Gibela and PRASA well on track to deliver a successful commuter service

Delivery of first train paves the way for commercial service in 2017

6 December, 2016 – Gibela has been awarded a Provisional Acceptance Certificate from PRASA for its first X’Trapolis MEGA train1, paving the way for its customer, PRASA, to start its trial run in preparation for commercial service in 2017.

Gibela CEO Marc Granger says: “This is a major milestone for Gibela and our customer; the moment we have been preparing for since signing the contract in 2014.

“The train is the first of 600 to be delivered by Gibela to PRASA over the next 10 years and represents years of work by designers, engineers, and project and logistics specialists, among others.

“My thanks goes out to everyone who has been involved.”

The first phase of PRASA’s trial run is being undertaken with no passengers on board – as required by the South African Rail Safety Regulator. The train is scheduled to run between Pienaarspoort Station, Mamelodi and Rissik Street Station, Hatfield from 1 December 2016 to 16 January 2017.

From 18 January 2017 to 28 February 2017 the second phase of the trial run will give passengers an opportunity to travel on the new train between Koedoespoort Station and Rissik Street Station. The new train is expected to enter full commercial service soon afterwards.

Gibela’s manufacturing plant – where 580 trains (3 480 coaches) will be produced – is currently under construction. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The facility is located at Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni, 50km east of Johannesburg. The 20 first trains are being produced at the Lapa, Brazil factory of Gibela’s major shareholder, Alstom. To date, 14 trains have been delivered from Brazil to South Africa of them have been delivered. For each of these 20 trains, 22% of procurement spend is on components sourced from South African suppliers.

At full production locally, Gibela anticipates that a panel comprising 200 local suppliers will be manufacturing equipment and components for the 580 locally produced trains from 2018 onwards. Local suppliers have benefitted from the technical advice and assistance from Gibela’s majority shareholder Alstom, to ensure they become part of a sustainable South African supplier base. They have also benefitted from manufacturing know-how and design engineering from Alstom.

Gibela’s project with PRASA encompasses more than just a train replacement programme – it is to be a catalyst for transformation in South Africa and includes stringent economic development commitments. Training and development are fundamental to these commitments as Gibela works to build and enhance rail technology skills amongst its employees, suppliers and the broader South African public. To date, close to 300 South Africans have received training in various aspects of train manufacture at Alstom’s worldwide centres of excellence, in preparation for the start of train manufacturing in South Africa.

Gibela is committed to local socio-economic development and has already launched several initiatives that demonstrate support of the South African Government’s National Development Plan:

  • maths, science and English Saturday classes in communities neighbouring Gibela’s Dunnottar manufacturing site are under way to provide extra support to 450 learners in Grade 10, 11 and 12 at an estimated cost of R6.7 million over the next three years.
  • 22 national diploma and university graduates, will start their Gibela internships in February 2017 to gain work experience in their chosen disciplines.
  • 280 bursaries were awarded by Gibela in 2016 to students studying specific courses at South African universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, and 300 bursaries have been awarded for 2017.

1Brand name given to Alstom’s suburban trains

For more information please contact:

On behalf of Gibela:
Pamella Radebe Email:
Office tel: +27 11 518 8232

Russell and Associates:
James Duncan Email:
Pam McLeod Email:
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 2016. 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.