SA accelerates the manufacture of trains

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is accelerating the manufacturing of trains in order to deal with the backlog in the supply of commuter trains, says Transport Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi.

“This forms part of the Department’s rail modernisation programme through which we shall ensure that rail becomes the backbone of both passenger and freight transportation in South Africa,” Magadzi said.

Addressing the Women in Transport “Empowerpreneurship” Summit in Cape Town on Thursday, she said improving transport is an essential ingredient in improving the lives of people.

“This is also important as we move faster towards removing rail friendly cargo from our road on to rail. We are driven here by two purposes, delivering safer roads and reducing transport derived carbon emissions which are a result of road transport mostly,” the Minister said.

Prasa’s localisation approach has a target of over 65 percent local content by the end of the ten-year addition to meaningful black equity ownership at the contractor and sub-contractor level.

“It must also be noted that the projects by South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL), PRASA and those in the expansion of our international airports will emphasise localisation and promote industrialisation which is where many of you must find opportunity.

“The tasks of the present include the need to strengthen the capacity of the department and its entities, transform the sector, and continue to build an integrated transport system,” she said.

This includes the roll-out of the Integrated Public Transport Networks, as well as the improvement of the road infrastructure networks to unlock economic growth and job creation.

Metrorail strike

Meanwhile, Prasa has confirmed that Metrorail, the commuter rail operator, will run a limited service during the planned mass action taking place on Friday.

“The majority of Safety Critical staff may be participating in this mass action, Metrorail will operate a reduced service, similar to that offered on Saturdays and Sundays,” Prasa said.

The agency said those employees who decide not to join the mass action have not been intimidated in any way by management but have taken the decision to work independently.

“Prasa recognises that the mass action on 26 July is not a labour strike against Prasa but a Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) led mass action against government along with its affiliated union UNTU as the majority union at Prasa.

“This means that while UNTU members are granted permission to participate in the mass action, not all PRASA employees within operations will be participating,” the agency said.

Prasa has cautioned passengers to expect longer waiting times due to the limited service in line with the weekend-like scheduling. –