Gibela appoints 32 local suppliers for R51 billion PRASA contract

Makes progress towards meeting local content target and reinforces company’s commitment to economic development.

The first 32 South African suppliers in the R51 billion contract to provide local content for 600 new passenger trains being built by Gibela for the Passenger Rail Authority of South Africa (PRASA) have been appointed.

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.

Gibela CEO Marc Granger says his company has no contractual obligations to add local content to the Brazilian-built trains. However, Gibela took a strategic decision to get a head start, in an effort to ensure that local suppliers are well prepared in terms of technical capability, capacity and investment for what will be an intensive manufacturing programme once local production starts in 2017.


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.

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.

The list of the local suppliers to Gibela includes:
Siyahamba Engineering – cabin doors, cabin interiors, including partition walls; Booyco – saloon heaters, driver footrest; ILVA General Engineering – air tank – reservoirs; KAMA Industries – horns; Profibre – passenger seats, longitudinal benches; KARE – battery box
First National Battery – batteries; Denel – baseboard ducts; Global Composite – luggage racks, equipped ceiling, cab and saloon air ducts; Delberg Engineering – handbar and backrest; Radel – passenger and cab lighting, door light indicator, voltage indicator; Gibs – insulation; Crest Information Systems – door external fairing, extract air duct in cubicle; Laser Junction – brackets, cab foot step; Laser Junction/General Profiling Matla Steel – coupler push back; Laser Junction/SPE – tool box; Jandinox – equipment support; Buzas – obstacle deflector; Columbus/Macsteel – stainless steel ; Arcelor Mittal SA/Macsteel – carbon steel;
LED Lighting – external front/cab lighting; Aberdare – cables, wires; Forminox – piping.

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