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Economy, Transportation

SA Express, Saldanha Bay, busiest port, South African Airways, Comair

South Africa has by far the most developed transport infrastructure in Africa. The rail system, which links all major centers, is almost entirely administered by the state-owned Transnet through its railway division Spoornet. Passenger services are slow by Western European standards, but the provision of luxury and semiluxury trains is an attraction.

Car ownership is almost universal among whites and rising rapidly in the rest of the population, although less so in rural areas. Commuting for blacks is largely by public transport, including buses, kombi (minibus) taxis and, in the larger cities such as Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, commuter railways.

South African Airways provides an extensive network of air services between all major cities in South Africa, between Johannesburg and a variety of destinations in Africa, and between South Africa and major cities in Europe, the Americas, East Asia, and Australia. Domestic routes have opened to competition in recent years with Airlink, SA Express, and Comair providing the main services. In addition, smaller airlines operate about 200 routes linking smaller towns to the major centers. Johannesburg has the countryís major international airport, but Cape Town has a small number of direct overseas flights.

The ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town provide large container terminals. Durban is the busiest port for general cargo. East London is the only river port in South Africa. Saldanha Bay, northwest of Cape Town, is the largest port on the west coast of Africa. It was developed primarily for the export of iron ore from Northern Cape. Richardís Bay, one of the best artificial harbors in the world, was developed primarily to handle bulk cargoes, including coal.

Article key phrases:

SA Express, Saldanha Bay, busiest port, South African Airways, Comair, river port, Airlink, Domestic routes, largest port, kombi, general cargo, minibus, Car ownership, Passenger services, taxis, major cities, attraction, buses, Port Elizabeth, East London, East Asia, rail system, coal, public transport, Northern Cape, Americas, whites, Durban, Cape Town, competition, South Africa, Johannesburg, Europe, world, recent years


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