Rail technology group Bombardier Transportation has restructured its South African subsidiary company, which is now owned 26% by local employee and business trusts.
Bombardier Transportation South Africa (BTSA) chairperson Alan Flint said on Monday that the local ownership model would ensure that BTSA’s employees, as well as a number of black-owned and controlled suppliers would participate in BTSA’s future success, and profitability.
The structure supported the inclusion of certain nongovernmental organisations.
Flint said that localising ownership was a “clear indication that Bombardier is in South Africa to stay”.
“The region offers many exciting business opportunities both in passenger and freight services, which also includes increased market penetration into the mining sector. BTSA have made a strategic decision to further develop rail service offerings that will support all sub-Saharan countries in enhancing their infrastructure in the most cost-effective and sustainable manner,” the company said in a statement.
BTSA also aimed to invest in local manufacturing capacity, training and improving the skills development of local employees, while working with local suppliers to achieve the same targets.
Apart from the Gautrain project, which saw the company successfully deliver 24 Bombardier Electrostar train sets, BTSA has also assisted in supporting and developing the local locomotive and commuter train refurbishment industry for nearly two decades.
Bombardier remained responsible for the core electrical and mechanical design and equipment for Gautrain and would continue to support its local partners in maintaining the fleet for 15 years. The Gautrain project has created more than 34 200 local direct jobs, and an estimated 119 700 indirect jobs.
Meanwhile, BTSA also announced that it had appointed business development director Aubrey Lekwane as Bombardier’s chief country representative for South and Southern Africa from July 1.
He is taking over the role from Flint.