Tshwane Updates Masterplan to Support Sustainable Growth

On 8 May 2023, Mr Kwang Poon, Chairperson of the Global Business Council (GBC), paid a courtesy call to the Tshwane Economic Development Agency (TEDA). During the meeting, GBC took cognizance of recent updates to the masterplan for the economic development of the City of Tshwane. In particular, Mr Kwang Poon was particularly interested to delve into the details of the designs articulated around the Logistics Hub and Auto City.

An area geostrategically situated just north of the Pretoria-Johannesburg Greater Metropolitan Area has been earmarked for development into a Regional Multimodal Logistics Hub. Situated in the vicinity of the Transnet Pyramid South Rail Depot, the junction between N1 & N4 National Highways and the Wonderboom Airport, the proposed Logistics Hub is already geared up for intermodal operation.

Geographical Situational Map of Tshwane Logistics Hub

The Transnet railway line runs north crossing the border into Zimbabwe, then Zambia and even reaches into DR Congo. At the road level, the N1 is part of the Trans-African Highway (#TAH) network and is the starting segment which links Cape Town all the way to Cairo. On the other hand, N4 moves westwards from Pretoria and traverses the border near Lobatse in Botswana to easily connect with Gaborone. Further north, the rail line will connect with the #LobitoCorridor.

The site of interest is also in the vicinity of the Rosslyn Auto Hub and Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) which specialize in vehicle production and the Tshwane Auto City actually ambitions to evolve into a world-class vehicle manufacturing base. As a matter of fact, BMW, Nissan, Ford, Iveco, Tata, UD and other global auto brands already have assembly plants in these #SEZ. Taking into account the global trend towards #decarbonization and the robust uptake in Electric Vehicles, the car makers are already mulling over plans to shift to #EV in the foreseeable future.

Tshwane Auto City

As a matter of note, all the #CriticalMinerals, such as Lithium, Manganese, Platinum, Cobalt, Graphite, can be readily secured within the Southern African region and can enter upstream in the manufacture of high-capacity batteries for Electric Vehicles (#EV) or Energy Storage Systems (#ESS). Thus, the Tshwane Auto City has a clear advantage when it comes to accessibility of raw materials for EV, not to mention the huge potential of the single African market brought about by the #AfCFTA.

In October 2021, the Global Business Council (GBC) — then known as the Africa Europe Asia Business Council (AEABC) — outlined the SADC Multimodal Logistics Hub Project during the 10th Southern African Railways Association (SARA) Annual Conference. The presentation encountered an enthusiastic echo from various rail operators in the region since the benefits of consolidating freight via rail are quite apparent in terms of transport efficiency and carbon footprint.

In addition, it is worth noting that the Roodeplaat Dam is not far from the Logistics Hub and its hydropotential could be exploited to provide a stable and renewable energy source. Thus, the City of Tshwane is already considering transitioning to #GreenManufacturing as part of its updated masterplan.