Gibela accelerates engagement to resolve escalating Duduza unrest
- Published: Friday, 24 February 2017 14:54
Johannesburg, South Africa. 22 February 2017 Gibela Rail Transport Consortium (Gibela) is accelerating its engagement with representatives of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) and elected community leaders in a bid to end continuing unrest in Duduza, Ekurhuleni.
The company is appalled by reports received overnight of property being destroyed, indicating that the unrest in Duduza is escalating rather than abating.
Of particular additional concern to the company is that:
- employees of its contractors living in Duduza and surrounds are being intimidated;
- workers generally are being forcibly prevented from going to work; and
- scholars prevented from going to school.
At the heart of the unrest seems to be a view amongst some sectors of the community that Duduza residents should be prioritised by Gibela for jobs and training because of the proximity of the company’s new Dunnottar train manufacturing facility to Duduza.
In terms of its contract with its customer, PRASA, for the construction of 600 new trains for Metrorail, a project that is national in scale, Gibela is required to prioritise Historically Disadvantaged South Africans nationally for jobs and training and other developmental opportunities.
While residents of Ekurhuleni will be given preference due to their proximity to the new train manufacturing facility, this cannot be to the total exclusion of other communities around the country.
This has been consistently communicated by the company to all stakeholders since inception of the project.
Yesterday, senior members of the company’s executive met with:
- the Ekurhuleni Metro’s MMC for Economic Development and Finance, Doctor Xhakaza;
- representatives from Gibela’s customer, PRASA;
- senior representatives from the Department of Transport; and
- Gibela minority shareholders,
- formal channels of communication for sustainable stakeholder engagement; and
- specific material factors of interest to local communities such as preferential procurement, skills development and corporate social investment.
From these discussions, the stakeholders went on to brief 12 councillors representing communities adjacent to Gibela’s Dunnottar site, the ANC caucus, and communities in Tsakane and Duduza, well into the evening.
Further engagement with the councillors is planned for tomorrow (Thursday, 24 February) at which Gibela will provide:
- an overview of its operations and of progress in respect of operational and construction activities;
- an outline of progress to date; and
- an indication of strategy, plans and progress in respect of economic development, specifically:
- job creation statistics;
- preferential procurement; and
- skills development, including bursaries and learnerships,
insofar as these affect neighbouring communities.
Following this meeting, different community interest groups will be addressed.
It is expected that the decisions flowing from these discussions will result in a set of collaborative actions being taken by the participants that will secure understanding and acceptance of the terms of Gibela’s contract, and a return to law and order in Duduza.
Gibela commits to playing its part in executing all communication and other agreed actions to achieve this objective.
Work on the construction of the company’s new manufacturing facility at Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni remains suspended, out of concern for the safety of its employees and those of its contractors.
For more information please contact:
On behalf of Gibela:
Office tel: +27 11 518 8232
Russell and Associates:
Office tel: +27 11 880 3924
Gibela was formed as a consortium to replace South Africa's outdated rolling stock and will deliver 600 state-of-the art passenger trains into the South African rail network over the next 10 years. Fully empowered, Gibela is conscious of its role as a catalyst for economic development and the creation of new skills through its majority shareholder, Alstom. In a contract signed in 2013, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) assigned Gibela the task of replacing its rolling stock with new trains.
Gibela is headquartered in Johannesburg, while its manufacturing and training facility is located in Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. 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 – engineers, artisans, technicians, train drivers and technologists – will benefit from training and upskilling.
GIBELA 2017. 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