China is reportedly in talks with South African authorities regarding the construction of a high-speed rail linking two of the country’s economic hubs – Johannesburg and Durban. The plan to build the rail network has been in the works for more than a decade.
“China stands ready to work with South Africa to move China-South Africa ties forward towards a deeper level and broader scope,” Xiaodong said.
He said China was “also continuing to connect with South Africa on major projects, such as a Joburg-Durban high-speed railway, “the Chinese ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong said. He was speaking at the JobFairSA 2022 event last week.
In 2019, the African Union said plans were on track for a high-speed rail network connecting the continent’s borders by 2063, the African Union’s Development Agency said, citing a Voice of America report.
The ambitious multibillion-dollar project aims to ease the movement of goods and people across African borders, but the AU warns that corruption could derail that goal.
Chinese companies have constructed railways across Africa, including one running from Mombasa on the Kenyan coast to Naivasha, a town in the Central Rift Valley, financed by the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China, at about $4.7 billion, according to South China Morning Post.
China has become South Africa ‘s biggest trade partner and export destination, and South Africa has become China ‘s largest trading partner in Africa. In 2011, bilateral trade hit a record high of more than $45bn, accounting for a quarter of Africa-China trade.