Feb 26, 2019: Botswana Railways has proposed another trade route linking it with South Africa.

The development is in addition to the Trans Kalahari Railway Line (TKRL) which has been on the cards for some time. Leonard Makwinhja, CEO, Botswana Railways, said that while the TKRL link would run from Mmamabula in Botswana to Walvis Bay in Namibia, the proposed trade route would run from Mmamabula in Botswana to Lephalale in South Africa.

Makwinhja said the proposed new route would be an alternative cross-border trade route to South Africa. "With the ongoing developments of coal mining in the country, the project is becoming more critical," he said, pointing out that the railway line would connect the two coal mines of Mmamabula and Medie in the Kweneng District.

Makwinja said Botswana Railways would need 60 locomotives and 2,000 wagons to move the coal to Lephalale.

Botswana Railways business development director, Stephen Makuke, added that at least two thirds of Africa's coal resources (over 200 billion tonnes) were located in Botswana.

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