Transparency, fairness and localisation in rolling stock project for the new PRASA passenger trains

Thursday, March 12, Alberton, Johannesburg - Today, new ground will be broken for South African railway industry equipment manufacturers, large and small.  As many as 800 prospective component suppliers will be joining Gibela, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and the Department of Transport at the Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Supplier Day at which Gibela will take centre stage at the Alberton Civic Centre in Ekurhuleni.

Gibela has been contracted by PRASA to supply 600 modern trains to replace ageing rolling stock on the nation’s commuter rail networks.  All but 20 are to be built in a specially-designed factory complex at Dunnottar on the East Rand. 

That is where Gibela will manufacture the state-of-the-art trains that will revolutionise passenger rail transport in the country’s main metropolitan areas. It is also where the local production of train components will take a major step forward.

Importantly for South Africa’s manufacturing sector is the fact that, in the process, Gibela will be introducing advanced skills and technologies into South Africa from its French parent, Alstom. These skills and technologies will be transferred to local suppliers – as part of Gibela’s ambitious Supplier Development programme − who will eventually deliver components that will be fitted into the trains. And this, in part, is the information that the Supplier Day is intended to share. Collaboration with prospective suppliers on what will be needed, what resources and capabilities are required of them and what can be offered?

Gibela’s contract with PRASA is clear and explicit:

  • local content of the new trains shall be greater than 65%;
  • new rail skills will be generated; and
  • the capacities of black-empowered rail equipment suppliers shall be enhanced.

Ensuring that the country has the skills and the capacity to provide the advanced components for the train is uppermost in what the Supplier Day is intended to deliver.

This Supplier Day will therefore bring together all potential component suppliers in a forum that will focus on:

  • the project’s requirements for quality;
  • the need for  adhering to tight delivery schedules; and
  • for successful suppliers to themselves make the components in facilities that match  up to Gibela’s own empowerment standards.

According to Gibela CEO, Marc Granger, “transparency is the order of the day as this event provides the company with an opportunity to interact with local manufacturers explain its sourcing processes and requirements and share business opportunities that are available in the rolling stock project. It is the sort of introduction to a new sourcing programme that is rarely if ever seen. Prospective suppliers will take from the meeting a sound understanding of what will be needed when the local manufacturing programme for the new trains commences.”

Importantly, the Supplier Day will assist Gibela to identify potential local suppliers in the greater South African market and enable those with the potential to deliver what is needed to understand the journey on which they and Gibela will be embarking.

Visit our website for more info relating to the Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme Supplier Day

For more information please contact:
On behalf of Gibela:
Pamella Radebe+27 83 277 8766Email:
Office tel:+27 11 518 8232 
Russell and Associates:
James Duncan+27 79 336 4010Email:
Pam McLeod+27 82 872 6387Email:
Office tel:+27 11 880 3924