Cassinga

Cassinga

Cassinga is a former town in the Huíla province of southern Angola.

The incorrect transliteration Kassinga is also commonly used, with the "K" being a mutation of the original Portuguese name either by German miners, or by indigenous people in whose language the letter "K" is also common. Photographs of the name in stone next to the road indicate local use the original Portuguese spelling.

History

Nearby is the site of an old iron ore mine once built by the Portuguese authorities and Krupp. During 1966-67 a major iron ore terminal was built in the coast by the Portuguese at Saco, the bay just 12 km North of Moçâmedes. The client was the Compania Mineira do Lobito, the Lobito Mining Company, which developed an iron ore mine inland at Cassinga. The construction of the mine installations and 300 km railway were commissioned to Krupp of Germany and the modern harbour terminal to SETH, a Portuguese company owned by Hojgaard & Schultz of Denmark. The small fishing town of Moçâmedes hosted construction workers, foreign engineers and their families for 2 years. The Ore Terminal was completed on time within one year and the first 250,000 ton ore carrier docked and loaded with ore in 1967. After independence of Angola from Portugal in 1975, the mining facilities at Cassinga were abandoned at the start of the Angolan Civil War (1975-2002). Cassinga was also the site of the Battle of Cassinga (4 May 1978), a South African airborne attack on a South-West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) base which was reportedly also a refugee camp.

Railway

Japanese interests wish to reopen the iron ore mine and link it by rail to the Namibian port of Walvis Bay, this being the most efficient port in the region. This railway would go via Oshikango on Namibia’s northern border.

See also

References

External links

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