Media releases

Gibela gears up to deliver the first of 580 new South African-built commuter trains to PRASA in 2018

Johannesburg, South Africa: 13 December 2017. As 2017 draws to a close, the new factory and training centre complex and corporate office of emerging South African commuter train manufacturer Gibela, at Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni, is nearly complete – just short of two years from the start of construction.

From 2 January 2018, the company’s current 400+ fulltime employees will be based at the complex at 2 Shosholoza Avenue, and work will begin in earnest on the manufacture of the first of 580 six-car X-Trapolis Mega commuter trains to be built over the next 10 years for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

At the forefront of the manufacturing process will be more than 200 South African engineers and technicians – most historically disadvantaged – who have been specially trained and orientated by Gibela and its majority shareholder, Alstom, at the latter’s train-building centres of excellence around the world. During 2017, 50 skilled and semi-skilled artisans from Ekurhuleni were recruited for the manufacturing process.

By the end of the first quarter of 2018, the first train’s car body shell – essentially, its metal panel-clad metal frame – is expected to be completed. By the end of 2018, the first South African-built train should be ready for delivery to PRASA.

At peak production – planned for the end of 2019 – more than 1 000 employees are expected to be turning out an average of seven and a half cars a week and five trains a month – an average of 62 trains a year.

Eighteen of  20 trains built at Alstom’s Lapa, Brazil factory – using South African materials and involving South Africans – have been in commercial service for the best part of 2017 and are estimated to have already clocked up, in total, more than half a million kilometres.

One of the two trains built in Brazil – used initially for testing purposes – will now be based at Gibela’s bespoke training centre at Dunnottar, where they will be instrumental in the training of some 19 500 artisans and technicians for Gibela and for the rejuvenated South African rail sector as a whole over the next 10 years. Of 65 apprentices selected during 2017, most have already begun their training at the Gibela training centre.

To meet its local content commitment of at least 65% of contract value, Gibela has on-boarded 54 South suppliers to supply materials, parts and services. More than 4 700 South African jobs are being supported by the company’s activities.

Gibela is also forging ahead with arrangements to deliver on its 19-year agreement with PRASA to provide technical support and the supply of parts to PRASA for the new trains, as they enter commercial service.

For more information please contact::

On behalf of Gibela:
Pamella Radebe                      Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
Office tel:                                +27 10 600 0651

R&A Strategic Communications:
James Duncan                         Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pam McLeod                           Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office tel:                                +27 11 880 3924           

About Gibela:

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.