The government of South Africa's North West province is conducting a feasibility study for the development of a freight hub at Mahikeng International Airport.
The study will form part of a wider freight transport strategy, including a passenger and freight rail plan, that is currently in the process of being drawn up, says Lesiba Moses Kgwele, spokesperson for the North West Premier's office.
The development of Mahikeng International was one of the priorities outlined by Premier Thandi Modise in her state of the province address earlier this year.
The airport is currently undergoing a multi-million rand infrastructure upgrade to bring it into strict compliance with the regulations of the South African Civil Aviation Authority and the International Aviation Organisation.
Kgwele said this week that R15-million was being spent on the rejuvenation of the airport's runway, taxiways, apron and landing strip markings.
A new 16-element instrument landing system (ILS) has been installed as part of the upgrade of the airport's electrical grounding lighting system. "R30-million is also being spent on the project, to be completed in the current financial year," Kgwele said.
According to an approved Provincial Land Transport Framework report - which recommended the development of a freight hub or "dry port" in Mahikeng - the upgrades will enhance regional trade, eliminate border-crossing delays and minimise administrative inefficiencies.