JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – State rail transport enterprise Transnet has earned praise by pulling out all the stops to rapidly restore a railway bridge on South Africa’s crucial Sishen–Saldanha iron-ore line.
The line came to a halt on November 28 after a truck carrying heavy equipment at excessive height on a public road smashed into the bridge, damaging it beyond repair and preventing Transnet from performing its required rail export operations.
However, intense collective action resulted in the 861 km line, which extends from mines in the Northern Cape to the Port of Saldanha, in the Western Cape, being back in action by December 7, ensuring that South Africa’s important iron-ore exporters can continue to generate vital foreign exchange (forex) for the South African economy.
African Rainbow Minerals Ferrous CEO Andre Joubert was full of praise for the swift restoration action of the State rail enterprise.
“I think under normal circumstances, it would have taken at least two weeks to replace this bridge. But owing to proper risk assessments being done and having a spare bridge available in parts, Transnet managed to shave at least seven days off of this project. Through this valiant effort, the Transnet team made sure that SA Pty Limited gained R 900-million in forex,” he calculated.
He commended the positive collective ‘not our fault, but our problem’ attitude of Transnet, now headed by acting group CEO Tau Morwe.
The rapid bridge restoration is a feather in Transnet’s cap and an indication of a positive new resolve to solve problems with the utmost conscientiousness.