S.Africa's Transnet halts rail link to regional countries after heavy rains

South Africa coal miners eye rail investments as crumbling infrastructure depresses exports
A Transnet Freight Rail train is seen next to tons of coal mined from the nearby Khanye Colliery mine, at the Bronkhorstspruit station, in Bronkhorstspruit, around 90 kilometres north-east of Johannesburg, South Africa, April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Feb 10 (Reuters) - South Africa's logistics utility Transnet on Friday suspended freight rail services on its North East Corridor, which links with several countries in southern Africa, as heavy rains damaged infrastructure on the line.

The corridor, which mostly moves mineral commodities, links South Africa to Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Disruptive weather conditions in Mpumalanga and Limpopo have adversely affected Transnet Freight Rail operations in the North-East Corridor," Transnet said.

"Heavy, abnormal rains damaged the rail infrastructure across the corridor's major commodity pathways resulting in severe disruption to the train service," the utility said.

The corridor would only be re-opened after a full safety assessment and the line certified as safe for normal running of train traffic.

Cross-border operations to the Maputo port and TCM Matola terminal in Mozambique also came to at a standstill due to flooding of the network, affecting the movement of magnetite, rock phosphate, chrome and ferrochrome, Transnet said.

Reporting by Nelson Banya; editing by Jason Neely and Arun Koyyur

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