The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has, on the 27 July 2017, received the last of the new Metrorail train which were manufactured in Brazil. Train 20 is the last of the of the twenty (20) trains which were manufactured outside of South Africa as PRASA gears up to manufacture the remaining 580 trains locally thus bringing the total new Metrorail trains to 600 over the next 10 years.
The manufacturing activities in Brazil has allowed Gibela (Manufacturer) to train the South African teams who are involved in the design, engineering and manufacturing in preparation for local production of the remaining 580 trains. PRASA, through Gibela, is now in the final stages of constructing a R 1 billion Local Train Manufacturing Plant at Dunnottar Park, City of Ekurhuleni, which will also consist of a Training Centre and Supplier Park that will house suppliers who will manufacture various train components.
The targeted manufacture of the first car-body (train coach) shell at the local plant is the 4th quarter of 2017, with the delivery of the first locally produced Metrorail train anticipated by the end of 2018. The construction of the permanent local manufacturing plant will see PRASA reach and exceed the minimum 65% localisation as set out in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2).
PRASA’S EMPOWERMENT AND JOB CREATION
Out of the 72 hectares of land set aside for the main manufacturing plant, approximately 30 hectares have been reserved for a Supplier Park. This will house all the suppliers to the main manufacturing plant, made up of SMMEs specialising in various areas of rail-related manufacturing. There are several empowerment opportunities set aside by PRASA to empower Black businesses include; preferential procurement spend with approximately R35.8 billion set aside to empowered entities, R5.3 billion earmarked for SMMEs and R1.7 billion to Black women-owned companies. Furthermore, PRASA has earmarked a total of R892 million to Enterprise Development within the rail sector as well as R323 million to socio-economic development. Within the next ten years, the Supplier Park will become a Centre of Excellence for Train Manufacturing.
JOB CREATION AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Approximately 1 500 people will be permanently employed at the manufacturing plant. Of the total number to be employed, 99% will be South Africans. PRASA has also prioritised historically disadvantaged individuals who will make up a total of 85% of the employees with 25% of these being women.
WHERE ARE WE AS A BUSINESS
PRASA has successfully launched the first deployment corridor where the new trains are currently running between Pretoria and Pienaarspoort stations. PRASA will continue to with its Modernisation Programme to upgrade its infrastructure and manufacture its new trains over the next 20 years as it strives to create a state-of-the-art passenger rail services.