Durban Port

Image by ethekwinigirl

The port of Durban handles the greatest volume of sea-going traffic in South Africa. In the 2008/09 fiscal year, the port of Durban handled a sum total of 4,554 ships, which carried a gross weight of 114,723,266 tonnes, making up 38% of ships calling in all South African ports.

The immense facility has a total of 59 effective berths (excluding those which are used for ship repair and for fishing vessels) as well as an inner anchorage. To accommodate the immense load that comes through the port, a total of 302km of rail tracks extend through the port.

Grain Storage

Grain storage

Image by Macomb Paynes

Grain is one of South Africa’s chief exports, so it’s no wonder that some of the largest storage facilities in the country are grain silos. AFGRI is one of the country’s largest grain management companies, offering secure food storage throughout South Africa as well as in Zambia. With 65 silos and 12 bunkers across the country, AFGRI have the capacity to store more than 4.5 million tonnes of grain.


Self storage

Image by XtraSpace.co.za

With 4,000 storage units spread between 15 branches throughout South Africa, XtraSpace Self Storage provides a combined storage capacity of 90,000 square metres. Its self-storage units can be used to store just about anything, from boats, caravans or cars to furniture and bric-a-brac. XtraSpace can even rent out office-sized space for you to house a start-up venture in.



Image by mescon

The largest pallet-type warehouse in South Africa belongs to the paint manufacturer, Plascon. Built for them by APC Storage Solutions SA, the warehouse was intended to lower the costs associated with storing raw materials and off-site packaging. It is South Africa’s highest density pallet warehouse, as well as the largest non-automated self-supported warehouse in the world.

The warehouse reaches a maximum height of 23 metres and has a total area of 1,310 square metres. It’s located at Plascon’s Luipaardsvlei facility in the Krugersdorp, and can store over 2,300 specialised pallets.


LPG storage

Image by GenBug

Construction of South Africa’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage plant has begun and is set to be completed by 2014. The aim of building the plant is to address the periodic shortages of LPG that have been experienced over the last decade.

The plant is being constructed next to the Saldanha Bay port on South Africa’s west coast. It’s going to have a 5,000 ton storage capacity in its first phase of construction, with later additions bringing total capacity up to 15,000 tons. The plant will have an ultimate throughput of 52,000 tons of gas per month.



Image by SKA Project Development Office and Swinburne Astronomy Productions

SKA, or the Square Kilometre Array, is an international effort to build the world’s largest, most sensitive radio telescope in South Africa. It’s only billed for completion in 2024, but once it’s complete, the data handling systems used to manage it will constitute the largest data storage facility in the world.

Every day, the antennas of SKA will gather 14 exabytes of data and store about one petabyte. One petabyte is equivalent to 1000 terabytes, each of which is equivalent to 1,000 gigabytes. To consider this amount of data in another way – the SKA could produce more than a hundred times the world’s combined internet traffic.