2.0 PRESENT PORT SITUATION IN NAMIBIA

2.1 TRANSPORT YIELD IN NAMIBIA

Namibia can play an important role as a transit country for many land-locked countries in central-southern Africa. This is especially evident in the field of transport. The numerous economic problems facing Namibia were in many aspects caused by its unique traffic situation. This traffic situation was always characterised by its biased transport infrastructure towards South Africa. Nakop [3] as "Namibia's gateway to the outside world" was a first order handicap for the country. South Africa used transport to keep Namibia in a Noose or Lifeline situation.

Namibia is blessed with a transport infrastructure of high quality -although unbalanced and skewed between the two Namibias - the "first world and the third world areas" of Namibia (Appendix 1). In addition Namibia's transport infrastructure is well maintained. The shortcomings are primarily due to political circumstances and to the fact that the country was ruled by South Africa until just over five years ago. As a consequence our connections with our neighbours - except South Africa - are poorly developed. There are primarily two transport projects that will help us to overcome this handicap:

1. The Trans Caprivi Highway connection will link Namibia with Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This project involves the upgrading of the existing remaining gravel sections of the already mostly bitumenised Trans Caprivi Highway between Grootfontein and Katima Mulilo via Rundu through the Caprivi and the connections to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

2. The Trans-Kalahari Highway connection will link Namibia with Botswana, but also providing better access between Namibia and Zimbabwe. This project would link Windhoek with Ghanzi in Botswana via Gobabis and would provide direct access to Gaborone via Kang, Sekoma and Lobatse.

The road network consists of roughly 45.000 km of which approximately 5.000 km are paved and 40.000 km are unpaved, although appropriately constructed and maintained.

The railway network consists of 2.382 km with 16 stations, with 613 km branch lines which are not any more serviced by scheduled trains.

Any plans and strategies for Namibia's policy regarding ports and port access is influenced by different transport trends and scenarios. There is a clear inter-relationship between these different strategies which will be mirrored below.

There are few up to date data on domestic goods traffic on road - long distance and short distance - available. A survey carried out in 1984 [4] indicated a total annual demand for long-distance transports of about 1,5 millions tonnes. The average transport distance was about 500 km, giving a total annual transport work of about 750 millions tonne-km. The 15 most important commodities comprised of 61% of the total traffic measured in tonnes and 73% measured in tonne-km. This group included cattle, fresh fruits and vegetables, steel, meat, furniture, gravel, stone and sand, salt, sugar, milk and cold drinks.

In the late 1980s it was assumed that Namibia's total international traffic (imports and exports) amounted to about 2,3 million t per year (1,75 million t imports, 0,55 million t exports). These traffic numbers excluded Walvis Bay and would have brought the total international Namibian traffic including Walvis Bay to about 2,8 million t. Of these 2,3 million t, 0,7 million t were carried by road and 1,5 million t by rail, or in a different manner about 0,9 million t were routed through Walvis Bay and about 1,4 million t were routed overland between Namibia and South Africa through Nakop/Noordoewer. The remainder made use of Lüderitz and Oranjemund or was air freighted. The latter figures were all exclusive of traffic to and from Walvis Bay. About 1,5 million t were internal freight within the borders of Namibia (0,8 million t per road and 0,7 million t per rail). It is assumed that the relationship between the traffic numbers of 2,3 million t international and 1,5 million t internal traffic for the later 1980s will be in the same order throughout the 1990s but the cross-border points and the modes of traffic will change during the next ten years. There are also different scenarios possible for the two cases whether Namibia would stay as a member of SACU or not. These scenarios will be pictured in table 1 [5]:

TABLE 1 TRAFFIC BY MODE, CLASS AND CROSS BORDER POINTS: 1988/89
IN 1.000 TONS

|__________________________________________________________________|
|      TRAFFIC BY MODE    |  TRAFFIC BY CLASS  | TRAFFIC BY CROSS  |
|                         |                    | BORDER POINTS     |
|_________________________|____________________|___________________|
| RAIL | ROAD | SEA | AIR | INTERN | IMP | EXP | PORT | LAND | AIR |
|______|______|_____|_____|________|_____|_____|______|______|___ _|
| 2.200| 1.500| 950*|    5| 1.500  |1.750|  550|  950*| 1.400|    5|
|__________________________________________________________________|
NOTA: * : 900.000 t through Walvis Bay
           15.000 t through Lüderitz
           35.000 t through Oranjemund (fuel products)

The latest traffic data for domestic and cross border roads goods traffic for the periods 01.04.1992 to 31.03.1993 and 01.04.1993 to 31.03.1994 is available from "TransNamib Road" of "TransNamib Limited" and is pictured in table 2. TransNamib Road operates from 8 main depots and six branch depots in all areas of Namibia and provides a combined rail-road express service (TNX Service) with delivery time guarantee, inter alia between Johannesburg/Cape Town and Windhoek. TransNamib Road's market share of the long-distance road traffic is estimated with 15% to 20%, and with inclusion of the short-distance and operational traffic is estimated with approximately 10% of the total traffic yield on roads.

TABLE 2 TRANSNAMIB ROADS TRAFFIC FOR 1992 TO 1994

Pos.

Commodity

1992/93 (t)

1993/94 (t)

1.

Mining Products

142.964

143.942

2.

Agricultural Products

26.076

13.853

3.

Building Materials

5.500

8.314

4.

Fuel Products

155.000

159.889

5.

Containers (nett)

131.056

126.898

6.

Cattle

18

1.821

7.

Diverse Products

74.548

48.358

8.

SUMMARY

535.162

503.075

Nota: The transported quantities of TNX-goods in South Africa are not included in this
           table.

With inclusion of a survey for cross border flows between Namibia and South Africa [6] and verified by long-distance and short-distance traffic data by TransNamib Road, the biggest haulier in Namibia, the total traffic yield on road, including the cross border traffic can be estimated with 3 millions tonnes per annum.

The traffic yields for the Namibian railways for the periods 01.04.1992 to 31.03.1993 and 01.04.1993 to 31.03.1994 is pictured in table 3:

TABLE 3 TRANSNAMIB RAIL TRAFFIC FOR 1992 TO 1994

Pos.

Commodities

1992/93 (t)

1993/94 (t)

1.

Mining Products

541.000

594.163

2.

Agricultural Products

189.815

157.655

3.

Building Material

222.952

236.675

4.

Fuel Products

371.188

391.274

5.

Containers (nett)

257.486

230.264

6.

Cattle

2.223

5.119

7.

Diverse Products

95.888

68.609

8.

Summary

1.681.052

1.683.759

Nota: The quantities of the money-guaranteed overnight parcel express services (OPX) are
           included in the railway quantities of table 3

In summary the present total traffic yield for all modes and classes of traffic in Namibia can be estimated with 4.500.000 tonnes per year.

2.2 TRAFFIC FLOWS IN NAMIBIA

In analysing above traffic yields the following traffic flows can be established:

Approximately 70% of the railway traffic (table 3) is domestic traffic including the traffic to the Port of Walvis Bay. In contrast to the pre-independence scenario (table 1) the import quantities by rail from South Africa have reduced to approximately 25% and the exports into South Africa to 5 %. The domestic rail traffic to Walvis Bay can be estimated with 2/3 = 0,750 million tonnes. It consisted mainly of fuel (380.000 t) and coal (140.000 t). Further important commodities were: pyrite (different sources and destinations); copper and zinc from Tsumeb; copper and lead from Rosh Pinah (via Ausnek), Kombat and Otjihase (via Hoffnung); as well as felspar from Otjikango [7].

The rail imports from South Africa can be estimated with 0,420 million tonnes and consisted mainly of lime and cement (190.000 t) and containers (90.000 t). The rail exports consisted mainly of zinc concentrates from Rosh Pinah (via Ausnek) and fish meal from Walvis Bay (25.000 t). Thus, the rail traffic to and from South Africa is highly unbalanced.

Traffic flows by road can only be established with difficulties due to a lack of present-day data. TransNamib Road, the biggest road haulier in the country had a relationship between log-distance and short-distance traffic of approximately 0,75 to 0,25. The traffic portion with South Africa could be estimated with less than 10 % and the traffic with other countries with between 1 and 2 %, due to the political situation in Angola and the economic weaknesses in other countries like, for instance, Zambia. Between Walvis and Zambia exists a combined railway/road traffic via the Trans-Caprivi Highway and with transshipment in Grootfontein with 2.500 tpa copper imports from Zambia and 2.800 tpa salt exports from Walvis Bay. The different traffic flow scenarios are estimated for the years 1990 to 2000 in table 4:

TABLE 4 TRAFFIC SCENARIO DEVELOPMENT: 1990 - 2000 IN PER CENT

|__________________________________________________________________|
|      | NAKOP/NOORDOEWER | DEEP SEA HARBOUR |SADC COUNTRIES:ROADS |
|______|_________|________|_________|________|__________|__________|
| YEAR | IMPORTS | EXPORTS| IMPORTS | EXPORTS| IMPORTS  |  EXPORTS |
|______|_________|________|_________|________|__________|__________|
| 1990 | 48 Rail | 17 Rail|      35 |     64 | 0 Botsw. | 0 Botsw. |
|      | 15 Road | 17 Road|      2* |    2** | 0 Caprivi| 0 Caprivi|
|______|_________|________|_________|________|__________|__________|
| 1995 |         |        |         |        |          |          |
| SACU | 26 Rail |  5 Rail|      44 |     56 |10 Botsw. | 8 Botsw. |
|      | 10 Road | 14 Road|      5* |   16** | 5 Caprivi| 1 Caprivi|
|NoSACU| 26 Rail |  5 Rail|      44 |     56 |10 Botsw. | 8 Botsw. |
|      |  9 Road | 14 Road|      5* |   16** | 6 Caprivi| 1 Caprivi|
|______|_________|________|_________|________|__________|__________|
| 2000 |         |        |         |        |          |          |
| SACU | 12 Rail |  7 Rail|      55 |     59 |15 Botsw. |12 Botsw. |
|      |  6 Road |  5 Road|      6* |   15** | 6 Caprivi| 2 Caprivi|
|NoSACU| 10 Rail |  7 Rail|      61 |     59 |12 Botsw. |12 Botsw. |
|      |  4 Road |  5 Road|      6* |   15** | 7 Caprivi| 2 Caprivi|
|__________________________________________________________________|
NOTA: * means via Lüderitz and Oranjemund (fuel only)
     ** means via Lüderitz

The total transport volume for the Port of Walvis Bay was 1,670 million tonnes and for Lüderitz approximately 50.000 tonnes for the period 01. April 1993 to 31 March 1994. Therefore the transport volume for the Port of Walvis Bay is as high as the total transport volume for TransNamib Rail [8].

The port relevance of railway traffic was highlighted above. The road traffic from and to the Port of Walvis Bay to and from the Namibian hinterland was approximately 150.000 tonnes for 1993/94 and is therefore considerably lower than the rail traffic of 750.000 tonnes to and from Walvis Bay. But, if the short-distance road traffic in Walvis Bay (700.000 tpa: mainly fish products and salt) is taken into consideration, the road traffic portion (53%) of the total port turnover is even higher than the rail traffic portion (47 %). These figures highlight in combination with above calculated domestic traffic yields the significance of the Port of Walvis Bay for the transport development in Namibia. In this connection it has to be observed that Walvis Bay has not only an important transit function but also an important function as industrial and economic processing zone.

Table 5 estimates the modal split of transported goods between Namibia and South Africa, Namibia's most important trade partner for 1993/94 as follows:

TABLE 5 MODAL SPLIT OF TRAFFIC BETWEEN NAMIBIA AND RSA: 1993/94

Transport Mode

Goods Traffic (t)

Percentage
Road

210.000

19

Rail

410.000

37

Sea

480.000

44

SUMMARY

1.100.000

100

Source: TransNamib Limited and Namibian Ports Authority (NamPort), 1994

Therefore it can be derived that the Port of Walvis Bay plays a leading role in the transport development with South Africa. The completion of the Trans-Caprivi and Trans-Kalahari highways will change this pattern considerably. On the one hand some transport volumes will be directed from Namibia via the Trans-Kalahari highway to South Africa, taken into consideration the strong competition between the traffic modes. On the other hand, the considerably shorter distance of Walvis Bay to the major markets of the western developed world will in future attract considerable traffic from the heartland of South Africa via the Trans-Kalahari Highway and from central southern Africa via the Trans-Caprivi Highway to the Port of Walvis Bay. The magnitude of these changed traffic patterns will be one of the topics of the "Port Development Master Plan for the Ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz".

ENDNOTES

[3] Nakop is the border station between Namibia and South Africa on the railway line and national road between Keetmanshoop and Upington in the Northern Cape Region in South Africa.

[4] Department of Transport (1984): Resultate van 'n Vragvervoer Opname wat gedurende Augustus 1984 in Suidwes Afrika uitgevoer is, Van Wyk and Louw, Pretoria

[5] Dierks, Klaus: Guidelines for the Formulation of a Maritime Transport Policy in Namibia with Special Reference to Emergency Plans regarding the Walvis Bay Issue, Windhoek, 1992, p.40

[6] "Report on Cross-Border Flows and the Introduction of Border Control", Secretary for Economic Affairs, Windhoek, 12 May 1989 and "A Survey of Heavy Vehicles Crossing the Namibia-South Africa Border, CSIR, 1994

[7] Burckardt, Ole and Morisse, Manfred: Hafensektor Namibias mit Schwerpunkt Walvis Bay, Schleswig, 1994

[8] Burckardt, Ole and Morisse, Manfred: Hafensektor Namibias mit Schwerpunkt Walvis Bay, Schleswig, 1994

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