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​Company Overview


Shareholder mandate

Transnet Freight Rail is part of Transnet Limited, a public company with the South African government as its sole shareholder.

Transnet Freight Rail Core Business

Transnet Freight Rail is the largest division of Transnet. It is a world class heavy haul freight rail company that specializes in the transportation of freight.

Transnet Freight Rail has 31 013 employees, who are spread throughout the country.

The company maintains an extensive rail network across South Africa that connects with other rail networks in the sub-Saharan region, with its rail infrastructure representing about 80% of Africa's total.

The company is proud of its reputation for technological leadership beyond Africa as well as with-in Africa, where it is active in some 17 countries.

Transnet Freight Rail has positioned itself to become a profitable and sustainable freight railway business, assisting in driving the competitiveness of the South African economy.

The company is made up of the following six business units:

  1. Agriculture and Bulk liquids
  2. Coal
  3. Container and Automotive
  4. Iron Ore and Manganese
  5. Steel and Cement
  6. Mineral Mining and Chrome

We also have an International Business, which is an interface between TFR,Ports and SADC railways. It co-ordinates and grows TFR's activities in the neighbouring states and identifies new markets in an effort to extend the company’s operational footprint.

Quick Facts:

  1. Moves 17% of the nation’s freight annually
  2. 100% of export Coal
  3. 100% of export Iron Ore
  4. Annual revenues of over R37,0 billion (U$ 2.2bn) 
  5. R35 billion capital investment over the next 5 years
  6. Over 31 013 employees country wide


"Transnet Freight Rail is proudly placed to dramatically alter the South African rail industry".

Transnet Freight Rail is proudly placed to dramatically alter the South African rail industry. This enables us to play a positive and active role in the transformation of our society. We do so against the backdrop of sound business principles, a regulatory framework and the challenges of meeting the expectations of our customers.

In compliance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act, 2002, kindly be aware that reference has to be made to the fact that Transnet Freight Rail is an Authorised Financial Services Provider: 18828.


In compliance with the Companies Act No. 71 of 2008, please be informed that the registration number for Transnet SOC Ltd has changed in 2012 from 1990/000900/06 to 1990/000900/30.


Transnet and its five operating divisions, of which Transnet Freight Rail is the largest, have a standard tagline- “delivering freight reliably”.

Strategic intent

A Freight Railway that satisfies the needs of our Customers.

Transnet Freight Rail’s strategic plan aligns with Transnet’s intent and vision.


This includes a focus on key segments of the market disposal of non-core and non-freight businesses in order to drive future growth, enhanced accountability, governance and operational efficiency.

The company has further redefined its strategic intent to reflect a renewed focus on customers. This will be achieved by reducing the cost of doing business, building capacity, operating safely and improving efficiency.

​Our goal is to develop skills, while building a culture focused on customer service excellence:

  • Enabling economic growth
  • Facilitating trade growth by increasing South Africa’s competitiveness
  • Reducing the cost of doing business by transferring traffic from road to rail
  • Developing skills

The company’s growth vision relies heavily on optimising rail corridors in collaboration with its customers. This will result in winning back market share from road haulers, while integrating with the country’s overall logistics chain.

​Business Units

Transnet Freight Rail has moved from a regions-based operating business model to a business unit concept to enable a much more detailed focus on operations.

Bulk Liquids

The model comprises six business units.

It follows on a successful pilot scheme with the Container and Automotive Business (CAB) which was launched in the 2008-2009 financial year. These “Business Units” are managed by the COO (Chief Operations Officer).


The Business Units are accountable for specific customer groupings and control is allocated to geographical areas for operational purposes. Allocation of these areas is based on activity levels related to the customer groupings the units are accountable for. Operations are centrally controlled and the central operational structures have been re-aligned to optimise operations across the newly established Business Units.

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Vision and Mission

“Delivering freight reliably”


“To enable the competitiveness, growth and development of the South African economy by delivering reliable freight transport and handling services that satisfy customer demands.”

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  • Coal

    The coal Business Unit focuses on the transportation of export and domestic coal by rail to various destinations.

  • Iron Ore & Manganese

    The export Iron Ore & Manganese Business Unit focuses on the rail transportation of Iron Ore & Manganese Ore. MORE

  • Steel & Cement

    Steel and Cement (SAC) business unit aims to improve customer service and operational efficiency to grow and sustain rail market share in bulk flows of inbound and outbound products. MORE

  • Agriculture & Bulk liquids

    Agriculture & Bulk Liquids business unit is focused on transporting grain, & fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), petroleum product, Chemicals, Fertilizers and trade with our partners in Africa, from Maputo, Botswana, to the DRC. MORE

  • Mineral, Mining & Chrome

    MMC focuses on the transportation of magnetite flows from Phalaborwa to Richards Bay, Maputo, Broodsnyersplaas.MORE

  • Container & Automotive Business

    Container: Our container freight market in South Africa can be divided into three categories: MORE

  • International Business

    Unit is our seventh Business Unit which is the interface business unit between TFR and all the over-border railways and intermodal hubs/ ports.MORE