Gibela makes progress towards meeting local content target

Reinforces company’s commitment to economic development

Pretoria, 9 June 2016 The first 32 South African suppliers to provide local content for 600 new passenger trains being built by Gibela for the Passenger Rail Authority of South Africa (PRASA) were welcomed to PRASA’s Wolmerton depot today to preview the first five X’Trapolis Mega trains to be completed.

In terms of Gibela’s contract with PRASA, the first 20 new trains are being built in Brazil and the balance of 580 at Gibela’s new South African manufacturing facility at Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni. South African-made components are being made in South Africa, using South African materials, and are being shipped to Brazil for the first 20 trains.

Today’s visit provided the local equipment and component suppliers with an opportunity to see, first-hand, how their various products are contributing to the creation of fully operational trains.

Welcoming the suppliers, Gibela CEO Marc Granger said that, in just two years, Gibela’s journey in delivering the next generation of trains to South Africa’s rail-commuter public has gained momentum on all fronts and in particular, in the sourcing and supply of local equipment and components of a standard that is meeting Gibela’s steep quality and other requirements.

He added: “By producing quality components such as these, local suppliers will – in addition to being able to service Gibela and the South African rail sector as a whole – be able to compete in global markets, opening up real potential for significant exports and resultant foreign exchange earnings for South Africa. We are starting to make very substantial progress in rejuvenating our local rail manufacturing industry’s capabilities and capacity. ”

While making it clear his list was not exclusive, Granger flagged a broad range of South African-made components visible inside and outside each train, and others – equally as important but are not visible to passengers – such as batteries, heating and braking systems.

Although there are no contractual obligations for local content on the Brazilian-built trains, Gibela took a strategic decision to get a head-start to ensure that local suppliers are well prepared (in terms of technical capability, capacity and investment) for an intensive manufacturing programme that adheres to stringent standards of quality and tight delivery schedules.  At the peak of production in South Africa, Gibela will be producing 62 cars a year (each train set comprising six cars).  

For each train that has already been built in Brazil, 22% of procurement spend is on components sourced from South African suppliers, a large percentage on interiors, energy and sheet metal work domains.

Contributing to the success of the suppliers has been the technical advice and assistance provided to them by Gibela itself as part of efforts to develop a robust and sustainable South African supplier base.

Siyahamba Engineering is responsible for the supply of cabin doors and partition walls for the new trains. CEO Julius Motshopi said: “Gibela brought in a specialist from the UK to work with us to help us industrialise and organise ourselves. We have gone through a steep learning curve and developed a good working relationship in the process.”

LED Lighting SA, a Cape Town-based medium-sized company, supplies Gibela with one of the world’s first set of exterior LED lights to comply to international rail standards. CEO Andrew Glenday commented: “There’s much more of a buzz in South Africa around rail and I believe that well-structured investment in our local rail business will be repaid many times over through export, employment, skills development and even intangibly in national pride.

“I am proud of the offices and factory we have set up.  They are as well established as any factory in the United States or Europe; we’re making world-class products and we are gearing up to export.”

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.

Note to editors: Gibela, is a South African joint venture which brings together French train manufacturer Alstom and local empowered businesses. It has already initiated construction of its state-of-the-art factory at Dunnottar on the East Rand where 580 trains will be built by trained and skilled South Africans using South African inputs. The Dunnottar factory is scheduled to deliver its first train by the end of 2018 and, thereafter, deliver five completed trains each month for 10 years to PRASA. Prior to this, 20 trains have or are being built at Alstom’s Brazilian plant. The trains are at the core of PRASA’s own modernisation and of the progressive improvements to the passenger services that it will offer to the country’s commuters. They form one of South Africa’s largest-ever infrastructure projects.

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 

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.


Material and components, as at the end of February 2016, used for the trains manufactured in Lapa, Brazil which have been purchased from suppliers that are registered and industrially established in South Africa:

  • Stainless steel and carbon steel
  • Passenger and cabin doors
  • Ceiling and air ducts
  • Cables
  • Batteries
  • Passenger seats
  • Driver seats
  • Lateral windows and windshield
  • Saloon heaters and footrests
  • Sidewalls
  • Luggage racks and ducts
  • Handrails
  • Insulation