Media releases

Gibela up and running

Gibela Rail Transport Consortium RF (Pty) Ltd (Gibela)1, the new, empowered South African rail company poised to revitalise both the country's commuter rail network and its century-old train-building capacity, launches itself to key South African stakeholders in a series of information-sharing events in Johannesburg today.

Gibela (jointly owned by Alstom and a suit of local shareholders made up of Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail) has been charged by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to deliver 600 cutting-edge trains into South Africa's Metrorail network in the next 10 years at a cost of R51 billion.

The first 20 trains are being built at an Alstom facility in Brazil to ensure the South African artisans receive the necessary skills training ahead of the local manufacture of the remaining 580 trains at a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

Today's events target members of the business, government and other sectors. Economists, credible representatives from across the South African economic spectrum and opinion formers in a number of other fields, including government, academia, transport, marketing/branding and organisations whose views have weight, have been invited.

Shareholders, business partners, municipalities, organisations related to rail and/or the project, suppliers and employees will also have an opportunity to reflect on the project to date, as well as to be briefed on the wider context within which they will continue to work to ensure the project delivers on time.

Members of the media will be fully briefed at a separate event. The CNBC television channel will air a pre-recorded panel discussion from the launch at 14h00.

The panel will comprise:

  1. Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, Deputy Minister of Transport
  2. Mondli Gungubele, Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni (host city for Gibela's manufacturing facility)
  3. Lucky Montana, Group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa
  4. Marc Granger, CEO of Gibela
  5. Dr Martyn Davies, CEO, Frontier Advisory
  6. Stephen Sangweni, President of the South African Rail Commuter Corporation

The panel will be chaired by Bruce Whitfield, award-winning financial journalist and presenter of The Money Show on Radio 702 and Cape Talk, host of Tonight with Bruce Whitfield on CNBC Africa and a columnist and writer for the Sunday Times Business Times.

The panel members will discuss the project from all angles, and a robust question and answer session is expected to follow the discussion. Some of the important aspects that will be covered during the discussions include the significant local content requirements of the project and the creation of a bespoke supply chain, the development of specialist rail sector skills in the country through the upskilling of thousands of South Africans, the creation of skilled jobs, especially for artisans and engineers and details of the new train, including some of its safety and energy saving features.

1 Gibela is a joint venture led by Alstom and owned by a suite of local shareholders made up of Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail.

Photographs available on the Gibela website from noon in the Media section.

For more information please contact:
On behalf of Gibela:
Pamella Radebe +27 83 277 8766 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office tel: +27 11 518 8232  
Russell and Associates:
James Duncan +27 79 336 4010 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leigh King +27 83 418 8973 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pam McLeod +27 82 872 6387 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office tel: +27 11 880 3924  

GIBELA 2014. All rights reserved. Information contained in this document is indicative only. No representation or warranty is given or should be relied on that it is complete or correct or will apply to any particular project. This will depend on the technical and commercial circumstances. It is provided without liability and is subject to change without notice. Reproduction, use or disclosure to third parties, without express written authority, is strictly prohibited.

About Gibela

Gibela is a South African rail company born out of a consortium that was awarded PRASA's 10-year rolling stock programme to design, manufacture and deliver 600 passenger trains. The company will establish a state-of-the art manufacturing facility in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng; localise the manufacture of components for the new fleet and create jobs on a sizeable scale. In tandem with managing local content of more than 65%; Gibela will facilitate the development of local rail-sector relevant skills and the transfer of technical know-how. As Gibela's majority shareholder and major supplier, Alstom will play a significant role in the transfer of historical technological expertise in suburban rail transport which includes the robust design-proven X'Trapolis family and it's X'Trapolis Mega (MEtric GAuge) − a safe, reliable and comfortable train, specifically designed for South Africa.