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Cablegate: South Africa Response to Usitc Study On Sub-Saharan Africa:

VZCZCXRO3017
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHTRO
DE RUEHSA #1937 2461100
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021100Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5555
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PRETORIA 001937

SIPDIS

PASS TO USITC FOR L. SCHLITT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD OTRA ASEC SF
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA RESPONSE TO USITC STUDY ON SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA:
EFFECTS OF INFRASTRUCTURE CONDITIONS ON EXPORT COMPETITIVENESS PART
ONE

REF: A. STATE 62391, B. PRETORIA 0175, C. PRETORIA 1186,
D. CAPE TOWN 52

1. (U) This cable responds to the items requested in paragraph five
of Reftel A. Post will provide responses to paragraph six and seven
through additional reporting prior to the October 1 deadline.
Supplemental documentation will also be sent via e-mail.
Transportation/ICT Officer Daleya Uddin (Uddinsd@state.gov or
+27-12-431-4344) and Economic Specialist Christo Esterhuizen
(EsterhuizenJC@state.gov or +27-12-431-4417) are the main points of
contact at post.


2. (U) Information on the effects of infrastructure conditions on
export competitiveness is relatively easy to obtain in South Africa
through public sources, e.g., World Bank, government, and corporate
reports. Most of the information in public documents is from 2006
or earlier.

3. (U) Electricity and transport infrastructure in South Africa is
mainly developed, maintained, and controlled by government
departments or state-controlled companies. Reftels B and C provide
additional background information on Eskom (the state-controlled
electricity producer) and Reftel D provides background information
on Transnet (the state-controlled freight and transport logistics
group). Both Eskom and Transnet are currently investing tens of
billions of dollars to improve electricity and transport capacity
and to address infrastructure bottlenecks that are hampering growth.

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4. (U) The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE)
and The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are
good sources of information on this topic. Dr Kevin Wall at CSIR
has provided information on the status of transport infrastructure
in the past. He is the Manager for the Urban Management and
Infrastructure at CSIR's Built Environment unit in Pretoria. He can
be contacted at +27-82-459-3618 or kwall@csir.co.za.

5. (U) CSIR and Imperial Logistics released a joint State of
Logistics Survey in July 2008. The survey is available at
http://www.csir.co.za/sol/. The survey spotlights domestic
infrastructure and logistics and its relation to international
trade. The survey also reports positive logistics growth for the
southern African region and highlights the challenges the region
faces as it hopes to increase its global competitiveness. South
Africa ranked 24 out of 150 countries on the World Bank's Logistics
Performance Index. However, based on logistics expenditure, the
country is rated 124. CSIR identifies a number of logistics hurdles
in South Africa including inadequate infrastructure and processes at
ports and borders, rising fuel costs, increased road freight, and
inefficient rail transportation.

LA LIME

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