Eswatini Railways Hits Landmark 1 Million Tonnes of Coal Haulage to Maputo


Sidvokodvo Coal Operation
In January 2023 Eswatini Railways achieved a landmark 1 million tonnes on coal haulage from the Sidvokodvo siding to Maputo Port. This is an operation that resumed in December 2021 and in a period of a year, it has superseded logistical challenges to hit the big one. On the 16 th of February 2023, the ESR CEO Mr. Nixon Dlamini is seen receiving the symbolic 1 million
landmark award from Grinrod’s Logistics Africa Chief Executive Mr. Danie Parsons in Mbabane.

A lot of coal is being transported by road haulers through the Eastern part of the Republic of South Africa along the N4 through the Lebombo boarder to the Maputo Port. This has resulted in serious congestion issues particularly at the boarder where trucks get stuck for more than 24 hours attempting to cross. This results in costly delays to deliver the product to the port so that
it reaches markets on time. Grinrod and ESR, explored a solution of transporting coal through Eswatini to the Maputo port. The solution explored manifested itself in the form of a working relationship with ESR where road haulers will fetch and deposit coal at the Sidvokodvo Train siding then consequently loaded onto trains and transported to the Maputo port. This solution
eliminates the boarder bottleneck that has frustrated many logistics operators like Grinrod through the Ressano Garcia route. This operation has added much needed tonnage to the ESR operation while also utilizing the previously underutilized Goba line that connects Eswatini railway network to Mozambique.

It is a collaborative effort of a lot of teams which has provided the opportunities to local road haulers that fetch the coal from RSA with their South African counterparts and deliver it at Sidvokodvo. There are currently more than 40% Emaswati road haulers servicing this business and ESR is congratulating them for their efforts. The local community has also benefited with the employment of eMaswati at the Sidvokodvo siding to do various jobs. Most of the truck operators prefer to fill up fuel in Eswatini since the cost is lower than in neighboring RSA. This project wouldn’t be complete without the collaborative efforts with the Mozambique Railway operator (CFM) who provide much needed locomotive and crew support to haul the cargo to
the port. The synergies exhibited by these have made it possible to pull off this project.

ESR would also like to congratulate its staff for their dedication in making this achievement possible. Only people can do work, machines do not exist without people and machines are operated by people. ESR would like to thank the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini and its agencies like the Eswatini Revenue Services and others for the support since the inception of the project to today. This huge logistical project would not have been possible without their critical support and guidance. Lastly, we would like to thank the people of Eswatini for their patience and understanding that despite challenges, work has to continue because business is what builds an economy and a vibrant economy is good for everyone.

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