North-South Rail Corridor

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INFRASTRUCTURE: SADC rail project for seamless infrastructure green-lights pre-feasibility study


Transport infrastructure is one of the key enablers for economic growth in Southern Africa. The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite believe that the ability to speed up and increase the flow of goods transported and traded between neighbouring countries will reduce the transaction costs of cross-border trade in Africa, thereby boosting income earned from intra-African trade.

With funding from the DBSA-managed ‘SADC Project Preparation Development Facility’, the NBF’s Africa Infrastructure Desk (Afri-ID) will be conducting a pre-feasibility study on the North-South Corridor rail network (NSC) to help unlock higher trade volumes in Southern Africa.

The NSC involves the DRC, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana with rail line links from the port of Durban to the Copper belt in DRC and Zambia.

The study will outline the key factors for project viability including the rehabilitation and upgrade of existing infrastructure and equipment; a joint operational model; market demand along the line and a new financial model. The study will also explore the prospects of creating a seamless rail logistics corridor that will promote the migration of traffic from road to rail.

Embedded in the study will be the business case for both government and the private sector to identify innovative funding models for the entire rail corridor including the development of maintenance strategies to allow efficient, safe and competitive operation of trains.


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