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Transport infrastructure in Africa


Airport of South Africa
Airport of South Africa

South Africa has by far the most developed transport infrastructure in Africa. The rail system, which links all major centers, is almost entirely administered by the state-owned Transnet through its railway division Spoornet. Passenger services are slow by Western European standards, but the provision of luxury and semiluxury trains is an attraction.

Car ownership is almost universal among whites and rising rapidly in the rest of the population, although less so in rural areas. Commuting for blacks is largely by public transport, including buses, kombi (minibus) taxis and, in the larger cities such as Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, commuter railways.

South African Airways provides an extensive network of air services between all major cities in South Africa, between Johannesburg and a variety of destinations in Africa, and between South Africa and major cities in Europe, the Americas, East Asia, and Australia. Smaller carriers also fly domestic routes. Johannesburg has the country’s major international airport, but Cape Town has a number of direct overseas flights.

The ports


The ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town provide large container terminals. Durban is the busiest port for general cargo. East London is the only river port in South Africa. Saldanha Bay, northwest of Cape Town, is the largest port on the west coast of Africa. It was developed primarily for the export of iron ore from Northern Cape.

Richard’s Bay, one of the best artificial harbors in the world, was developed primarily to handle bulk cargoes, including coal.

Thermal power plants produce 95 percent (2006) of South Africa’s electricity. Most are coal-fired power stations located on or near the main coal fields in Gauteng, Free State, and northern KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa’s nuclear power station at Koeberg in Western Cape serves the part of the country most remote from the coal fields. Eskom, the Electricity Supply Commission, distributes electricity through a national power grid. South Africa supplies more than half the electricity generated in the whole of Africa, but in the early 21st century had yet to supply power to all South African households. "South Africa" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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