Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative

Maputo Development Corridor

Maputo Development Corridor

Connecting the landlocked regions of Kingdom of eSwatini and South Africa to the Mozambique and the Port of Maputo, the Maputo Development Corridor is a true transportation corridor, comprising road, rail,border posts, port and terminal facilities. The Corridor runs through the most highly industrialized and productive regions of Southern Africa.

Gauteng Province to Port Maputo

Gauteng, a seSotho word for "Place of Gold", has traditionally been the largest gold producing region in the world. Nowadays Gauteng is the engine of the sub-continental economy and produces ca. 40% of South Africa's GDP. As an  industrial powerhouse, Gauteng is responsible for the highest concentration of  manufacturing and industrial production in the country.
Via South Arica's capital city of Pretoria, located in the greater Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and including Centurion and the country's largest concentration of vehicle manufacturers at Rosslyn,  the Maputo Corridor connects South Africa's industrial and commercial heartland of the Witwatersrand, comprising of the metropolitan areas of

  • Ekurhuleni on the East Rand,
  • Johannesburg (incl. the corporate headquarter cornubations at Sandton and Midrand)
  • Mogale City Municipality (incorporating Krugersdorp) on the West Rand,

with its nearest deep water port in Maputo, Mozambique.
Being a landlocked province, the continued development of the Maputo Corridor is a key element to further the aims of meeting South Africa's ASGISA targets by enabling Gauteng's importers and exporters shorter, greater, more cost-effective and faster access to its nearest deep water ports.

Limpopo Province to Port Maputo

The Maputo Corridor links the landlocked and northern most  of South Africa's  nine provinces, Limpopo,  named after the vast river of the same name, with its nearest deep water port via the Phalaborwa Spatial Development Initiative.Phalaborwa is also the site of major petrochemical production.

Between 1995 and 2001, Limpopo was the country's fastest growing province. With its proximity to the tropics (the Tropic of Capricorn runs through the northernmost part of Limpopo), the province has traditionally been the focus of agricultural citrus production.  It produces 75% of the country’s mangoes, 65% of its papaya, 36% of its tea, 25% of its citrus, bananas, and litchis, 60% of its avocados, two thirds of its tomatoes, 285,000 tons of potatoes. Other products include coffee, nuts, guavas, sisal, cotton and tobacco, timber with more than 170 plantations.

22% of Limpopo's GGP comes from the mining sector, where diamonds, gold and the platinum group of precious metals make up the major mineral deposits. Limpopo is South Africa's third largest mining producer, generating 9% of the country's income arising from mining activities.

Bordering on Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, Limpopo is also the transit point for most of the trans-South African freight headed to / from landlocked Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.

Mpumalanga Province to Port Maputo

The lion's share of the Maputo Corridor runs through Mpumalanga, an isiTsonga word roughly meaning "the place where the sun rises".  Mpumalanga contains the bulk of South Africa's electricity generating coal fired power stations. The province accounts for 76% of South Africa's coal mining output and 50% of national coal reserves*, a lot of which is exported via the Matola Coal Terminal in Matola Port, Maputo.

The Corridor also links with important production centres in the Gert Sibande District Municipality, comprising amongst others of the cities and towns of StandertonSecunda and Ermelo,  which  contain a large bulk of South Africa's electricity generating coal fired power stations. With its close proximity to the gas fields of the Mozambican coast and the closest port to the South African northern hinterland, Mpumalanga's importance in energy production has taken on an even greater role through the completed gas pipeline running from the Temane and Pande gasfields near Maotize in Mozambique to Sasol's plant in Secunda and the construction of liquid petrochemical pipelines along similar routes.

The Maputo Corridor also passes through vast industrial and primary production areas such as those in the Nkangala District Municipality, comprising amongst others of the cities and towns of DelmasWitbank and Middelburg, important centres for South Africa's coal,  vanadium and stainless steel mining and production as well as being principal areas of maize production in the province's agricultural sector. 

The Corridor provides the primary means of access to the breathtakingly beautiful Highlands Meander, escarpment and Lowveld region of Mpumalanga, a major national and international tourist destination. As the Corridor passes through the escarpment between the Highveld and Lowveld, endless plantations of maize make way for citrus, macadamia nuts and sugarcane production, paper mills and vast forestry plantations, not to mention vast areas of wilderness and natural beauty. The Ehlanzeni District Municipality, comprising of amongst others of the cities and towns of Nelspruit (seat of Mpumalanga's Provincial government and home of MCLI), White RiverBarberton and Malelane are the principal economic centres in the area.

Further east, the Corridor passes through the Wilderness area and gorges with a modern and efficient motorway and railtrack, before reaching the border town of Komatipoort, where the Lebombo / Resanno Garcia Border Posts and the Lebombo Dry Port are situated. This region's primary economic activities centre around sugarcane production and wildlife tourism with access to the country's largest national conservation area, the Kruger National Park.

(*Source: Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development & Planning)

South African / Mozambican Border to Port Maputo

Crossing the Lebombo / Resano Garcia border into Mozambique's Maputo Province, the Corridor connects the South African northern hinterland with Mozambique's capital, Maputo and its two deep water ports of Maputo and Matola with a modern, fast and efficient national road, known as the EN4 on the Mozambican side. The 92 km stretch of road drives straight to Port Maputo before terminating closely to the downtown area of Maputo.

The Bigger Picture: Ocean to Ocean Capital Corridors

The Maputo Corridor forms part of a greater transport axis linking the Atlantic and Indian Ocean together via the sub-continent of Southern Africa. From as far east as the deep sea port of Walvis Bay in Namibia, the Trans-Kalahari Corridor connects Namibia's capital, Windhoek, with landlocked Botswana's capital, Gaberone, via the vast expanse of the Kalahari Desert. From there, direct rail and road links connect Gaberone with the Maputo Corridor along a transport route  that can rightly be called the Capital Corridor, passing through

  • Mafikeng, provincial capital of South Africa's Northwest Province,
  • Pretoria, South Africa's executive capital located in the greater Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality,
  • Johannesburg, capital of Gauteng Province,
  • Nelspruit, capital of Mpumalanga Province and of course,
  • Mozambique's capital, Maputo.


The governments of South Africa and Mozambique have promoted the revival of the Maputo Corridor as part of a greater Spatial Development Initiative with bilateral policies and substantial public and private sector investments, designed to stimulate sustainable growth and development in the region. Now it is up to private business to ensure full optimisation of the Maputo Development Corridor.

The following have been identified as areas where much work is still needed:

  • Continuous improvement of Border procedures and operational hours.
  • Scope and competitiveness of transport services must be increased: additional capacity, higher service levels and more competitive rates for road, rail, port, terminals and shipping lines.
  • Information services must be put in place and enhanced continuously.
  • The promotion of investment zones must be coordinated and accelerated.

The initial strategic focus of MCLI is to engage with South African, Mozambican and eSwatini governments to reinforce the public-private partnerships in the arena of logistics, to ensure that the Maputo Corridor is the first choice for regional importers and exporters alike.