Transnet and global mining conglomerate South32 have signed a manganese-ore bulk-shipping agreement worth R10.4bn in revenue to the state-owned transport entity. The deal will allow Transnet to invest in greater bulk-shipping capacity, specifically between Hotazel in the Northern Cape and Port Elizabeth, and the deep-water port at Coega in the Eastern Cape. As part of the deal, 15% of Transnet’s capacity would be allocated to new entrants to the manganese export market, Transnet’s chief new business development officer, Gert de Beer, said on Thursday. SA’s export capacity has been severely constrained by a slowdown in Transnet’s capital spending programme. This meant that SA’s bulk commodity producers — the iron-ore and manganese producers in particular — could not gain the full benefit of a resources sector boom led by demand from the rapidly industrialising Chinese economy. In 2012, Transnet launched a market-demand strategy that would see it invest about R300bn in infrastructure ...

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