About Transnet

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Transnet is the largest and most crucial part of the freight logistics chain that delivers goods to each and every South African.

As the custodian of ports, rail and pipelines, Transnet’s objective is to ensure a globally competitive freight system that enables sustained growth and diversification of the country’s economy.

Transnet is currently transitioning from its Market Demand Strategy, characterised by accelerated capital investment, towards the Transnet 4.0 Strategy, which is focused on repositioning Transnet, and the country’s freight system, for competitiveness within the fast changing, technology- driven context of the 4th industrial revolution. The strategy’s main growth thrusts includes; geographic expansion, product and service innovation and diversification and expansion of the scope of Transnet’s manufacturing business. The key objectives of Transnet’s effort is directed towards increasing the connectivity, density and capacity of the integrated port, rail and pipeline network.

Transnet 4.0 Strategy aims to grow Transnet to a R100 billion business by 2020. Organic growth of the current freight transport and handling divisions will account for the bulk of this growth and Transnet will continue to focus on improving operational efficiency and reliability in order to grow its market share. Consequently, capital investment to modernize and expand the port, rail and pipeline network and operations will continue to be a key priority, as will continued development of our people.

Significant growth is being targeted from new markets, particularly in integrated logistics, the development of logistics hubs and clusters, natural gas midstream infrastructure, manufactured products and new digital businesses. Transnet will increasingly make use of strategic partnerships to drive these new ventures.

Transnet has a critical role to play in furthering South Africa’s strategic and economic objectives and is actively refreshing its brand as it moves into new markets, expands and diversifies its service offering, and redefines its market position.

Transnet operates as an integrated freight transport company, formed around a core of five operating divisions that complement each other. These are supported by a number of company-wide specialist units – Transnet Group Capital, Transnet Property and Transnet Foundation- which underpin our company.

Transnet is made up of the following operating divisions:

Transnet freight rail
Transnet rail engineering
Transnet national ports authority
Transnet port terminals
Transnet pipelines

As a state-owned company, Transnet continues to leave an indelible mark on the lives of all South Africans. With a geographical footprint that covers our entire country, Transnet is inextricably involved in all aspects of life in South Africa. As such, we ensure that that we play a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life in all areas we operate. This extends not just to our employees, but to communities and environments as well. Through the Transnet Foundation – which is the Corporate Social Investment arm of Transnet – we have invested time and money in a number of diverse programmes around the country that provide much-need succour and assistance to our communities.

Our aim is simple – we want to harness the power of our people, of technology, to brighten the future of millions across our continent – and beyond.


​​​​​​​The roots of Transnet can be traced back to humble beginnings in the late 1850s

When railway transport was proposed for the harbours in the Cape and Natal. The real catalyst for the country’s railway and harbour expansion, can be attributed to the discovery of diamonds in Kimberly in 1867.

South Africa’s state railway system began when the two pioneer railway systems situated in the Cape and Natal became government property in 1872 and 1877 respectively, thus completing the relatively primitive harbours in Durban and Cape Town. Scarcely nine years after the founding of the government railways, both which were rapidly pushed to Kimberly, rumours of massive gold deposits in the Transvaal Republic were confirmed. Almost overnight, economic power had shifted from the colonial south to the republican north.

In 1910 Union was achieved, with the country’s leaders adamant that the railways and harbours should be used to unify and develop South Africa’s economy. The result – the South African Railways and Harbours administration (SAR&H) becoming a proud established arm of the government.

A mere 20 years after the establishment of Union, in 1930, South Africa had established itself as a proud and mobile nation. This achievement can be accredited to the opening of efficient mainline passenger links and an impressive network of urban and metropolitan train services.

During the 1970s it was agreed upon by the government that the SAR&H should restructure itself along defined business lines. Integral to the process was a change in the name and image of the organisation, which would appropriately reflect its new vision and mission as a successful state business enterprise. In 1981, the country’s railway, harbour, road transport, aviation and pipeline operations became known as South African Transport Services (SATS). At the same time, the enterprise was restructured into units and divisions,
with a strong emphasis on localized management.

Transnet SOC Ltd is proud to be playing such a pivotal role in the future of the country and the continent.​​

By the end of 1989, the goal of managing SATS as a private entity was well within reach, and on 1 April 1990, after 80 years of government and parliamentary control, SATS was given company status. A new, limited liability company, representing a vast transport network, was finally born. Its name was Transnet SOC Ltd.

Transnet SOC Ltd
Since 1994, Transnet has kept pace with a fast-changing society, dealing with a multitude of challenges in an emerging democracy. Transnet, realising these challenges, has met them head-on by investing heavily in infrastructure and integrating and coordinating programmes within the country.

The South African transport system has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 1800s. This can be attributed to Transnet playing a vital role not only in everyday life, but in the national economy and economics of several other African states that use the networks and harbours within South African to transfer their imports and exports.​


Physical Address
Waterfall Business
9 Country Estate
Midrand, 1662

Tel: +27 11 308 3000

Fax: +27 11 308 2638


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