South Africa's transportation network is among the most modern and extensive on the continent. In 2002, there were an estimated 362,099 km of national and provincial roads, of which 73,506 km were paved, including 239 km of expressways. There were 3,795,600 automobiles and 1,736,000 commercial vehicles in 2000.
The South African Transport Service, a government department under the minister of transport affairs, operates the railways, principal harbours, South African Airways and some road transportation services. In 2006, there were 20,872 route-km of track.
The country's rail systems is operated by Transnet subsidiaries Spoornet, Shosholoza Meyl, Metrorail, Transwerk and Protekon.
A feasibility study is to be conducted into the construction of a 720 km standard gauge line from Johannesburg to Durban for double-stack container trains. Links exist to Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Railways linking Mozambique are under repair.
In 2006, the South African merchant fleet consisted of 3 ships with a total volume of 32,815 GRT. South Africa's seven ports, owned and operated by the government, include the deepwater ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Table Bay (at Cape Town); other ports with good facilities are Richards Bay, Saldanha Bay, East London and Mosselbaai (or Mossel Bay).
Also in 2006, a new port is to open: Ngqura, at Coega, which is 20 km northeast of Port Elizabeth. The administration and operation of the country's port facilities is done by two subsidiaries of Transnet, the National Ports Authority and South African Port Operations (SAPO).
In 2006, there are 966 km of crude oil pipeline transport, 1,354 km for other petroleum products, and 1,062 km for natural gas. Petronet, a subsidiary of Transnet, which in turn is majority owned by the government, is prinicipally responsible for the operation of South Africa's pipelines.
Airports in 2006 totaled 731, of which 146 had paved runways. The government-owned South African Airways operates both international and domestic flights. Jan Smuts Airport, near Johannesburg, is the major international airport; other international airports are located at Cape Town and Durban. In 2001, 7,984,400 passengers were carried on domestic and international flights.
Airports - with paved runways
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 51
914 to 1,523 m: 67
under 914 m: 13 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways
1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
914 to 1,523 m: 302
under 914 m: 249 (2006)
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