Sea Rail Botswana office to unlock more opportunities

SeaRail (Botswana) (Pty) Limited, a logistics and transport company is expected to open a new office in Gaborone in the first half next year, a top official of the business has disclosed Botswana Guardian.

The company was formed in 2013 to develop and operate a Dry Port land leased by Botswana government in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Botswana Railways, itself a 100 percent government entity.

“In order to cultivate more business on the Botswana market and in an effort to divert Botswana cargo through other regional ports to Walvis Bay the company is working on establishing an office in Gaborone by June 2022. The target is for Sea Rail to control over 50% of market share on container volumes going to Botswana,” said an upbeat Acting Managing Director of the Sea Rail, Derick Mokgatle.

The opening of the Botswana office will fall under the company’s five year turnaround strategy which is expected to further prop up the company’s revenue, and eventually its bottom line.  Mokgatle is confident that Botswana, its home country, offers so many opportunities, which are yet to be fully tapped. He added, such opportunities can be fully harnessed if Sea Rail partners more with the local private sector and parastatals.

He disclosed that, they have partnered with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) to explore opportunities for easing Botswana exports into the lucrative Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) market through infrastructure and transport solutions. Sea Rail also has a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in February 2020 which amongst others is for BITC to refer investors wishing to set up in Botswana to liaise with Sea Rail for logistics solutions via Walvis Bay. BITC is the main investment promotion authority in Botswana.

Sea Rail is also working on new MoUs with Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) and other stakeholders in Botswana. “Sea Rail is determined to grow partnerships with clients and other stakeholders to grow volumes for the dry port and these include transporters, and institutions like SEZA and other parastatals and non-governmental organisations,” he stressed.

In addition to providing dry port services of bonded storage facilities and cargo handling Sea Rail offers freight forwarding solutions that include transport and customs clearing to make it a one stop shop for cross border clients wishing to route their goods via the Port of Walvis Bay. Mokgatle, who is Motswana has also announced that, in collaboration with the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, they are currently planning a road show to all the mines in Botswana in February 2022 as well as to hold an information session in conjunction with the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) in Gaborone to promote the Walvis Bay route.

Botswana is currently experiencing a boom in the mining sector, more especially in the non-diamond sector. Mines which have opened in the past few years include the Botswana Stock Exchange listed Minergy which mines coal in Media village, within the Kweneng district. Khoemacau has also opened a copper mine near Toteng in the North West district. Sandfire Resources is also expected to open a new copper mine in Gantsi sometimes next year. Vision Ridge Investment has also just opened a new iron ore mine in Ikongwe, central district. More mines are also expected in the coming few years as most companies are at advanced stages of exploration and drilling.