Transnet operates and an integrated freight transport company, formed around a core of five operating divisions that complement each other. These are supported by a number of Company-wide specialist functions such as Transnet Projects which underpin the group as a whole.
Transnet has just successfully completed a four-point turnaround strategy and just embarked on a four-point growth strategy. Just prior to adopting our growth strategy, we embarked on a rebranding exercise. As part of that growth strategy, Transnet is investing R110.6 billion on revitalizing and extending its infrastructure. These plans include widening and deepening ports; building a new pipeline and buying hundreds of new locomotives.
The new Transnet is made up of the following operating divisions:
- • Transnet freight rail (formerly Spoornet – the freight rail division)
- • Transnet rail engineering (formerly Transwerk – the rolling stock maintenance business)
- • Transnet national ports authority (formerly the NPA – fulfils the landlord function for South Africa’s port system)
- • Transnet port terminals (formerly SAPO – managing port and cargo terminal operations in the nation’s leading ports), and Transnet pipelines (formerly Petronet – the fuel and gas pipeline business, pumps and manages the storage of petroleum and gas products through its network of high-pressure, long distance pipelines)
For the future, it is our intention to strengthen our partnerships to derive greater value from our freight logistics system. We intend to play a positive role economic growth in South African and in improving the lives of all South Africans.
Refreshing the brand also provided with an ideal opportunity to communicate the repositioned Transnet
The conclusion of our structural transformation in 2007 prompted us to rethink the Transnet brand. The main intention of the transformation was to achieve a coherent set of business units and operations that could function together effectively. Having achieved this aim, we wanted to give content to this new integrated operation illustrating our new unity with a new branding system.
The intention was to create both a main brand and a set of sub-brands and the appropriate architecture to give content to the philosophy of “One Company, One Vision”. The intention is also to align our corporate identity with our business strategy. Consequently, to confirm our realignment, we have rebranded from being a multi-brand organisation into a single, overarching “monolithic” Transnet brand, with our divisions adopting related, sub-brands brands.
To guide and inform our decisions on the rethink of the brand, independent research was commissioned to canvass the views of various stakeholders, including our customers and employees.
This research concluded that:
The name Transnet should be retained and
Transnet should refresh its brand image to reflect:
Reliability and flexibility;
Cost-efficiency and competitiveness;
Improved communication and divisional alignment; and
An integrated solution of bulk freight transportation
Therefore, the rejuvenation of the brand is designed to optimise the equity embedded in the Transnet brand but also communicate the revitalisation of the Company, its new corporate structure, its people and our emrging service culture.
Refreshing the brand also provided with an ideal opportunity to communicate the repositioned Transnet – a business-to-business player – and will enable the entities we no longer own to be positioned within the strategies of new owners.
Following the monolithic brand route, we have done away with the old semi-autonomous and fragmented structure and replaced it with a single, integrated one.
All the sub-brands contain the same tagline. Previously we had been using “delivering on our commitments”, and whilst this remains relevant, we wanted to emphasise our commitment to you, our stakeholders- our customers, employers, shareholders, the communities in which we operate.
Accordingly our new tagline is “delivering on our commitment to you”.
The rebranding signals the change in the direction and focus of the business. It’s more than a name change – it communicates the progress in its transformation and explains the essence of the new Transnet.
Transnet is currently made up of
Transnet freight rail (formerly Spoornet)
Transnet rail engineering (formerly Transwerk)
Transnet national ports authority (formerly the NPA)
Transnet port terminals (formerly SAPO)
- Transnet pipelines (formerly Petronet)
Assists in creating valuable business opportunities that extend far beyond the shorelines and borders of the country
Transnet SOC Ltd is a public company with the South African government running as its sole shareholder. Both operating and controlling South Africa’s major transport infrastructures, Transnet is also responsible for ensuring that the country’s transport industries operate according to world-class standards and that they form an integral part of the overall economy.
Transnet is not only vital to South Africa’s development, but it also combines forces with other businesses in order to expand transport operations across Africa and beyond. By doing so, Transnet assists in creating valuable business opportunities that extend far beyond the shorelines and borders of the country.
Recognised today as the major player in the Southern African transport and logistics arena, Transnet aims to be cost efficient as well as an efficient service provider. By working closely with their clients, Transnet is building on existing corridors and clusters and exploiting the synergy between port and rail to tailor solutions according to their customers’ needs.
The roots of Transnet can be traced back to humble beginnings in the late 1850s
When railway transport was proposed for the harbours in the Cape and Natal. The real catalyst for the country’s railway and harbour expansion, can be attributed to the discovery of diamonds in Kimberly in 1867.
South Africa’s state railway system began when the two pioneer railway systems situated in the Cape and Natal became government property in 1872 and 1877 respectively, thus completing the relatively primitive harbours in Durban and Cape Town. Scarcely nine years after the founding of the government railways, both which were rapidly pushed to Kimberly, rumours of massive gold deposits in the Transvaal Republic were confirmed. Almost overnight, economic power had shifted from the colonial south to the republican north.
In 1910 Union was achieved, with the country’s leaders adamant that the railways and harbours should be used to unify and develop South Africa’s economy. The result – the South African Railways and Harbours administration (SAR&H) becoming a proud established arm of the government.
A mere 20 years after the establishment of Union, in 1930, South Africa had established itself as a proud and mobile nation. This achievement can be accredited to the opening of efficient mainline passenger links and an impressive network of urban and metropolitan train services.
During the 1970s it was agreed upon by the government that the SAR&H should restructure itself along defined business lines. Integral to the process was a change in the name and image of the organisation, which would appropriately reflect its new vision and mission as a successful state business enterprise. In 1981, the country’s railway, harbour, road transport, aviation and pipeline operations became known as South African Transport Services (SATS). At the same time, the enterprise was restructured into units and divisions,
with a strong emphasis on localized management.
Transnet SOC Ltd is proud to be playing such a pivotal role in the future of the country and the continent.
By the end of 1989, the goal of managing SATS as a private entity was well within reach, and on 1 April 1990, after 80 years of government and parliamentary control, SATS was given company status. A new, limited liability company, representing a vast transport network, was finally born. Its name was Transnet SOC Ltd.
Since 1994, Transnet has kept pace with a fast-changing society, dealing with a multitude of challenges in an emerging democracy. Transnet, realising these challenges, has met them head-on by investing heavily in infrastructure and integrating and coordinating programmes within the country.
The South African transport system has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 1800s. This can be attributed to Transnet playing a vital role not only in everyday life, but in the national economy and economics of several other African states that use the networks and harbours within South African to transfer their imports and exports.