Swaziland seeks access to the Indian Ocean via Mozambique

27 August 2015

The government of Swaziland wants to build a direct canal link to the Indian Ocean via Mozambique, reports the daily Times of Swaziland, citing the minister for Trade and Industry, Gideon Dlamini.

Dlamini said his government approved the project as presented, adding that Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini has instructed the various ministries involved to begin cooperating with the developer, the entrepreneur Moses Motsa, one of Swaziland’s wealthiest people.

The project presented by Motsa has an estimated cost of 30 billion emalangeni (US$2.3 billion), the newspaper affirms.

The report describes some aspects of the project, indicating that it involves building a 26 km long canal from the Mozambican coast to Mlawula in Swaziland, where an interior port would be built with an area of from 15 to 20 hectares, able to handle up to four ships at the same time.

The prime minister has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to begin talks regarding the project with Mozambique, “so that the country can have direct access to the sea,” said Gideon Dlamini, cited by the Times of Swaziland.

Data gathered on the Internet indicate that the distance between Mlawula, where there is a nature park, and Maputo on the Indian Ocean coast is 63 km by air and 106 km by road via Namaacha, or 247 km via Moamba. (Macauhub/MZ)