After a two-day state visit to Botswana, South African President Jacob Zuma reportedly indicated that an energy deal with the coal-rich country would mutually benefit both countries.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation quoted Zuma on the importance of an energy partnership with Botswana which holds 60% of Africa’s coal reserves but lacks ocean access or sufficient transport infrastructure.
“Both countries need each other in terms of energy but also the coal that is here is going to be very useful in terms of the size of the consumption,” he said.
“South Africa will certainly consume more.”
Although test runs to the major export terminals of Mozambique via Zimbabwe have been realized by Botswana miners, the most practical means of export shipping remains the low-volume links in South Africa.
A feasibility study for a coal rail link between the two countries is being conducted by South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail and is expected to be completed by the end of the financial year.
The proposed 560km line would have the capacity to move 80 million tons of coal per year.