-South African freight headed to / from landlocked Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
Mpumalanga Province to Port Maputo
The lion’s share of the Maputo Corridor runs through Mpumalanga, an isiTsonga word roughly meaning “the place where the sun rises”. Mpumalanga contains the bulk of South Africa’s electricity generating coal fired power stations. The province accounts for 76% of South Africa’s coal mining output and 50% of national coal reserves*, a lot of which is exported via the Matola Coal Terminal in Matola Port, Maputo.
With its close proximity to the gas fields of the Mozambican coast and the closest port to the South African northern hinterland, Mpumalanga’s importance in energy production has taken on an even greater role trough the completed gas pipeline running from the Temane and Pande gasfields near Moatize in Mozambique to Sasol’s plant in Secunda and the construction of liquid petrochemical pipelines along similar routes.
The Maputo Corridor also passes through vast industrial and primary production areas such as those in the Nkangala District Municipality, comprising amongst others of the cities and towns of Delmas, Witbank and Middelburg, important centres for South Africa’s coal, vanadium and stainless steel mining and production as well as being principal areas of maize production in the province’s agricultural sector.
Further east, the Corridor passes through the Wilderness area and gorges with a modern and efficient motorway and railtrack, before reaching the border town of Komatipoort, where the Lebombo / Resanno Garcia Border Posts and the Lebombo Dry Port are situated.
South African / Mozambican Border to Port Maputo
Crossing the Lebombo / Resanno Garcia border into Mozambique’s Maputo Province, the Corridor connects the South African northern hinterland with Mozambique’s capital, Maputo and its two deep water ports of Maputo and Matola with a modern, fast and efficient national road, known as the EN4 on the Mozambican side. The 92 km stretch of road drives straight to Port Maputo before terminating closely to the downtown area of Maputo.
The governments of South Africa and Mozambique have promoted the revival of the Maputo Corridor as part of a greater Spatial Development Initiative with bilateral policies and substantial public and private sector investments, designed to stimulate sustainable growth and development in the region. Now it is up to private business to ensure full optimisation of the Maputo Development Corridor.
The following have been identified as areas where much work is still needed:
- Continuous improvement of Border procedures and operational hours.
- Scope and competitiveness of transport services must be increased: additional capacity, higher service levels and more competitive rates for road, rail, port, terminals and shipping lines.
- Information services must be put in place and enhanced continuously.
- The promotion of investment zones must be coordinated and accelerated.
The initial strategic focus of MCLI is to engage with South African, Mozambican and Swaziland governments to reinforce the public-private partnerships in the arena of logistics, to ensure that the Maputo Corridor is the first choice for regional importers and exporters alike.