With the focus on the need to strengthen the South Africa’s rail infrastructure for the 2010 World Cup and to create new tourism opportunities, the Provincial Roads and Transport Department will host the Eastern Cape Rail Conference in Port Elizabeth Tuesday.
Transport Minister Jeff Radebe will attend the conference, which will examine how to advance the drive to promote rail for passenger and freight transport.
The move followed the steady decline in rail services to rural areas and poorer regions.
The conference will feature an exhibition of the Kei Development Corridor Mega Projects, which are operational and viable in the Kei Development Corridor, which starts in East London and ends in Umzimvubu (featuring Kei Rail) with the aim of showcasing various projects to the expected 300 delegates, including possible investors.
Specific projects in the corridor cover mega projects and various sectors such as agriculture, tourism and industry.
The construction of the award-winning Ugie-Langeni road has already attracted major investment for the forestry industry within the region, including an investor, Steinhoff, which is pumping R1.3 billion in the development of a chipboard factory.
The government has provided more than R56 million in critical infrastructure such as power lines, water and sanitation.
The project will create 3,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect employment opportunities.