Walvis Bay was reincorporated by South Africa into the Cape Province on 1 September 1977, and is today administered as part of that province. There is nothing to suggest that the South African Government is prepared as yet to relinquish control over Walvis Bay and the surrounding enclave as well as the Offshore Islands in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, it can be expected that South Africa could use its control of Walvis Bay as a mean to put pressure on the Government of the Republic of Namibia.

An implication of the UNO Security Council Resolution 432 of 1978 is that the Security Council of the UN will support the initiation of some kind of process which has to be envisaged to result in Walvis Bay and the Offshore Islands being reintegrated into the Republic of Namibia. At the time of the passing of UNSCR 432, the then US Secretary of State stated: "We consider that the 'steps necessary' are negotiations between the two parties directly concerned" [26].

Without Walvis Bay, the Republic of Namibia is virtually a land-locked country notwithstanding the fact that it has a coastline of about 1.350 km in length. Lüderitz, the only other harbour, is about 1.000 km from the main centres of activities. Its port facilities are poor and inadequate, and overland access routes by road and rail do not have the capacity for carrying large quantities of import/export goods at the present point of time.

Added to this is the issue of the current close linkages between the economies of Namibia and South Africa. Undoubtedly it will serve Namibia's economic interests best to become less dependent on South Africa as its markets are expensive as a source of import. But, also for political reasons it is expected that the Government of the Republic of Namibia will diminish the role played by South African suppliers, buyers and intermediaries, or at least not to become even more dependent on them.


The Government of the Republic of Namibia will have to decide on a strategy with respect to if and how to use Walvis Bay, while possible negotiations for the transfer of the enclave will have to be initiated. The government could, for instance, get the services of an "International Recognised Legal Expert" to investigate the international legal status of Walvis Bay. If this expert finds that according to international law Walvis Bay belongs undoubtedly to the Republic of Namibia, Namibia should get its right at the International Court of The Hague, otherwise Namibia has to obtain its birthright regarding Walvis Bay by negotiations with South Africa.

At this very moment the government has no choice but to continue to use Walvis Bay, at least for some time. During this time it will have to determine whether an arrangement exists which allows Namibia to use Walvis Bay, without such an arrangement being construed as an explicit or implicit recognition of the legality of South Africa's claim to the enclave and the islands. If such an arrangement could be envisaged, it does not seem unlikely that South Africa would give its assent, since it can be expected that South Africa's government would want that use should be made of Walvis Bay's facilities and that it would want to tie down the new Government of Namibia.

Therefore, if such an acceptable arrangement concerning access can be found, the government must simultaneously consider what it should do in a longer term perspective in order to put pressure on South Africa to relinquish Walvis Bay. Additional actions must as a minimum involve the start-up of full-scale studies of and planning for the establishment of alternative harbour facilities somewhere on the coast north of Swakopmund and/or for the upgrading of Lüderitz. Without a credible threat it will be difficult to put pressure on the Republic of South Africa to negotiate the status and control of Walvis Bay.

If, on the other hand, the above-mentioned arrangement can not be found, the government will have to decide between (i) accepting the circumstances and start to plan for a different course of action, which in effect means above outlined strategy, or (ii) stopping traffic to and from Walvis Bay (but not necessarily with South Africa), and make use of emergency operations (by using Lüderitz, Swakopmund, Namibe in Angola and overland transport routes to and from SADCC-member states), until a long-term solution (a new harbour) has been realised.


The two base alternatives which the government can choose will result in different consequences. The first alternative would be to make continued use of Walvis Bay and simultaneously work out plans and strategies to achieve the objective to gain full control over Walvis Bay. The consequences of the second alternative with the consequent decision not to make use of Walvis Bay and rely on emergency operations can be divided into three different types of consequences. They will have an impact over a substantial period of time, i.e. at least until the new port at the north coast has been constructed and put into operation.

The first consequence will be that such a decision will have a locking feature. If the government would decide to stop using Walvis Bay and to rely on emergency operations, a decision to build a new port is inevitable, as emergency operations cannot be relied on for more than the absolute minimum amount of time. By contrast, the other alternative, i.e. to make continuous use of Walvis Bay and to plan for a new port, allows the government some measure of freedom to decide when to start construction of the new facilities. This (first) alternative hence gives some leeway in that it can be used to put pressure on the South African Government for some time, without actually incurring substantial costs.

The second consequence is the added costs to the Namibian economy (over and above the construction costs of a new port, which in itself is likely to be very high). These are both direct and indirect. The direct costs are associated with the temporary port and storage facilities in Lüderitz, Swakopmund and Namibe and the upgrading of the access routes to neighbouring countries. The indirect costs arise because of longer transport distances, additional shipping and insurance charges and deteriorating transport conditions. These added costs will furthermore lead to a reduction in imports and exports and will consequently affect the general production and employment situation in the country.

The third consequence is that such a decision could jeopardise another objective of the government, i.e. to make the Namibian economy less dependent on South African markets. It should be recalled that the present overland traffic across the southern border is much larger than the Namibian traffic through Walvis Bay, as a not insignificant amount of the latter traffic consists of products emanating in the Walvis Bay Enclave (mainly salt and fish products). Assuming that shippers may themselves decide on how to import and export goods - as they normally would be able to do - it is likely that they will start to make even greater use of rail and road transport to and from South Africa than hitherto (assuming that this border will remain open), rather than relying on - perhaps - uncertain temporary port facilities and transport routes. Of course, it is in principle possible for the government to decide which routes may be used for what goods, but such a decision must be taken against the background of its effects on business, not only in Namibia, but also on other (buying) countries in the whole region.

Hence, whatever alternative strategy will be chosen in respect of Walvis Bay, it would be prudent to prepare plans for a contingency operation, including an identification of actions which need to be taken to ensure the feasibility of such an operation. It should be emphasised that this preliminary design should be viewed as a first plan for how to undertake emergency operations. This emergency strategy should continuously be updated to ensure that it is based on relevant data and valid assumptions.


The decision of the government to develop a strategy for Walvis Bay is also influenced by the issue of staying in the "Southern African Customs Union (SACU)" or leave the union. It has already been outlined that in the long run it seems plausible that Namibia would benefit economically from not being a member of SACU. But, it has to be considered that without Namibian control over Walvis Bay and without being anymore a member of "SACU", the government could land into the situation to negotiate a transit agreement with South Africa and to establish customs facilities at the perimeter of the Walvis Bay Enclave. These two actions could be considered to be unacceptable by the Namibian Government.

The above mentioned arrangement for the use of Walvis Bay may consequently influence the decision to remain an informal member or to become a full member of SACU. The threat to push South Africa to accept negotiations regarding the status of Walvis Bay would hence consist of two components, i.e. not only the planning for a new port, but also preparations for setting-up a new separate trade and customs regime for Namibia.


Any plans and strategies for Namibia's policy regarding ports and port access is influenced by different transport trends and scenarios. There is a clear inter-relationship between these different strategies which will be mirrored below.

In the late 1980s it can be assumed that Namibia's total international traffic (imports and exports) amounted to about 2,3 million t per year (1,75 million t imports, 0,55 million t exports). These traffic numbers excluded Walvis Bay and would have brought the total international Namibian traffic including Walvis Bay to about 2,8 million t. Of these 2,3 million t, 0,7 million t were carried by road and 1,5 million t by rail, or in a different manner about 0,9 million t were routed through Walvis Bay and about 1,4 million t were routed overland between Namibia and South Africa through Nakop/Noordoewer. The remainder made use of Lüderitz and Oranjemund or was air freighted. The latter figures were all exclusive of traffic to and from Walvis Bay. About 1,5 million t were internal freight within the borders of Namibia (0,8 million t per road and 0,7 million t per rail). It is assumed that the relationship between the traffic numbers of 2,3 million t international and 1,5 million t internal traffic for the later 1980s will be in the same order throughout the 1990s but the cross-border points and the modes of traffic will change during the next ten years. There are also different scenarios possible for the two cases whether Namibia would stay as a member of SACU or not. These scenarios will be pictured in the next two tables:

IN 1.000 TONS

|                         |                    | BORDER POINTS     |
|______|______|_____|_____|________|_____|_____|______|______|___ _|
| 2.200| 1.500| 950*|    5| 1.500  |1.750|  550|  950*| 1.400|    5|
NOTA: * : 900.000 t through Walvis Bay
           15.000 t through Lüderitz
           35.000 t through Oranjemund (fuel products)

in per cent

| 1990 | 48 Rail | 17 Rail|      35 |     64 | 0 Botsw. | 0 Botsw. |
|      | 15 Road | 17 Road|      2* |    2** | 0 Caprivi| 0 Caprivi|
| 1995 |         |        |         |        |          |          |
| SACU | 26 Rail |  5 Rail|      44 |     56 |10 Botsw. | 8 Botsw. |
|      | 10 Road | 14 Road|      5* |   16** | 5 Caprivi| 1 Caprivi|
|NoSACU| 26 Rail |  5 Rail|      44 |     56 |10 Botsw. | 8 Botsw. |
|      |  9 Road | 14 Road|      5* |   16** | 6 Caprivi| 1 Caprivi|
| 2000 |         |        |         |        |          |          |
| SACU | 12 Rail |  7 Rail|      55 |     59 |15 Botsw. |12 Botsw. |
|      |  6 Road |  5 Road|      6* |   15** | 6 Caprivi| 2 Caprivi|
|NoSACU| 10 Rail |  7 Rail|      61 |     59 |12 Botsw. |12 Botsw. |
|      |  4 Road |  5 Road|      6* |   15** | 7 Caprivi| 2 Caprivi|
NOTA: * means via Lüderitz and Oranjemund (fuel only)
     ** means via Lüderitz


The section regarding arrangements for the use of Walvis Bay contains three components. The first one deals with a number of legal questions which deal with the argument whether there are in principle arrangements which would allow Namibia continued access to Walvis Bay while still under South African control. The second one reviews what is currently known regarding arrangements which have been put in place by South Africa concerning transport to and from and communications with the Enclave of Walvis Bay. The third component draws some preliminary conclusions about the possibility of making continued use of these arrangements.


The question should be answered whether any agreements between concerned administrations in respect of transport and communications to and from the Enclave of Walvis Bay could be interpreted in such a way that they do (a) imply an implicit or explicit recognition of South Africa's "sovereign right to the enclave", and/or (b) contravene UNO Security Council Resolution 432 of 1978. Basically it can be stated that these questions have to be answered with NO, seen in the light of the relevant section of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia.

More specifically, as far (a) is concerned it seems that this question can be answered with NO. A working/operating arrangement/ agreement with the South African administrative authorities de facto in charge of the enclave would not imply a recognition of the de jure sovereign right of South Africa as long as such arrangements/agreements are and are seen to be:

(i) administrative, i.e. between the concerned administrations
    and not between the respective governments;

(ii) factual, i.e. made in respect of specific (actual or planned)
     services/installations and referring to geographical areas
     rather than jurisdictions;

(iii) provisional, i.e. made on an "until further notice" basis.

As far (b) is concerned it seems that this question also can be answered with NO. UNSCR 432/78 enjoins South Africa, pending the reintegration of Walvis Bay into Namibia, not to use Walvis Bay in any way prejudicial to the independence of the Republic of Namibia or the viability of its economy. Implicitly it could be derived that UNSCR 432/78 makes provision for the recognition of South Africa's administration of Walvis Bay as de-facto and not prohibited administration. Thus, making administrative arrangements on a low level with the South African administration for Walvis Bay permitting the utilisation by Namibia of the communications and/or transit facilities of Walvis Bay does not contravene UNSCR 432/78, in particular as it aims to protect the viability of Namibia's economy.

If above answers were "No", how should arrangements for the usage of Walvis Bay be structured? Any arrangements/agreements between the concerned administrations in respect of transport and communications to and from Walvis Bay should

(a) Be made by the relevant administrations/corporations at the lowest possible hierarchical level, and by such administration/ corporation on its own behalf avoiding if at all possible terms like "on behalf of the State/Government (and even Minister/ Ministry) of the Republic of Namibia" and consequently be signed by a relevant administration official, so low level as possible, for instance between the Namibian "Regional Engineer of the Department of Transport of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication" and the "Provincial Engineer of the South African Province of the Cape of the Good Hope", and not a minister or equivalent. In short, one should aim at achieving "working arrangements" and avoid anything tending towards treaties or bilateral agreements;

(b) Be referred rather as a geographical entity, or, if not, in any case in neutral or factual terms like "the Walvis Bay Enclave", or "the Walvis Bay Enclave administered by RSA" which do not prejudice the question of whether Walvis Bay belongs to or is part of South Africa. It should not allow Walvis Bay to be mentioned as part of South Africa, as, for instance, in "RSA, including Walvis Bay/ the Walvis Bay Enclave" or similar terms;

(c) Be made on an interim basis "pending a permanent agreement" and be subject to termination at any time with an appropriate notice period; unless the relevant administration's need are undoubtedly better served by a fixed term agreement, in which case the fixed term should be as short as practicable (but possibly renewable).

If it will be found that present agreements could be interpreted to contravene above two conditions (recognise RSA's sovereignty over Walvis Bay and/or violate UNSCR 432/78), can arrangements be found which bypass these existing agreements and which still permit traffic and communications to and from Walvis Bay to continue, until new agreements/arrangements have been reached/implemented.

The practical way of handling any agreement which is found not to be acceptable, while permitting uninterrupted traffic and communications, would be for the relevant administration party to such agreement to denounce such agreement but at the same time let the relevant administration declare such agreement to be provisionally applicable pending renegotiation/new agreements.

Assuming the other party(ies) find(s) this acceptable - by explicit agreement or by implicit acceptance in the form of continuing to provide/permit/use the relevant services as before - one would in effect have created a situation which would not imply a recognition of de jure sovereign rights of South Africa over the Enclave of Walvis Bay.

Due to the fact that Namibia has decided to join SACU, the question arises whether it is possible to establish monitoring posts at the perimeter of the Walvis Bay Enclave to determine the type of goods and their value, without contravening the principle of recognising RSA's sovereignty over Walvis Bay and/or violating UNSCR 432/78? The thorny problem here would be to decide on the treatment of the value of goods imported into or produced in the Walvis Bay Enclave (as opposed to transit goods), and the duties/excise taxes paid on these, and of the corresponding payments from the revenue pool.

No perfect solution appears to be available. It could be believed that Namibia would have to accept the inclusion of the value of such goods and the attendant duties/excise taxes in the South African share for purposes of SACU calculations and payments, for as long as the Walvis Bay Enclave is administered by South Africa. Goods in transit would then have to be entered into Namibia at a monitoring post suitably denominated, for instance: Entry Point for the Independent Republic of Namibia. This post should be positioned just outside the South African administered enclave.

Any arrangement allowing goods and duties/taxes in respect of Walvis Bay to be counted as part of the South African share would have to be accompanied by a statement from the Government of the Republic of Namibia to the effect that this does not imply any recognition on Namibia's part of South Africa's sovereignty over the Walvis Bay Enclave. This would be a delicate matter - but taken into consideration Namibia's self-interest, pragmatic, acceptable solutions ought to be found. One could be, for instance, the issuing of a special protocol to SACU on the occasion of Namibia's accession (not succession) to SACU, dealing with the Walvis Bay question with reference to the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia. Such protocol might "clarify the status of the Walvis Bay Enclave while administered by RSA" or words to similar effect.

Alternatively, if it is assumed that the Republic of Namibia decides not to join SACU, and instead decides to implement its own trade regime, is there a way of establishing posts at the perimeter of Walvis Bay to monitor the flow of goods to impose custom duties on the goods flowing past these posts? It must be admitted that the erection of such posts under above scenario would only imply recognition of the fact that Walvis Bay is still illegally occupied by South Africa. It seems that this would not in itself present a problem from the legal point of view.

It seems that the thornier problem of the recognition of Walvis Bay and its residents as not at present de-facto being Namibian would, however, arise in connection with agreements on mutual transit rights etc. If the Republic of Namibia wants transit rights throughout South Africa, it could be expected that South Africa would most probably require Walvis Bay to be included into such a transit agreement. If South Africa admits that Walvis Bay would be separately mentioned ("South Africa and the Walvis Bay Enclave") or if South Africa would agree to separate agreements this would seem to be acceptable. PRESENT AGREEMENTS/ARRANGEMENTS

As far as the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication of the Republic of Namibia was presently able to ascertain, there seems to be no indication of the existence of any umbrella agreement or treaty entered into by the Government of South Africa and the past colonial administration in Namibia. Agreements have, on the other hand, been made by the concerned administrations and the existence of at least two agreements has been ascertained, pertaining to rail traffic and to communications (postal and telecommunications services). Other agreements/arrangements, as for instance as for water and power supply, were most probably also made but are not discussed here.

A provisional agreement concerning rail traffic to and from, and the exploitation of railway assets in Walvis Bay was reached around 10 May 1988, but has later been replaced by another agreement, which is part of the comprehensive agreement between the South African Transport Services SATS and the National Transport Corporation NTC, signed on 1 July 1988. The agreement was signed by the chief executive officers of SATS and the National Transport Corporation, the predecessor of TransNamib Limited.

The following information can be submitted:

1. TransNet (former SATS) is the owner of all fixed railway assets within the Walvis Bay Enclave from the quays to the "perimeter" (whether the word border or a geographical description like the south bank of the Swakop River or alike is used must still be ascertained), but TNL is responsible for their exploitation and maintenance by using its own equipment;

2. TNL pays TransNet a fee for access to and the exploitation of the fixed assets. TNL defrays all the associated operating expenses. It must also still be ascertained how capital expenses are handled;

3. TNL fixes rail tariffs pertaining to rail transport in the enclave and also collects all the revenues. It is to be noted that all traffic is either to or from Walvis Bay; there is hence no internal passenger or goods traffic, with the exception of goods traffic to sidings. Presumably, good wagons in the enclave not belonging to TNL but to TransNet, which have come from South Africa, are treated as if they were on the TNL system from the point of view of the collection of wagon hire and demurrage charges, and liability.

The parties to the other agreement, as far as the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication is concerned, covering telecommunications and postal services to and from Walvis Bay are on the one hand the Department of Posts and Telecommunications DOPAT of the Ministry and the RSA Department of Posts and Telecommunications SAPT, or the Cape Province Branch of SAPT, which is operating the Walvis Bay facilities. The date of signature is around 30 November 1979, when DOPAT was established.

The agreement covers, inter alia, revenues which are shared in the following way:

- telex services: all revenue is retained by the authority of
  origin, because traffic is balanced;

- phone, fax etc.: revenue is shared proportionally on the basis
  of cost, distance etc.;

- mail: revenue accrues to the authority of origin, except air
  mail, for which proportion is paid to the carrier in line with

It has to be ascertained whether the agreement presumably also covers the following:

- the leasing of lines for traffic between Walvis Bay and South
  Africa (almost half of the 120 circuits are leased);

- the inclusion of Walvis Bay in the telephone catalogue of

- the use of the same national country code for Walvis Bay as
  for Namibia.

It seems unlikely that any references were made to the maintenance of facilities, since there are no physical lines crossing the perimeter. All phone calls are routed via the microwave link. Hence, there should be no uncertainties in respect of costs of operations.

There appear to be no arrangements concerning scheduled air traffic. There are no scheduled flights crossing the perimeter of the enclave. Since March 1989 there are two air routes, one by Air Cape later called Safair lines: Walvis Bay-Alexander Bay-Cape Town and one by Namib Air, the National Airline of Namibia: Windhoek-Swakopmund. Thus, no agreement on these services is required.

There should be no separate arrangements concerning road transport. This market segment is governed by basically the same legislation which was in force in South Africa until quite recently. From the point of view of cross border traffic, Namibia is issuing road transport permits which are only valid to and from borders. The same principle is adhered to in respect of Walvis Bay.

The new road transportation legislation now in force in South Africa makes provision for deregulation of road transport. Similar legislation is currently drafted in Namibia. These new road transportation acts may have an important bearing on the Walvis Bay issue and will have to be evaluated carefully, in view of the fact that international traffic are to be regulated through bilateral agreements.

As far as the maintenance of roads and bridges is concerned it has to be mentioned that the Ministry's Department of Transport maintains on their costs a section of main road 52 Swakopmund-Windhoek which crosses for approximately 5 km the Walvis Bay Enclave. No agreement concerning the maintenance of this road section exists and the Ministry regards this section as an inherent part of Namibia's road network. The maintenance of bridge 190 over the Swakop River at Swakopmund at the perimeter of the enclave is maintained on an ad-hoc basis. No maintenance agreement regarding the maintenance of bridge 190 between the two Road Authorities (Directory: Roads of the Department of Transport of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication of the Republic of Namibia and the Roads Department of the South African Cape Provincial Administration) seems to exist. COMMENTS: ARRANGEMENTS FOR WALVIS BAY

The structure and contents of above mentioned agreements appear to follow the principles recommended above. The two agreements are by nature commercial agreements. Similar agreements between railway and post/telecommunications administrations elsewhere, do not normally make reference to countries or political entities. They refer normally to administrations and institutions, i.e. they are made on behalf of the concerned administration/institution. They are also normally subject to termination by one party giving notice with a notice period. However, sometimes a word like "border" may appear to draw the line of responsibility. In case of the above two commercial agreements, as far as it could be ascertained, no reference to such an entity like a border was made.

Due to the fact that there are no physical telecommunications installations which cross the perimeter, there should be no need for making reference to a border in the postal and telecommunications agreement. As concerned railway traffic, reference should be made to the NTC Act (Act No.21 of 1987), which refers to the property of TNL as "the whole railway in the territory" (Namibia) "up to the boundary at Nakop in the South of the territory and from the southern embankment of the Swakop River northwards in the West of the territory". Hence, to identify the perimeter of the Walvis Bay Enclave use is made of geography.

The recent changes in air routes to new routes between Walvis Bay and Cape Town via Alexander Bay on the one side and Windhoek and Swakopmund on the other appear to have some significance. In principle, there are no acceptable arrangements for providing for scheduled services between Walvis Bay and Namibia. The background is that international scheduled services - as such a route would be viewed by South Africa - are governed by the Chicago Convention of 1944, which recognises each country's sovereign right to air space above its territory and therefore provides for a system of bilateral agreements involving governments of nations to establish such routes.

However, the relevant South African legislation in the civil aviation field, the Air Services Act (No.51 of 1949), also makes provision for the establishment of scheduled routes through licenses. In fact, it appears that many of the scheduled services in Southern Africa, involving the South African national airline "South African Airways SAA", have come into existence through the granting of licenses unilaterally by the two concerned countries (for instance, scheduled services to Zimbabwe, Zambia etc.), rather than through a bilateral air agreement. The Namibian civil aviation laws (Air Services Amendment Act, 1991; Aviation Amendment Act, 1991) make it possible for the Republic of Namibia to grant licenses for all kind of air services. It seems likely that this facility could be used for air services with Walvis Bay without violating the above mentioned requirements, as it would not require the joint consent by the two governments. This matter must, however, be further legally scrutinised before allowing such services. For the same reasons, it appears possible also to enable charter flights to and from Walvis Bay. Such flights are almost always unilaterally regulated.

An area of concern could be road transportation. The new road transport laws promulgated by the South African Parliament and currently been drafted by the Namibian Government have, as mentioned above, the undesirable feature of involving bilateral agreements. This raises the question whether it would not be preferable for the Republic of Namibia to retain the current Road Transportation Act (Act 74 of 1977 as amended), at least as traffic to and from South Africa is concerned. As it has been established from the new envisaged "Road Traffic Act", the proposed road transportation legislation embodies a step-by-step approach to the repealing of the old Road Transportation Act in order to, inter alia, to keep it valid until bilateral agreements have been made with neighbouring countries.

The present system of granting road transportation permits appear in principle to provide for an arrangement which seems to meet the requirements as stipulated above. Under the current Road Transportation Act (Act 74 of 1977 as amended), the Road Transportation Board of the Department of Transport of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication would issue a permit for traffic to and from Walvis Bay up to and/or starting point at e.g. the southern embankment of the Swakop River. There is therefore no need for referring to the Government of South Africa and the permits validity could be on an "until further notice" basis. There is, however, a need to review the regulations which have been issued by the former colonial administration in terms of Act 74 of 1977 to ensure that they correctly reflect the government's views on Walvis Bay. In order to safeguard the legal position vis-a-vis South Africa, the current system of local road transportation permits should also be retained for international transport to countries with whom no bilateral agreements exist as yet.

See also all relevant pieces of relevant legislation for the sectors of transport and communications in Annexure 3 at the end of this Memorandum.


This section discusses the possibilities of establishing new port facilities on the Namibian Coast and the aspects which need to be studied further before taking any decisions. Complete "Terms of Reference TOR" for a feasibility study on a new port are included in Appendix 4 of this Memorandum. The new port facilities may be required for:

- general cargo, including containers and bulk cargoes;

- fishing, servicing local fleets but possibly also off-shore

- coast guard and fishery protection services;

- base for off-shore gas/diamond operations.

The only natural harbours on the Namibian coast are at Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. There are other bays which may offer advantages in siting new ports, but they offer little natural protection. However, the wave climate north of Swakopmund is more moderate than south of Swakopmund, so it would be feasible to construct a harbour on the open coast. The wave climate, for instance, at Lüderitz is much more severe, but the natural protection means that it would be possible to develop the facilities with only a small expenditure on breakwaters (see Table 8).

To minimise investment costs new port facilities should be located near to the existing road, rail and communications infrastructure of the country. The two locations for development are therefore Lüderitz, and a location north of Swakopmund that could be connected to the existing infrastructural links to the interior.

The former colonial administration had already some time ago initiated a pre-feasibility study (Named: Interim Study) on future port facilities and their location with the point of gravity concentrated on the feasibilities between Swakopmund and the Ugab Mouth. This study was not initiated, as it would be logical, under the auspices of the Department of Transport but under the Directorate of Economic Affairs of the colonial administration. However, it has still to be established, in order to eliminate South Africa's influence and ensure full control of the study by the Namibian Government, whether there may be a need for terminating the activities regarding the Interim Study and to restart with new consultants. The parts of the study so far completed could be of use for the subsequent study team.

The new port study should provide a complete basis for the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication to arrive at a decision on the need for and how to construct new port facilities. In particular, the new study should identify and perform all the engineering, environmental and economic analyses which are required to answer the following questions:

(i) Which is the best location on the coast?

(ii) Which is the best strategy for the construction, including timing, phasing,
     operations and financing of the new facilities?

(iii) Which are the economic implications for Namibia of constructing the new

The proposed study is envisaged to address the merits of phasing the construction works. The first phase would focus on the need for providing facilities for in- and off-shore fishing fleets and operations, including coast-guard, fishery protection and pollution control services. The second phase would consist of the extension of the facilities to handle commercial shipping operations, including associated required feeder systems, e.g new road, rail and communication links.

The reasons for considering a phased construction programme are:

(i) The specific needs of the emerging Namibian fishery sector, including the provision
     of protection services;

(ii) The unique financing opportunities that are afforded through the imposition of fees
      on fishing operators.


At present Lüderitz already offers several of the amenities required for the first phase of an upgraded harbour and could easily be expanded further. The problem, however, lies in the fact that, as far fishing is concerned, the best better fishing grounds are situated to the north, i.e. between the Swakop River mouth and the Kunene River mouth. But, Lüderitz could also be expanded into a small commercial harbour for handling most of Namibia's import and export requirements, as it is a large natural harbour with adequate space. However, it seems to be unlikely that developments would permit the use of ships with a draft greater than 10 m as excessive siltation may occur if the harbour is dredged deeper. This would limit the sizes of ships to make use of the port to those currently serving Walvis Bay. Breakwaters may be required to provide additional protection for some developments, but they would not be long and costs would not be excessive.

A study carried out during 1986 [27] indicated that the costs of new harbour facilities for Lüderitz would be about R 50 to R 100 million depending on the location in the bay, including quays, dredging, some equipment and access roads and rail links. This study did not include the costs and equipment and storage facilities for anything but containers. Nor was there any provision for fuel and fuel tankers. If consideration is given to these items and the cost estimates are updated to 1990 prices, the development of Lüderitz into a fully-fledged harbour would cost in excess of US $ 100 million. In addition, there is an urgent need for the upgrading and improving of the trunk road 4/1 between Aus and Goageb (100 km: still unpaved, but under construction) and the railway branch line between Seeheim and Lüderitz, but these improvements would be required in any case.

A long term development of the port of Lüderitz would be the construction of facilities in a new location in the Bay, due to the limitations of the present location on both the sea- and landside. The above cost estimates are also based on new locations for the wharves. However, already in a short term perspective there will be a need for developing Lüderitz to (i) ensure that the port can be used for emergency operations (see below), (ii) promote Lüderitz as a regional port for Namibia's south and (iii) to exploit the forecast improved competitive position of shipping in the 1990s. The proposed short term improvements are envisaged for the existing location.

In addition, there would be also an eventual need for the development of off-shore unloading and on-shore facilities at a site near Swakopmund for liquid fuel products at a cost of about US $ 30 million.


A new port could possibly be developed at several points between Swakopmund and Cape Cross. Wlotzka's Baken (Rock Bay), Henties Bay and Cape Cross are conceivable artificial harbour sites canvassed when in the 1960's South Africa and Rhodesia (as it then was) studied the viability of a coal line from Wankie to a new port able to handle 100.000 t bulk carriers [28]. Neither has much to be said for it especially given their total isolation from any real transport linkage like rails and roads. The same holds true even more forcible of Terrace Bay, Möwe Bay, Rocky Point, Khumib Mouth, Angra Fria and the Kunene River mouth since each has the hostile Kaokoveld with major mountain barriers between it and the populated northern areas. It would, however, be possible to construct a self-contained fishing harbour north of Cape Cross, to serve the northern fishing fleet. Above studies from the late 1960s also revealed that it would be technically feasible to construct a fishing harbour at Möwe Bay.

Cape Cross, although rather foggy, could be of particular interest as there is a "lagoon" of 4.000 ha behind a "sea wall" which seems to have been formed by sediment from the Omaruru Delta. The wall is only 1,5 to 2,0 m above sea level. The "lagoon" is about 4 km wide at its widest and is composed of salt, sand and silt to a depth of between 8 m and 26 m. A part of this "lagoon" could easily be dredged out to form a harbour but the question of siltation would require careful analysis and corrosion may be dangerous. The especial environmental features of Cape Cross with its unique seal colony must also carefully be taken into consideration. The advantage of the site of Wlotzka's Baken is that there is a sandspit, which is growing to the north. Henties Bay appears, however, to offer the best location for the following reasons:

- The natural bay is of a sufficient size to form the basis of a
   new port and although it provides little protection, it would
   reduce the problems of siltation within the port;

- The existing town is big enough to provide basic
   infrastructure, including water and electricity, for a first stage

- It is unlikely to cause major problems to the natural
  environment like in the case of the site of Cape Cross;

- There are existing, but unpaved roads (partly paved with the
   unique Namibia appropriate road building technique of
   salt-gravel surfacing) to Swakopmund, Usakos and Uis.

A preliminary assessment of the movement of sand along the coastline north of Swakopmund by Hydraulics Research Ltd. concluded that it may be of the order of 1-2 million m3 per year, and that siltation within a major port such as Henties Bay might be several hundred thousand m3 per year. This siltation could be removed by dredging, and whilst it would be expensive it would not rule out the construction of a major port.

A new full-scale cargo port would require the construction of breakwaters, and extensive dredging within the breakwaters. The cost of these works is likely to be in excess of US $ 150 million, excluding the cost of any port facilities within the breakwaters. The port infrastructure, services, quays and other facilities would again cost in excess of US $ 150 million. In addition a new railway line approx. 90 km long must be constructed to connect with the existing main line at Swakopmund, and the road to Swakopmund would have to be rebuilt. The costs of these works and other auxiliary works would be in the region of US $ 200 million, so that the total port development would entail a cost of approximately US $ 500 million.

Economically and relative to its geographic position a new port at Henties Bay could be a favourable location to handle general cargo for distribution around the country. It would be also well placed to handle the major mineral exports. In addition Henties Bay could be developed as a major fishing base, both for in-shore and off-shore fleets, and as a coastguard/fishery protection base.

As an alternative to a major development of a Henties Bay port, it would be possible to develop it in stages and to built initially a small harbour within the lee of Henties Bay, where the problem of siltation may be reduced. This initial harbour would primarily be used for fishing, and coastguard/fishery protection services, but provision for handling small general cargo vessels could also be made. A small development scheme would not require major upgrading and construction of the road and rail links. The cost of such a small harbour would be in the region of US $ 80-150 million. SITE EVALUATION IN THE INTERIM STUDY

An Interim Study initiated by the former colonial administration and completed under the auspices of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication will be dealt in some more detail [29].

Above feasibility study investigated seven sites (of 13 initially selected sites) along the Namibian Atlantic coast between Swakopmund and the Ugab Mouth (see next figure). An evaluation and ranking of the seven sites were performed by considering the physical and ecological characteristics of each site in terms of its suitability to accommodate harbours of increasing dimensions. No influence of infrastructural aspects were considered in this evaluation.

For the purpose of the study the harbours were divided into three categories:

i) small size harbours limited to a water area of less than
   100.000 m2 and water depth up to 5 m or 6 m only;

ii) medium-size harbours with a water area of up to 250.000
    m2 and water depth up to 12 m;

iii) large-size harbours with a water area of up to 1.000.000
     m2 and water depth varying from about 6 m to about 15 m
     or 16 m.

The small-size harbours can be associated with fishing harbours, small craft harbours or small naval bases. Medium-size harbours can be associated with commercial ports catering for both general cargo and container vessels and a fairly-sized fishing fleet. Large-size harbours can be considered, in addition to the above, as catering for bulk cargo handling requiring vessels with a draught of up to 15 m.

The sites were firstly ranked, for each harbour category, in terms of their physical suitability, bearing in mind the potential for future extension. The criteria used for this is summarised in Table 4. The final ranking is based on the relative vulnerability to waves, sediment transport and environmental aspects.

Table 4 summarises the primary quantitative and qualitative criteria used for the relative first-order ranking of the sites. As quantitative measure for the possible breakwater length required, the shortest distances, along a NW to SE orientated line (perpendicular to the dominant wave direction) from shore to the 6 m, 8 m, 10 m, 12 m, 14 m and 16 m depth contour are included in the table.

Rate of sediment transport, intensity of wave regimes, intensity of aeolian sand transport and presence of excessive inshore rock were rated as high (Hi), medium (Me) and low (Lo). LARGE-SIZE HARBOURS

Cape Cross Bay is considered according to this study to be the only site with potential for the development of a large-size harbour. Such development should preferably be concentrated in the area in the lee of the main headland (Bay one).

Alternatively, Bay two could be considered for a medium-size harbour development but, in this case, the extent of the reefs in this area must be established accurately beforehand.

In both cases, sub-bottom surveys will have to be done to establish whether dredging is practical or not. MEDIUM-SIZE HARBOURS

Sites which may be considered for the development of a medium-size harbour are, in order of priority, Cape Cross Bay, Durissa Bay, Bococks Bay and, possibly, Henties Bay. Of these sites, Bococks Bay and Henties Bay are, however, subject to relatively high sediment transport rates. In addition, Henties Bay offers little if any potential for future development. Breakwater construction costs at these sites, except at Cape Cross, will probably be quite high as a result of the length of breakwater required. Thus, based on physical considerations, Cape Cross also seems to be the best proposition for a medium-size port. SMALL-SIZE HARBOURS

Small-size harbours can be built at, in order of priority, Cape Cross Bay, Durissa Bay, Bococks Bay and Henties Bay. In addition, the Swakopmund Saltworks site offers possibilities for a small harbour development.

Of the above sites Durissa Bay and Bococks Bay are subject to a less severe wave regime and Durissa Bay and Swakopmund Saltworks are more favourable in terms of low sediment transport rates although the latter could be adversely affected by sediment slugs after major floods in the Swakop River.

Bococks Bay is a relatively well-protected, calm bay, but access by trawlers is considered problematic due to the extensive reefs in the entrance to the bay. Therefore, although this site could be considered for a small-size harbour development, it is presently considered suitable mainly for launching of highly-manoeuvrable small craft, such as skiboats. Bandom Bay is considered unsuitable for a small-size harbour, but launching facilities could be considered here. CONCLUSIONS OF THE INTERIM STUDY

There are no naturally protected areas along the 200 km long stretch of coast between the Swakop and Ugab rivers nor are there any inland water areas (lagoons) suitable for harbour development. There are, however, a number of embayments, all facing north, which provide some shelter from the dominant south-south-westerly swells. These swells are responsible for the almost unidirectoral northerly littoral drift which is estimated to have a capacity of about 0,5 to 1,4 * 106 m3/year. From an environmental point of view, the study area is not particularly sensitive, although the seal colony at Cape Cross, the breeding areas of the threatened Damara tern (gravel plains and saltpans one to eight kilometres from the coast) and the lichen communities at Wlotzkas Baken and north-east of Cape Cross may require special consideration.

The only area where a significant amount of coastal vegetation is present is at Henties Bay site. The area is aesthetically pleasing and the vegetation serves to stabilise a fair volume of aeolian sediment.

Initially, 13 sites were selected for investigation for the purpose of the Interim Study, 8 embayments and 5 additional sites on the open coast (see Table 3 and Figure 5). During the site inspection for this Study, 6 sites were found to be unsuitable while the remaining 7 sites were looked at in detail. These 7 sites are all found to have some development potential, namely:

Site 1: Saltworks small-size harbour
Site 2: Rock Bay small-size harbour/launching site
Site 4: Henties Bay medium- to small-size harbour
Site 6: Cape Cross Bay large- to small-size harbour
Site 9: Bococks Bay medium- to small-size harbour
Site 11: Bandom Bay launching site
Site 12: Durissa Bay medium- to small-size harbour.

These seven sites (underlined in table 3) will be discussed in some more detail below, under the headings of large-size, medium-size and small-size harbours as well as launching sites. The next table gives a location summary of all potential harbour sites between the Swakop and the Kunene mouths.


| 1        | Saltworks        |          22o 34' S ; 14o 31' E     |
| 2        | Rock Bay         |          22o 26' S ; 14o 27' E     |
| 3        | Straight coast   |          22o 18' S ; 14o 24' E     |
| 4        | Henties Bay      |          22o 08' S ; 14o 17' E     |
| 5        | Mile 72          |          21o 52' S ; 14o 04' E     |
| 6        | Cape Cross Bay   |          21o 45' S ; 13o 58' E     |
| 7        | Straight coast   |          21o 40' S ; 13o 57' E     |
| 8        | Straight coast   |          21o 38' S ; 13o 55' E     |
| 9        | Bococks Bay      |          21o 31' S ; 13o 51' E     |
| 10       | Straight coast   |          21o 27' S ; 13o 49' E     |
| 11       | Bandom Bay       |          21o 21' S ; 13o 45' E     |
| 12       | Durissa Bay      |          21o 16' S ; 13o 41' E     |
| 13       | Straight coast   |          21o 13' S ; 13o 39' E     |
| 14       | Terrace Bay      |          19o 59' S ; 13o 02' E     |
| 15       | Möwe Bay         |          19o 22' S ; 12o 42' E     |
| 16       | Rocky Point      |          18o 59' S ; 12o 28' E     |
| 17       | Khumib Mouth     |          18o 52' S ; 12o 25' E     |
| 18       | Angra Fria       |          18o 17' S ; 11o 57' E     |
SOURCE: CSIR: Division of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Science and Technology: Potential Harbour Sites on the Namibian Coast between the Swakop and the Ugab River Mouths, Stellenbosch, December 1990, Table I and completed by author. LARGE-SIZE HARBOURS

Cape Cross Bay was found to be the only site with the potential to be developed into a major harbour which could handle, for instance, the export of bulk cargo such as salt. An adequate supply of fresh water, however, is a constraint for development.

A tentative conceptual layout of a large scale development has been worked out in the Interim Study for Cape Cross Bay [30]. This layout assumes that dredging is possible (up to about 4 m) to provide the required depth (-15,5 m to Chart Datum) for bulk carriers up to 100.000 deadweight tonnage.

A main breakwater of 1.750 m in length is included in this layout but it must be stressed that the layout can be optimised only once the necessary data on waves, winds, sediment movement and sea bottom conditions have been collected.

Since the proposed development is 1,5 km from Cape Cross, the seal colony should not be unduly affected. Sufficient non-sensitive hinterland is also available here for "dry" harbour development. MEDIUM-SIZE HARBOURS

Possible sites identified for medium-size harbours are in order of priority: Cape Cross Bay, Durissa Bay, Bococks Bay, and possibly Henties Bay.

A tentative conceptual layout of a medium-size harbour has been worked out in the Interim Study for Cape Cross Bay [31]. This layout includes a 1.250 m long breakwater running into 13,5 m water depth which protects the quay area situated in its lee. No dredging is required for this tentative layout, all the berths having been placed in the relevant required depth.

Again, detailed measurements will have to be done to optimise this lay-out which would, with minor adjustments, be applicable to all the above-mentioned potential sites for medium-size harbours. SMALL-SIZE HARBOURS

Small-size harbours could be built at all the sites mentioned above and, in addition at the Saltworks. However, the most suitable sites for small-size harbours are considered to be Cape Cross Bay and Durissa Bay in the north of the Swakop-Ugab coastal area.

A tentative conceptual layout of a small-size harbour has been worked out in the Interim Study for Durissa Bay [32]. This layout requires a 750 m long main breakwater, but no dredging is anticipated. Similar layouts (Figure 12.3 of the Interim Study) could be used at the other small-size harbour sites. LAUNCHING SITES

Although the ski-boat population in Namibia is not very large, the need for launching sites north of Swakopmund will probably increase. Sites identified for launching facilities include Rock Bay, Henties Bay and, possibly, Bandom Bay.

As an example of such facilities, to make ski-boat launching more practical at Rock Bay, an access road, parking area and, possibly, a hard top launch ramp should be provided [33]. The possible instability of the coastline should, however, be taken into account in the design of the facilities.

Similar access and facilities could be considered for Henties Bay which is a popular vacation centre. Such facilities should not affect the sensitive dune vegetation adversely; in fact, a more formal route in the dune area would reduce the off-road use of vehicles and thus damage the vegetation.

The rating criteria for the primary harbour sites as discussed above are pictured in the following table:


|Potential Harbour|Saltworks|Rock Bay|Henties|Cape Cross Bay|Bococks|Bandom|Durissa|
|                 |         |        |       | Bay 1| Bay 2 |       |      |       |
|        |  Depth |                              Distance (m)                      |
|        | Contour|                                                                |
|        | (m)    |                                                                |
|        |--------|---------|--------|-------|------|-------|-------|------|-------|
|Shortest|    6   |  200    |  1 000 |   400 | 150  |  200  |  300  | 250  |  500  |
|distance|        |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| from   |    8   | 1 200   |  1 700 |   700 | 200  |  350  |  400  |1 200 |  700  |
| shore  |        |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| along  |   10   | 2 000   |  2 000 | 1 000 | 300  |  700  |  800  |   -  | 1 000 |
| NW - SE|        |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| line to|   12   | 2 000   |  2 400 | 2 300 | 800  | 1 000 | 2 500 |   -  |   -   |
| depth  |        |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| contour|   14   |   -     |    -   |   -   |1 500 | 1 200 |   -   |   -  |   -   |
|        |        |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
|        |   16   |   -     |    -   |   -   |2 200 |   -   |   -   |   -  |   -   |
| Sediment        |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| transport rate  |   Lo    |   Lo   |  Hi   |  Me  |  Me   |   Hi  |  Hi  |    Lo |
| Wave regime     |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| intensity       |   Hi    |   Lo   |  Hi   |  Me  |  Me   |   Lo  |  Hi  |    Lo |
| Aeolian sand    |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| transport       |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| potential       |   Lo    |   Me   |  Me   |  Lo  |  Lo   |   Lo  |  Me  |    Me |
| Inshore rock    |         |        |       |      |       |       |      |       |
| potential       |   Hi    |   Hi   |  Lo   |  Hi  |  Hi   |   Hi  |  Lo  |    Hi |
SOURCE: CSIR: Division of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Science and Technology: Potential Harbour Sites on the Namibian Coast between the Swakop and the Ugab River Mouths, Stellenbosch, December 1990,
Table III.
Nota: Lo = Low
Me = Medium

The planning of a large-size harbour development such as could possibly be realistic inside the Cape Cross Bay will, of necessity, require a fairly comprehensive programme of data collection with regard to natural conditions at the site.

The most obvious natural conditions to be considered must include:

i) local wave conditions,

ii) local wind conditions,

iii) local tide conditions,

iv) local ocean current conditions,

v) local bathymetric conditions, and

vi) local foundation and subsoil conditions.

Wave conditions should be recorded both in the immediate vicinity of a proposed harbour entrance (and/or breakwater protection) and further offshore where the waves are not affected by local bathymetric conditions. Nearshore measurements can, as a rule, be undertaken on an ad hoc basis over relatively short time intervals (three months to one year) provided the offshore conditions are recorded simultaneously and over a somewhat longer period (typically for a few years). Suitable locations for nearshore and offshore wave measurements for the conceptual development of a port in Cape Cross Bay are given in figure 12.1 of the Study.

Wind conditions characteristic of the port area can best be recorded from an elevated position, e.g. the lighthouse on the Cape Cross headland. Wind data should preferably be collected for a two to three year period, but data collected over a relatively short period of one year should be sufficient as a first estimate for planning purposes.

Wave and wind measurements have been commenced at the potential harbour sites of Cape Cross and Möwe Bay during August 1991.

Due to the regularity of tidal variations, tide recording can be limited to only a few months to provide data for the verification of absolute tide levels and for evaluating extreme values for developing design water levels.

A detailed programme of current measurements may be needed only if there is evidence of significant current conditions in the bay. Preliminary information can be readily obtained by conducting a series of ad hoc current measurements over a representative period during which a variety of wind and wave conditions occur.

Up-to-date detailed hydrographic and beach survey results, particularly of the nearshore area, will be essential for confirming the suitability of the site for harbour development. Hydrographic surveys could be repeated on a half-yearly basis to provide sufficient data for establishing sea-bed changes. Monthly beach surveys would be advisable to determine short-term coastline changes due to sediment transport inside the bay.

A side-scan sonar and seismic survey is required to determine the extent of rocky areas and the sediment thickness of the sediment overlaying the bedrock. This information will have to be substantiated by limited vibra-coring and jet-probing. MEDIUM-SIZE HARBOUR DATA REQUIREMENTS

The requirements for data collection in respect of medium-size harbour developments, envisaged at suitable sites as discussed above will, in principle, be similar to those for the large-size harbour development proposed for Cape Cross Bay. The relative importance of the respective data sources may, however, differ depending on the characteristics of both the site and the harbour-type being considered. SMALL-SIZE HARBOUR DATA REQUIREMENTS

The requirements for data collection for small-size harbour developments are also very similar to those for large and medium-size ports except that, since these developments are on a much smaller scale, the extent of hydrographic surveys and foundation and sub-soil investigations will become less labour and time-intensive and can, as a result, be undertaken at reduced costs (Guesstimate: 50% of the costs of a large-sized harbour).

Local wave monitoring, provided sufficient allowance has been made for long-term coverage of off-shore wave conditions (see next section: Minimum Data Requirements) can also be done at a less intensive rate. MINIMUM DATA REQUIREMENTS

The most basic physical data required for coastal development projects in general are undoubtedly those associated with waves and wind.

Such data should be collected over a sufficiently long-period (preferably three years) to warrant reliable long-term statistics, and at a location where wave and wind conditions are reasonably representative of the entire study area.

An obviously suitable site for such wave data collection would be immediately offshore of the Cape Cross headland in a depth of water of about 50 m.

A wind station located on the Cape Cross headland at about 20 m above sea level should, likewise, provide wind data representative also for the other open coastal areas characteristic of the study area.

Such routine wave and wind monitoring, inclusive of detailed data analysis, could be attainable at an approximate annual cost of R 100.000 for waves and R 12.000 for wind. PROPOSED FURTHER ACTIONS

The above Interims Study has identified the development potential of various sites along the coast between the Swakop and Ugab rivers.

It is recommended that the next step should be to determine the need for and the type of harbour facilities required for the further development and protection of Namibia and its resources. This has to be done by means of a complete feasibility study for future port facilities for Namibia as outlined in Appendix 3.

To ensure that possible future developments and above mentioned comprehensive "Port Study" will not be delayed, it is furthermore strongly recommended that a start is made now with the collection of wave and wind data, as proposed for the minimum requirements. This information, while essential for harbour design, may also be very useful for maritime operations (coastal patrol and commercial fishing) and for other developments along the Namibian coast.



The work on the development of proposals for emergency operations has been based on the following assumptions:

(1) It should be possible to set the emergency operations into full motion within one year after the advent of the emergency;

(2) They should be as far as possible rely on existing operators, intermediaries, agents, exporters and importers in the country, as well as procedures for imports and exports;

(3) They should consider two scenarios, where the first scenario is based on the assumption that only Walvis Bay would not be available and Scenario 2 is based on the assumption that neither is Walvis Bay available nor cross-border traffic with South Africa possible;

(4) All preparatory activities that need to be undertaken should be identified and/or started up as soon as possible after any indications become clear for the justification for such emergency situation to ensure that the one year requirement can be met. However, maximum use should be made of charter markets and the possibility of procuring equipment, at the time of the crisis, so as to minimise cost, provided the lead time is within one or two months;

(5) As far as possible, the required actions should be under the direct control of the Government of the Republic of Namibia.

Furthermore, it can be assumed that under the proviso of Scenario 1, it should be possible to handle 1,1 million t of imports, including 0,5 million t of fuel products, and 0,25 million t of exports. This is much more than Walvis Bay is handling at present, but viewed to be necessary as a precaution. Even if the borders with South Africa remain open, there is a risk that traffic will be disturbed and even disrupted. Ample capacities are also warranted in order to keep confidence of the Namibian communities in general and the business sector in particular.

In Scenario 2, the total capacity would approximately the requirements of 1988/89, or all in all about 2,3 million t.


If Walvis Bay is not available, use must be made of another port. Overland transport to and from Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe is technically feasible but cumbersome, difficult and expensive. The least cost route would most probably the one via Ngoma on the Botswana border and through Caprivi. However, there are, as already stated, limits to the amount of traffic that can be handled because of the poor condition of parts of the roads, the available vehicle fleet and the goods available in above mentioned neighbouring countries. Besides, the cost of transport will be very high (US $ 100 - 200 per t). Overland routes are therefore only a supplement and not a full alternative, given the afore-mentioned requirements.

The two main alternatives are therefore the Namibe Corridor, leading from the Angolan harbour town of Namibe to Oshikango at the Namibian border, and the port of Lüderitz. The first one will, however, not be operational within the one year of time requirement, and can therefore only become a possible outlet/inlet in a somewhat longer perspective. The reasons are the following:

(1) There are as yet no customs facilities in Namibe/Sacomar;

(2) The ports and the Moçamedes railway require technical assistance [34] which currently is not available. It will be difficult to ensure its timely availability;

(3) There are at present no links between freight forwarding agents in Angola and Namibia;

(4) The road from Lubango to Oshikango at the Angolan/Namibian border must be rehabilitated, and in particular the bridge over the Kunene River at Xangongo. The war damaged bridge at Xangongo limits seriously the axle masses of trucks;

(5) The telecommunications network of Southern Angola is at present in a poor state and needs rehabilitation. It will, therefore, be necessary to construct a new - direct - telecommunication link between Angola and Namibia which will require time for full implementation.

Although the port of Sacomar has plenty of storage facilities for fuel, it is not recommended that the Angolan route be considered for fuel transport in a short term perspective. In addition to above-mentioned problems, there is a shortage of fuel road tankers in Namibia. The reason is that TransNamib Ltd handles all long-distance transport of fuel by rail at present, and has a sizeable rail tanker fleet for this purpose but not sufficient road tankers. This fact instead suggests that fuel products should be brought by ship to Namibia, although the Namibe Corridor could be a very worthwhile alternative at the medium-term.

Preliminary investigations indicated that Lüderitz would be a feasible solution to handle all the Scenario 1 requirements. A problem associated with the use of Lüderitz is that at present still all electricity comes from South Africa, a matter which already enjoys urgent attention. The link from the Namibian power grid at Keetmanshoop is currently under construction by the "South West African Water and Electricity Corporation SWAWEC".

In Scenario 2, it is, however, necessary to assume that more or less all the additional traffic would have to make use of the overland route through the Caprivi, at least initially. This route would then be assumed to handle bulk products such as coal, coke, sugar, maize, cement, wheat, lime and salt, in total about 0,6 million t per year. Transport of such magnitude through the Caprivi would, however, only be possible as an interim measure and for a period of say up the most one year after the occurrence of the crisis.

Whilst it has been assumed that the additional traffic in Scenario 2 must initially mainly be handled by road, it would be possible to increase the capacity of Lüderitz harbour further, within a period of 4-6 months, by the installation of a floating pontoon. It is likely that transport costs would be reduced if imports are handled by sea rather than via long overland road routes, and it is therefore desirable to plan for the installation of a floating pontoon in Lüderitz. Installation in 4-6 months would only be possible if full plans are prepared well in advance.

In a medium term perspective, say 2 to 3 years after independence, it will also be necessary to develop supplementary facilities to the ones assumed in a short-term perspective in Lüderitz. These medium- term solution would mainly be based on the increased usage of the Southern-Angolan harbour of Namibe but also on further expansions of Lüderitz.


In the case of Scenario 1 the short-term solution relies on Lüderitz. The only significant exception is fuel, which is proposed to be handled both at Lüderitz and possibly also Swakopmund and in both cases through off-shore installations. The reasons are that:

- Such installations are highly vulnerable to sabotage;

- An installation at Swakopmund is feasible, but will face
  considerable downtime on account of lack of protection in
  bad weather;

- Swakopmund is best located to serve the needs of Namibia
  and to reduce strain on the TransNamib Ltd wagon fleet and
  congestion on the Seeheim to Lüderitz branch line.

In Lüderitz, the short-term solution in Scenario 1, is envisaged to entail various projects which are dealt with in more detail in appendices 1, 2 and 4 in this Memorandum, which will facilitate the use of lighterage to handle larger ships assumed to anchor in the bay, for general cargo, break-bulk and containers, and ro-ro facilities for the handling of small container ships at the existing jetty. Containers will be used as far as possible, even for exporting mineral exports. This is already being practised to some extent in Walvis Bay today. The following activities would be required to be undertaken in case of a crisis as far as Walvis Bay is concerned, for both, Scenario 1 and 2:

- Installation of moorings and pipelines, and the construction of
  tank farms at both Swakopmund and Lüderitz;

- Re-dredging of Lüderitz harbour to 7,0 or 7,5 m;

- Expansion of storage areas in Lüderitz;

- Cargo handling equipment for Lüderitz;

- Marine craft, including lighters and tugs for Lüderitz and a
  launch for Swakopmund;

- A sheet piled ramp for ro-ro vessels on one side of the
  existing jetty in Lüderitz;

- Replacement of all lightweight rails (approx. 85 km) and
  crippled sleepers, and some ancillary actions on the Aus to
  Lüderitz railway branch line;

- The paving of the remaining unpaved section of trunk road
  4/2 between Aus and Goageb (100  km).

It should again be emphasised that many of above actions will not only be required for ensuring that Lüderitz can be used for emergency operations, but also to transform Lüderitz into a small commercial port for Namibia's south. The financial requirements to make it possible to realise above emergency operations, are estimated at about US $ 50 million. In addition, a further approximate US $ 35 million would have to be mobilised and invested in projects which are necessary for successful emergency actions, but these projects will also serve to upgrade Lüderitz which is a priority of the government in any case.

If emergency operations would not be required before two or three years as from now, a situation which in any case is regarded quite improbable by then, there will be more alternatives available, and in particular the route to and from Namibe would be open by then and could play an important role. To gradually open up this route, it would be required to invest at least an estimated US $ 35 million in Angola to make the "Namibe Corridor" (See Annexure 1 and 2 at the end of this Memorandum) from the ports of Namibe/Sacomar via Lubango, Xangongo to the Namibian border at Oshikango operable.


In the medium term it is envisaged that both Namibe/Sacomar and Lüderitz could be relied on for Scenarios 1 and 2 and the road transport through Caprivi would play a secondary role. In the medium term it would also be possible to rely almost exclusively on Lüderitz for Scenario 2.


In the first instance the Government should get the services of an "International Recognised Legal Expert" to investigate the international legal status of Walvis Bay. If this expert finds that according to international law Walvis Bay belongs undoubtedly to the Republic of Namibia, Namibia should get its right at the International Court of The Hague, otherwise Namibia has to obtain its birthright regarding Walvis Bay by negotiations with South Africa.

The proposals for emergency plans and strategies are all technically feasible but it seems that they are in actual fact not realistic at the present stage. At present it can be derived from all factual evidence that Walvis Bay is to the full disposal of the Republic of Namibia. Therefore it can be concluded that there is currently no reason to deliberately initiate emergency operations. Such operations would only be required in order to prevent eventual harassment and denied access and eliminate the consequences thereof. Under the present circumstances no evidence exists for such a scenario.

More importantly, emergency operations would not be possible to execute easily and cheaply. It would be difficult to impossible to mobilise the required support actions within the country. There is also the involved risk that many of the investment requirements for the emergency operations initiated in Lüderitz would lead to an increased dependence on South Africa. There is, however, a need to uplift and revive Lüderitz and gradually to prepare for alternatives, as discussed in other sections of this Memorandum. The recommended projects to upgrade moderately the port facilities and to improve the access routes to the town should be gradually initiated as funds become available without hampering other important development projects in the country.

But, in order to be prepared for all eventualities, the Government of the Republic of Namibia needs to continue to plan for possible operations without implementing them physically at this stage. This work is proposed to be entrusted to a Contingency Planning Unit (CPU) within the framework of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication (Department of Transport: Directorate: Maritime Affairs). The unit would consist of one to two persons. The purpose of the CPU would be to initiate a rolling planning exercise to ensure that the proposals for emergency operations match requirements and conditions in the country and the region.

It is also considered to be opportune to make the basic guidelines regarding Namibian ports and port access formulated by the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication and the work of the CPU public. It would be difficult to negotiate favourable terms for Namibia regarding ports and port access without disclosing its aims as far as the policy of the Ministry and the work of the CPU is concerned. Maximum publicity concerning the work of the CPU and its transport-policy background would be in the best interest of the Republic of Namibia. It would also be the function of the CPU to be responsible for the execution of the "Study on Port Facilities for Namibia", discussed elsewhere in this Memorandum.

In conclusion, it can be stated that it appears to be possible to make arrangements for enabling continued traffic to and from and communications with Walvis Bay without implicitly or explicitly recognising the legality of South Africa's claim to Walvis Bay and/or without contravening the intentions of UNSCR 432/78. It also appears that South Africa - wilfully or unwilfully - has been putting in place such arrangements, which could be acceptable to the Republic of Namibia. The present arrangements in respect of rail, air and telecommunications traffic point into this direction, although it must be emphasised that it would only be wise that caution in this regard must be exercised. It also seems possible to exploit the present legislation in the field of road transportation for making acceptable arrangements, provided it remains valid in Namibia and South Africa, although it must be stated that full information for the latter is not available at this stage. In sum, therefore, it seems that the proper approach would be to wait, and in particular not to start discussions with the Republic of South Africa regarding access to Walvis Bay. Negotiations can only have the one objective, namely to fulfil the mandate of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia and to re-incorporate Walvis Bay into Namibia.

The Constitution of the Republic of Namibia can be interpreted in such a way that Namibia does not consider itself the "successor" of the South African Administration and thus not be bound by any obligation in respect of the colonial agreements/arrangements, but that it would continue to apply these agreements/arrangements provisionally and on an ad hoc basis pending a review.

Technically it is feasible to construct new port facilities as an alternative to Walvis Bay. It is also feasible to construct smaller ports initially, to serve as a fishing port, and later develop them into fully-fledged ports, if warranted. A small to medium port at Durissa or Bococks Bay or Cape Cross or even Henties Bay would cost US $ 75-150 million, while a complete large-sized port at Cape Cross would cost, say, US $ 500 million. It would be much cheaper to develop Lüderitz, less than a quarter of the aforementioned sums, but Lüderitz has got the disadvantage to be at the wrong location both for commercial shipping and fishing.

Emergency operations also appear to be technically feasible and could in principle be set in motion within one year. But, under the current circumstances it appears to be unrealistic to expect that the Namibian Government could been forced to start with preparations according to above mentioned emergency proposals. It also seems to be unrealistic to make provisions to start mobilising the necessary support and funds within the country within the proposed time frame. The government must therefore look for a different alternative to protect the Republic of Namibia against harassment and denied access. The only realistic way appears to be to make certain that such actions will entail heavy political costs, which will be too much of a burden and which cannot be afforded by the Republic of South Africa under the present circumstances. It is believed by the Ministry that if such a policy is skilfully and persistently pursued, it could be effective as Walvis Bay is believed to be essentially an internal South African problem.


[26] Moorsom, Richard: Fishing: Exploiting the Sea, CIIR, 1984, London, p.20

[27] Brown, S.A.S.: Report on the Potential of Lüderitz Harbour for Development, Johannesburg, 1987

[28] Dierks, Klaus: Namibia's Railway System - Future Link to Africa, Harare, 1989

[29] CSIR: Division of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Science and Technology: Potential Harbour Sites on the Namibian Coast between the Swakop and the Ugab River Mouths, Stellenbosch, December 1990

[30] CSIR: Division of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Science and Technology: Potential Harbour Sites on the Namibian Coast between the Swakop and the Ugab River Mouths, Stellenbosch, December 1990, Figure 12.1

[31] CSIR: Division of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Science and Technology: Potential Harbour Sites on the Namibian Coast between the Swakop and the Ugab River Mouths, Stellenbosch, December 1990, Figure 12.2

[32] CSIR: Division of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Science and Technology: Potential Harbour Sites on the Namibian Coast between the Swakop and the Ugab River Mouths, Stellenbosch, December 1990, Figure 12.3

[33] CSIR: Division of Earth, Marine and Atmospheric Science and Technology: Potential Harbour Sites on the Namibian Coast between the Swakop and the Ugab River Mouths, Stellenbosch, December 1990, Figure 12.4

[34] Government of the People's Republic of Angola and SATCC: Special Assistance Programme for Angola, 1988

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