JOHANNESBURG - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has announced that about 1 500 people will be permanently employed at their R1 billion local train manufacturing plant at Dunnottar Park in the City of Ekurhuleni.
Prasa received the last of the new Metrorail trains which were manufactured in Brazil, Prasa said in statement on Thursday.
99% of the total number of people to be employed, would be South Africans.
The company has also prioritised historically disadvantaged individuals who will make up a total of 85% of the employees with 25% of these being women.
According to a statement by PRASA, Train 20 was the last of the of the 20 trains which were manufactured outside of South Africa.
PRASA is gearing 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 R1 billion local train manufacturing plant at Dunnottar Park, City of Ekurhuleni, which will also consist of a training centre and a supplier park that will house suppliers who will manufacture various train components,” Prasa said.
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,” PRASA said.
The company 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.
PRASA has successfully launched the first deployment corridor where the new trains are currently running between Pretoria and Pienaarspoort stations.
PRASA would 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.
- BUSINESS REPORT