Mozambique: Roads Preferred to Rail Because of Costs
23 April 2012
allAfrica.com - 22 April 2012
Maputo — Mozambican Transport Minister Paulo Zucula told reporters on Friday that South African mining operators prefer to send their mineral exports to Maputo port by road because of the prohibitive fees charged by the South African authorities for use of the rail system.
At the annual Maputo Port Conference, held on Thursday, Prime Minister Aires Ali had expressed concern at the use of roads rather than railways, particularly for minerals. He pointed out that heavy trucks reduce the useful life of roads, have heavy fuel costs, and cause environmental problems.
Zucula said that the preference some exporters express for roads has nothing to do with the Mozambican rail system. The railway between Ressano Garcia, on the South African border, and Maputo port has unused capacity of two million tonnes a year, Zucula said it has a current capacity for eight million tones or cargo a year, but is only moving six million tonnes.