China ready to help build high-speed train between Johannesburg and Durban

China and South Africa are in talks to build a high-speed train that will link Johannesburg to Durban.

Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong said at a job fair on April 15 that his country is ready to help build the railway which was estimated to cost R530 billion in 2010 when the idea was introduced.

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CHINA TO SOLIDIFY ITS RELATIONS WITH SOUTH AFRICA

According to Business Intern, Xiaodong revealed that Chinese investment in South Africa has created 400,000 local jobs. In addition, he said 100 Chinese companies have pledged to create 20,000 more jobs over the next three years.

“China is ready to work with South Africa to push China-Africa relations to a deeper level and broader scope,” he said.

As part of the aim to solidify relations between the two countries, professional training initiatives, including mobile phone giant Huawei’s plan to hire 450 people in South Africa, are also in the pipeline. Among the long list of initiatives that countries will and can take together is the construction of a really fast train.

“We also continue to connect with South Africa on major projects, such as a Joburg-Durban high-speed railway,” he added.

IS HIGH SPEED A GOOD IDEA?

In August 2021, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said a feasibility study on such a high-speed rail route will cover passengers and also freight.

However, in November, FitchSolutions opposed the idea of ​​a high-speed rail project, citing high costs and a lack of progress.

“We do not expect this project to be built in the long term, due to its high costs, the lack of progress of the project which has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, the limited fiscal capacity of the government to fund such a project, and probably limited private sector interest in providing alternative funding,” he said.

Jose P. Rogers