Friday , February 28 2020
Home / AFRICA / Africa’s largest train-making plant opens in Johannesburg

Africa’s largest train-making plant opens in Johannesburg

Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday unveiled the continent’s largest train manufacturing plant, a joint venture between the national rail firm and French transport group Alstom.

The factory is a part of a 51-billion-rand ($3.5 billion, 3.1 billion-euro) deal between Alstom and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to produce a fleet of 580 six-car suburban trains.

The first train from the Gibela plant in Dunnottar, east of Johannesburg, is scheduled to roll off the test track by the end of this year.

South Africa’s economy has in recent years suffered low growth rates and this year slipped into a recession, and Ramaphosa hailed the new investment in trains.

“This investment here signifies a new era in the modernisation of modern rail network,” he said as he formally inaugurated the plant.

“Our railways must become the arteries of a growing economy that brings meaningful improvement in people’s lives.”

The president said the plant was a “major boost to our manufacturing capacity as a country.”

“Manufacturing… is the real engine of economic growth.”

When fully operational, the plant is expected to employ 1,500 people.

At least 56 trains are to be built over the next two years.

“This factory is a major boost to the rail industry in the country, as South Africa will now be able to produce state-of-the-art trains locally,” said Didier Pfleger, Alstom senior vice president for Middle East and Africa.

Loading...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *