Media releases

Gibela appoints new CEO

06 May 2019: The Board of Directors of Gibela, the South African rolling stock manufacturer, is pleased to announce its appointment of Hector Danisa as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from 1 May 2019.

Hector has more than 20 years’ experience in the industrial, logistics, operations and project management sectors. He joined Gibela as a general manager in the CEO’s office in 2015 and was promoted, in 2017, to the position of Project Director and Engineer responsible for the Manufacture & Supply Agreement for PRASA’s rolling stock project.

Hector holds a BSc Honours from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Wales.

Gibela Chairman Mpho Makwana says: “We are excited about the appointment of an internal, home-grown candidate to the position of CEO for a company mandated with the critical task to provide new rolling stock that will better the daily commute of millions of South Africans who use trains.

“Hector has a keen understanding of the strategic significance of the rolling stock project and his strong business and strategic planning acumen positions him well as he takes the baton from his predecessors during a period when the company gears itself up to achieve its ambitious operational and delivery targets,” Makwana noted.

Hector replaces Thierry Darthout, who will return to Europe after two years at the helm of Gibela.

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Background company information

  • The company, charged with the responsibility to deliver 600 modern passenger trains to the Passanger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), has already delivered four trains, produced by South Africans at its new train manufacturing plant in Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni.
  • Gibela currently employs 800 people the majority of whom are artisans, technicians and engineers. 229 of these employees have received intensive offshore training at Alstom’s centres of manufacturing excellence in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia to learn the latest in train manufacturing and maintenance technology. At full ramp up, the plant will employ 1 500 employees.
  • As a critical catalyst in the rejuvenation of the local railway manufacturing industry, Gibela is cognisant that much of its economic impact will occur through the supply chain. The company currently relies on 118 suppliers to supply critical components for its trains. For each trainset built, Gibela will spend 80% of the train’s procurement value suppliers (currently 71).
  • With a 65% local content contractual commitment, Gibela is heavily invested in sourcing components from local companies. However, over the past few decades there was no investment in the railway industry resulting in the loss of capacity and expertise. This is where the Gibela supplier development programme comes in to plug these gaps and bolster the skills of budding South African suppliers. So far, thousands of hours of offshore industrial expertise has been spent on developing local suppliers.
  • The company’s impact extends beyond the boundaries of its factory, most immediately to its nearby communities. Gibela’s community initiatives focus on education – from early childhood development to providing maths and science classes to over 500 pupils from local schools. To build skills across South Africa, Gibela has awarded 650 bursaries to the value of R48 million and hosted 300 students at its Railway Introduction Course to give them exposure to the rail industry.

GIBELA 2018. 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.