Trencon Black Jills JV awarded R400 million contract for the main site buildings of Gibela’s train manufacturing plant

Gibela re-affirms commitment to transformation in South Africa

2 June 2016: Gibela has announced the award of the contract for the main site buildings for its factory in Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni to a joint venture comprising Trencon Construction (Pty) Ltd and Black Jills Engineers (Pty) Ltd, both wholly owned by black South Africans and with 30 years’ combined experience in the construction sector.

Gibela CEO Marc Granger says: “The award of the contract reflects Gibela’s commitment to transformation in South Africa. The Trencon Black Jills JV was selected from seven entities that tendered for the main site buildings package. All tenders were adjudicated on the basis of empowerment credentials, price and most importantly, contribution to economic development - a critical component of the overall rolling stock project.”

According to Trencon Construction’s Special Projects Director, Yavani Singh-Ninan: “The Trencon Black Jills JV was specifically formed to support the economic development plan of Gibela, while ensuring that a meaningful impact is made to the South African landscape through the growth and transformation of a fully empowered business. Black Jills will not only partner on this project but will be mentored and developed through various initiatives.”

Managing Director of Black Jills, Lebo Leshabane elaborates: “I see this as a great opportunity for Trencon and Black Jills, one which clearly shows Gibela’s faith in local entities and an unmistakable sign that Gibela is committed to empowering local companies. As we went through the tendering process, it was clear that Gibela would not accept anything but work of the highest standard.”

The partnership between Trencon and Black Jills Engineers is not new to the Gibela project. They have been working together over the past two years on the construction of the Lillian Ngoyi Women's Living Heritage Monument in Pretoria.

With completion of environmentally sensitive site-clearing in February 2016 and partial completion of earthworks, construction of the new train-manufacturing facility has now begun. Site mobilisation for this critical phase started early in May 2016 to begin work on the factory and ancillary buildings which comprise five manufacturing buildings (including the training centre), a central complex of two buildings and utility buildings for operational purposes.

The training centre will be the first building to be completed. Prioritisation of the training centre is to allow for staggered training of South Africans in readiness for when local train manufacturing operations begin.

Earthworks and basic infrastructure, both of which are scheduled for completion in April 2017, will be carried out concurrently with the construction of the factory buildings themselves. The first of these is scheduled to be completed in March 2017 and to be sufficiently equipped to allow preliminary work on train production to get under way during the second quarter of the year.

It is planned that construction and equipping of all the buildings on site will be completed by November 2017, when full-scale building and assembling of the first of the 580 South African-made trains, for delivery to PRASA, will begin. The gross building area of the factory covers 53,000m² of the site’s total area of 270,000m², or 27 hectares.

The construction programme will reach its peak at the end of 2016 wherein some 1,900 limited duration jobs will be created.

Mondli Gungubele, Mayor of Ekurhuleni, is enthusiastic about the project: “This project means that Ekurhuleni is no longer the historic leader in manufacturing - it affirms us as the future leader and puts us at the cutting edge of technology.”

Editor’s note:

Trencon Construction is a fully compliant BEE-owned and managed construction company founded in 1995. Since its founding, Trencon has won and successfully completed major and minor construction projects across South Africa. The company provides fully integrated and diversified civils and construction services to its clients.

Black Jills Engineers is an innovative South African eco-engineering company wholly owned and managed by black women. It is a Level 1 BEE Contributor with wide experience garnered and honed over eight years in the construction, design and management of projects for clients in the private, national, provincial and local government sectors.

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.