The Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey, is in South Africa to conclude arrangements with South Africa’s Rail giant; Transnet, for the development of an efficient rail system on the Western Rail Line in Ghana.
This visit, is a follow up to a recent technical and systems evaluation undertaken by Transnet on the rehabilitated Takoradi- Tarkwa narrow gauge line, and the yet to be developed Tarkwa- Awaso line of the Western Rail Line. The decision taken, among others, by both parties is to have a new standard gauge line constructed along the entire stretch of the Western Line from Awaso to Kumasi and to further extend this to Nyinahin.
Sector Minister, Joe Ghartey in an exclusive interview with Skyy News explained that the meeting with Transnet will afford partners the opportunity to appraise findings from the technical evaluation on the rail line, and also to explore areas for development.
“As you’re all aware government signed an agreement with Transnet for the upgrade of a portion of the Western light up to Tarkwa. As you are also aware, the Tarkwa line is now operational. But of course, Transnet will come and help us strengthen it further; strengthen our operations, the systems and everything else that goes with running a successful railway company. A railway company is not just the line. But at the same time when they came the last time, they looked beyond Tarkwa, and did a survey after Awaso. We are meeting with them to see their findings. They’re going to give us their findings also on the Tarkwa line, and what they believe has to be done,” he said.
The Minister revealed that a technical team will proceed with an initial due diligence assessment with Transnet, that will allow Government of Ghana to take informed decisions regarding the development of the rail sector.
“We have a technical team that is visiting that factory as well, to do an initial due diligence and then we’ll start seeing whether there are ways in which we can continue to take our relationship forward. So we hope that we’ll be able to come to some successful conclusion, after our meetings with Transnet and be able to take the already fast developing relationship a step further,” he added.
The Sector Minister will be joined by officials from the Ministry, Ghana Railways Company Limited and Ghana Railways Development Authority, as he engages Transnet.
Cabinet is expected to be briefed by the Railway Development Ministry, after this engagement.