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​TFR Associations


TFR Associations

Transnet Freight Rail is a member of the following organisations:

SARA (South African Railways Association)


The Southern African Railways Association (SARA) is a “Not for Profit” regional association of railways in the SADC region which was formed in 1996. Sara’s top mission is to create an environment whereby the railway industry is a top performer in the transport sector and makes rail the mode of choice. This will be achieved through bringing about fair competition, developing an equitable market driven surface transport (road and rail) industry, improved efficiency and effectiveness in the regional railways operations and to champion the cause of the regional railways.


AAR (Association of American Railroads)


The Association of American Railroads operates over a 140,000 mile network stretching across the far reaches of North America. They serve to make sure America’s freight railroads operate as the safest, most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sound freight transport system in the world.


As the standard setting organization for North America's railroads, AAR is also focused on improving the safety and productivity of rail transportation


AAR members include the major freight railroads in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak, AAR ensures that the freight rail industry will continue to meet America’s transportation needs today and tomorrow.


UAR (Union of African Railways)


The Union's objective is to seek the standardisation, expansion, coordination and improvement of railway services of the UAR members with a view to linking them to each other and to other means of transportation connecting the Africa region to the world.


The other objective is to establish and maintain relationships with other transport undertakings or associations and interested governments and institutions for the study of matters of interest to and the coordination and development of the activities of the members of the Union. The UAR is a member of the International Union of Railways (UIC).



MCLI (Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiatives)


The Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative is a non-profit organisation consisting of Infrastructure Investors, Service Providers and Stakeholders from Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland, who are focussed on the promotion and further development of the Maputo Development Corridor (MDC) as the region's primary logistics transportation route.


Their incorporation in South Africa as a Section 21 (non-profit) membership organisation (Reg. No. 2004/007466/08) put them in an advantage to facilitate inclusively between all stakeholders, public and private, across national borders, aiming to co-ordinate the views of Service Providers and Users of the Corridor, engaging primarily the governments of SA and Mozambique as well as Swaziland, to remove barriers along the Corridor, to inform the market of developments on the Corridor and to market the strategic benefits and opportunities of using it, thereby making the MDC the first choice for the regions importers and exporters alike.


MCLI is a group of infrastructure investors, service providers and users, focussed on the promotion and further development of the Maputo Corridor, as a contribution to the aims and objectives of the Maputo Development Corridor.


MCLI is incorporated in South Africa as a membership organisation. Members are drawn from South Africa and Mozambique and co-operate closely with organised business, engage with relevant authorities, and represent the combined views of all users of the Corridor and all parties involved in the provision of services in the Corridor.


UIC (International Union of railways)


UIC mission:

To promote rail transport at world level and meet the challenges of mobility and sustainable development.

Main UIC objectives:

  • Facilitate the sharing of best practices among members (benchmarking)
  • Support members in their efforts to develop new business and new areas of activities
  • Propose new ways to improve technical and environmental performance
  • Promote interoperability; create new world standards for railways (including common standards with other transport modes)
  • Develop centres of competence (High Speed, Safety, Security, e-Business,)


RRA (Railroad Association)


When South Africa emerged from its period of isolation in 1994 it became progressively evident that a rethink of the transport regulatory regime was necessary in order for the local economy to take its place in the global village. Racial and gender targets of the new government coupled with skills transfer also set revised targets.

  • To play its part the RRA has worked closely with a number of high level initiatives in order to add value to the processes.
  • Amongst these are the following:
  • The development of the Railway Safety Regulator Act and subsequent Regulations and Standards based on risk analysis for the development of Safety Management Systems
  • The development of the Transport Charter for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment especially for the rail sub-sector
  • Training of artisan level persons in railway disciplines
  • Post graduate education in railway engineering
  • On-going development of a National Transport Master plan
  • Studies on the connectivity of Africa’s railways including a phased migration to standard gauge as proposed by the African Union.
  • Comparison of direct and external costs of land-based transport for road and rail. Cost comparisons would indicate investment priorities suitable to decrease logistic costs as a percentage of gross domestic product as well as enhancing export competitiveness
  • The RRA is registered as an export council with the Department of Trade and Industry and is tasked with promoting, developing and increasing exports of goods and services in the rail and intermodal arena.


NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development)


The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), an African Union strategic framework for pan-African socio-economic development, is both a vision and a policy framework for Africa in the twenty-first century. NEPAD is led by African leaders, to address critical challenges facing Africa, such as poverty, underdevelopment and the continued marginalisation of Africa.


Their core competency is the movement of freight on rail. With a world-class heavy haul capability in our coal and iron ore export rail operations, NEPAD are a strategic and key to Government's Spatial Development Initiatives - a shift towards regional co-operation and integration. They are proudly placed to dramatically alter the South African rail industry and to play a key role in the transformation of our society.


By encouraging co-operation NEPAD aims to bring together diverse key players throughout and assist countries in being better able to trade, share resources and build mutually beneficial infrastructure. NEPAD plays a co-ordinating, advocacy and facilitation role in this respect.


NEPAD provides unique opportunities for African countries to take full control of their development agenda, to work more closely together, and to cooperate more effectively with international partners.