Gibela lends a helping hand

Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni. 1 April 2019. Dunnottar-based train manufacturer Gibela has contributed more than R170 000 worth of new furniture and bed linen to help make life a little more comfortable for the 31 residents of the Tsakane Old Age Home in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.

This follows receipt by Gibela in February this year of an appeal for assistance from the Home’s manager, Phoko Mokubung.

“We were desperately in need of new beds, mattresses and bedside cabinets,” said Phoko. “We have been making do with what we’ve had since the Home opened its doors almost 28 years ago, in 1990.”

Gibela came through, with 34 new beds, mattresses and bedside cabinets, as well as bed linen and comfy new lounge furniture for the Home’s day room.

But nothing will go to waste. In terms of its constitution, the Home will ensure that the old beds, mattresses, etc will be refurbished and offered to other institutions in need.

Gibela’s support for the Home forms part of the company’s economic development (ED) programme, a key contractual ‘deliverable’ to its customer, PRASA. More specifically, it flows from the community development component of the ED programme.

“The Home ‘ticked all of the boxes’ for us,” said Gibela’s Communications Director, Pam Radebe, on a visit last week.

“The starting point in our relationship was a well-motivated appeal for assistance; an in-situ inspection showed us this is an institution that is well-run by people with ‘heart’, and that it enjoys the support of a ‘stretched’ community that cares about it.

“It has been a delight, and a privilege, for us to help.”

The Home is run by a community-based voluntary organisation, the Tsakane Society for the Care of the Aged. While it receives a monthly grant from the Department of Social Development, this is used up – almost to the last cent – on big-line items such as food, staff wages, electricity, water, etc.

“To cover our other needs – maintenance for example, and the replacement of fixtures and fittings – we are heavily dependent on support in cash or kind from the likes of Lotto and corporates such as Gibela,” said Phoko.

He was quick to add that help also flows readily from the Tsakane community itself, most members of whom have daily challenges of their own to contend with.

“We have local doctors providing us with their services, pro bono, on a routine basis, for example; and local schoolchildren regularly provide entertainment for our residents.”

A member of the community – not exactly a youngster himself – comes in daily – Mondays to Fridays – for several hours to help maintain an impressive vegetable garden at the back of the Home’s premises. Produce from the garden helps to supply the Home’s kitchen.

For more information, please contact:

On behalf of Gibela:

Pamella Radebe
Office: tel: +27 10 600 0651

R&A Strategic Communications:

James Duncan

Pam McLeod

tel: +27 11 880 3924

  • 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.
About Gibela:

Gibela was formed as a joint venture 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 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.