Transnet is a world-class South African rail, port and pipeline company, headquartered in the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg. Established on April 1, 1990, Transnet has a critical role to play in bringing forward 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.
A majority of Transnet’s stock is owned by the Department of Public Enterprise (DPE) of the South African government. The company was formed by restructuring the operations of South African Railways and Harbours and other existing operations and products into business units. These business units became the operating divisions in Transnet that complement each other and are supported by a number of company-wide specialist units, namely Transnet Group Capital, Transnet Property and Transnet Foundation, which underpin the company. The operating divisions in Transnet include:
- Transnet National Ports Authority (formerly the NPA), which manages and governs seven of South Africa’s major seaports
- Transnet Port Terminals (formerly SAPO), which is responsible for terminal operations and cargo handling in South Africa.
- Transnet Pipelines (formerly Petronet), which is the principal operator of South Africa’s fuel pipelines
- Transnet Freight Rail (formerly Spoornet), which is the railway operator and freight service in South Africa
- Transnet Rail Engineering (formerly Transwerk), which plays a significant role in rolling stock manufacturing and maintenance
South African Railways and Harbours (SAR&H) is a unified state-owned railway system, formed in 1916, that represented four railways, namely the Central South African Railways, the Cape Government Railways, and the Government Railways, formed by the British colonies (Natal, Cape Colony, Orange River Colony, and Transvaal), which were amalgamated to form the Union of South Africa, back in 1910. All the railways in South Africa were merged by an Act of Parliament and this is when SAR&H was born. Later, when commercial aviation developed, South African Airways also became a part of this huge land, sea and air transport system.