June 1 - A move to manufacture railway locomotives in South Africa could bring some business for the country's project cargo forwarders.

The first in a series of 100 new class 43 General Electric diesel-electric locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail has been delivered. The first 10 of this class were built in the United States and imported into South Africa, with the balance of 90 being built locally under licence.

Transnet is the company behind South Africa's national transport businesses, including ports, PetronetMetrorail,Transtel, and South African Airways. Over the next seven years, Transnet will acquire 1,317 locomotives and manufacture 25,000 wagons in South Africa, to be used to ship cars and minerals, said Siyabonga Gama, chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail.

At the start of this year, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) signed a ground-breaking contract with Liebherr Werk Nenzing for the purchase of six mobile harbour cranes. The cranes are part of TPT's Durban RoRo and Maydon Wharf Terminal's USD50.7 million investment in container-handling capacity. The agreement covers design, fabrication, delivery, erection, testing and commissioning of the cranes.