Gibela is spearheading the revitalisation of rail transport in South Africa’s metro areas – ushering in a new age of rail.
Gibela was established as a consortium between Alstom, Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail. In a seminal contract signed in 2013, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) assigned Gibela the task to replace its ageing metro fleet with a modern service − delivering 600 modern commuter passenger trains into the South African rail network over the next 10 years. Fully black-empowered, Gibela is conscious of its role as a catalyst for economic development and skills development through its majority shareholder, Alstom.
Gibela’s factory – also its corporate office – occupies a site covering more than 78 hectares at Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. This factory, a cornerstone for the revitalisation of the railway manufacturing industry in South Africa’s industrial heartland, is being built to the highest international standards and will be a centre of excellence in its own right.
Through the rolling stock project, Gibela will generate 1,500 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs through the supply chain over a 10-year period. Thousands of people comprising engineers, artisans, technicians, train drivers and technologists will benefit from training and upskilling.
The company has already delivered most of the 20 first trains being built in Brazil for testing at PRASA's depot at Wolmerton, north of Pretoria where they are undergoing various stages of testing and commissioning ahead of the first train going into commercial service.
In December 2016, Gibela was awarded a Provisional Acceptance Certificate from PRASA for its first X’Trapolis MEGA train. The train entered a trial run of off-peak service in February 2017, paving the way for the start of full commercial service with nine trains in March 2017.
"The Gibela project is a catalyst for improving our infrastructure and for economic development."
Dipuo Peters, ex-Minister of Transport