Development of a private sector participation framework for rail services in South Africa

Antony Boting
November 2021

The South African Government has identified private sector participation as vital for reviving rail. This is reflected in policy. A review of private sector participation in rail and other industries in Africa indicates that friendly policy is insufficient to attract the private sector. Detail around potential opportunities, a transparent procurement process, capacity within government to engage with the private sector and the establishment of an economic regulator are seen as the necessary next steps.

This report develops a strategy for encouraging private sector participation in rail, based on a ten-step framework building on the lessons learnt from the literature review, interviews, and financial and economic considerations. It identifies the areas of rail where the private sector could participate and prioritises them from the perspective of each participant based on their motivations for (or against) participation. Mechanisms and their implementation are tailored for these prioritised areas and conditions identified for successful implementation. Criteria to identify potentially successful projects are listed and access principles are considered throughout.