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Rail News

Transnet offers voluntary severance packages to staff

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     24th March 2017 Transnet on Friday confirmed that it is offering voluntary severance packages (VSPs) to its management and bargaining unit employees to streamline its business and ensure the group’s long-term sustainability. The parastatal cited subdued global economic growth, including a weak economic outlook... 

Mobility Vision

By: Irma Venter     24th March 2017 Gauteng-based transport economist Andrew Marsay earlier in February detailed his vision for a high-density, high-value public transport system in South Africa, delivered in a presentation at the i-Transport and UATP conference, held in Sandton. Engineering News senior deputy editor Irma Venter... 

New strategy to give policy direction to rail sector

By: Irma Venter     24th March 2017 A new national rail strategy, proposed to become legislation in 2018/2019, will give policy direction to the rail sector for the first time in 150 years, says Department of Transport deputy director-general rail Jan-David de Villiers. The policy – currently a Draft White Paper – comes as South... 

AMSA officially launches Gauteng steel rail hub 

     23rd March 2017 ArcelorMittal South Africa in February officially launched its Isando Distribution Centre, in Germiston, in a long-term initiative to migrate the bulk of domestic final product steel distribution from road to rail.  

AMSA officially launches Gauteng steel rail hub
AMSA officially launches Gauteng steel rail hub

Metrorail cancels trains in Soweto due to protest

By: African News Agency      20th March 2017 Metrorail train services operating in Soweto between New Canada, Dube and Mzimhlophe were on Monday morning suspended Monday morning during peak hours because of a service delivery protest. It was not immediately clear what the protesters were demanding, but the unrest began in the early hours of... 

DBSA secures $100m AFD loan facility to support continental activity

By: Natasha Odendaal     17th March 2017 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has secured a $100-million loan facility from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), earmarked for energy, water, transport and information and communication technology infrastructure across Africa. The DBSA aims to continue to advance... 

Transnet mourns passing of board member

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th March 2017 Transnet chairperson Linda Mabaso on Friday said the passing of human rights lawyer and Transnet board member Peter Williams was a “double blow to our nation”, noting that he still had many years of wisdom and guidance to bestow upon the country. Williams, 49, passed away on Wednesday after... 

Letsoalo denied request to join PRASA board's case

By: News24Wire      17th March 2017 Former PRASA group CEO Collins Letsoalo's request to join the urgent court case by PRASA's former board members was denied by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday. Judge Peter Mabuse said he was not persuaded by Letsoalo's case and refused his application. 

Former PRASA board case postponed

By: News24Wire      16th March 2017 The urgent High Court case brought by former PRASA board members to have their dismissal by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters set aside, was postponed on Thursday morning. After a minute of appearing in the High Court in Pretoria, Advocate David Unterhalter SC requested a postponement to file an... 

Former PRASA board case postponed

Outa, Untu speak out against appointment of interim PRASA board 

By: Anine Kilian     14th March 2017 The United National Transport Union (Untu) does not believe the newly appointed interim board of State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) will be able to save the entity. Transport Minister Dipuo Peters on Monday announced the appointment of the interim board, which will be... 

First K+S rail cars arrive at $4.1bn Legacy mine, in Saskatchewan

By: Henry Lazenby     13th March 2017 The first 177 of 531 custom built rail cars have arrived at potash project developer K+S Potash Canada's (KSPC's) $4.1-billion Legacy mine site, in Saskatchewan. The company on Monday said this was enough to complete one of three trains that will transport KSPC’s product to its potash handling... 

Molefe files urgent application over PRASA board dissolution

By: News24Wire      13th March 2017 Former PRASA chairperson Popo Molefe has filed an urgent application to the High Court in Johannesburg to have the decision to dissolve the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa by the Minister of Transport set aside. Molefe, along with the other fired directors of PRASA, have... 

Molefe files urgent application over PRASA board dissolution

Treasury approval sought for Gautrain expansion plan

By: Irma Venter     10th March 2017 The proposed expansion of the Gautrain rail system has the capacity to create around 211 000 direct jobs, says Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile. Speaking at the i-Transport and UATP Conference and Exhibition, in Sandton, in February, he noted that the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA)... 

Peters fires PRASA board 

By: African News Agency      8th March 2017 Transport Minister Dipuo Peters on Wednesday, dissolved the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board with immediate effect. This was revealed in Parliament when acting transport department director general Mathabatha Mokonyama read out a letter from Peters during a portfolio committee... 

They now call me Mr 350% – defiant PRASA CEO

By: News24Wire      7th March 2017 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has twice tried to return suspended acting CEO Collins Letsoalo to sender, with no success. And a week after he was again handed his marching orders, a defiant Letsoalo has insisted that the ongoing salary debacle is not his fault. 

Alstom awarded its first tramway contract in Taiwan

     3rd March 2017 Multinational rail transport company Alstom has been awarded a contract by China Steel Corporation to supply fifteen Citadis trams for Phase 2 of the Kaohsiung tramway project, in Taiwan, which is expected to start revenue service in 2019. This tramway project – the first of its kind for Alstom... 

Alstom awarded  its first tramway  contract in Taiwan
Photo by Bloomberg
TRAMWAY CONTRACT Alstom will supply fifteen Citadis trams for Phase 2 of the Kaohsiung tramway project in Taiwan

Extensive scope for remanufacture of locomotive components

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd March 2017 Owing to substantial investment by government in imported railway locomotives in recent years, as well as its goal to prioritise localisation, heavy diesel engine and component remanufacturers Metric Automotive Engineering says there is extensive scope for the local remanufacture of locomotive... 

Extensive scope for  remanufacture of  locomotive components
Photo by Bloomberg
LOCAL IS LEKKER South Africa’s developing its capacity to remanufacture locomotive engine components can enable it to become a hub to serve Africa

KPMG at forefront of PRASA rail infrastructure upgrades

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd March 2017 Leading global advisory firm KPMG is providing full financial, commercial and localisation advisory services for one of public transport utility Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) projects currently under way. The rolling stock project, which reached financial close during the... 

KPMG at forefront of PRASA rail infrastructure upgrades
Photo by Duane Daws
PRASA PROJECT The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is replacing the entire metro rail fleet of South Africa through the provision of 3 600 new train car units

S Africa aims to improve poor maintenance of railway infrastructure

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd March 2017 The inability of local rail infrastructure to attract sufficient revenue has led to a deficiency in the required sustaining capital necessary for its maintenance, says professional services consultancy WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff infrastructure and transportation divisional director Vishaal... 

S Africa aims to improve poor maintenance of  railway infrastructure
Photo by Bloomberg
MANDATORY MAINTENANCE Several projects have been implemented or are under way to improve rail infrastructure in South Africa

Grindrod FY16 loss widens on depressed H1 market conditions, impairments

By: David Oliveira     2nd March 2017 Shipping and logistics group Grindrod’s attributable loss widened to R1.9-billion for the 2016 financial year, from a loss of R1.43-billion in 2015, as a result of depressed market conditions in the first half of the year and impairments in its Shipping and Freight Services Rail businesses.... 

I am still PRASA CEO – Collins Letsoalo

By: News24Wire      1st March 2017 Collins Letsoalo believes he is still the acting CEO of PRASA even after the board announced his dismissal on Monday. "I was never fired, I didn't even get a letter. I was informed through media reports," Letsoalo told ANN7 in an interview on Tuesday. 

Gibela to resume Dunnottar plant construction as Duduza protests die down

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th February 2017 Construction work can now resume at Gibela Rail Transport Consortium’s (Gibela’s) R1-billion train manufacturing facility at Dunnottar, after weeks of community protests in Duduza, Ekurhuleni, have come to an end. Gibela earlier this month halted construction work at the plant out of concern for... 

PRASA fires acting CEO, Collins Lestoalo

By: African News Agency      27th February 2017 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has fired the acting group chief executive, Collins Letsoalo, with immediate effect following a unanimous board decision to terminate the secondment at the rail agency. This comes after the controversy behind the remuneration package of Letsoalo... 

Toll freeways, build more Gautrain links and reinvent PRASA, says economist

By: Irma Venter     27th February 2017 Gauteng-based transport economist Andrew Marsay earlier this month detailed his vision for a high-density, high-value public transport system in South Africa, delivered in a presentation at the i-Transport and UATP conference, held in Sandton. Engineering News senior deputy editor Irma Venter... 

 Toll freeways, build more Gautrain links and reinvent PRASA, says economist
Photo by Duane Daws
Andrew Marsay

AMSA unveils interim steel rail hub

By: Natasha Odendaal     24th February 2017 The official unveiling of the Isando Distribution Centre, in Germiston, on Friday, marked the next step in steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) long-term initiative to migrate the bulk of domestic final product steel distribution from road to rail. Dedicated rail links between... 

AMSA unveils interim steel rail hub

Wage deadlock in rail sector

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2017 Wage negotiations between two transport unions and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) have deadlocked, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) said on Thursday. The union said it was demanding a 20% salary increase, while the employer was offering 3%. 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more  

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more than anticipated in 2016, National Treasury revealed in its 2017 Budget Review on Wednesday. Even as Eskom’s financial performance improved in 2015/16 as a result of a 12.7% tariff hike and a revenue increase by R10.5-billion to R161-billion, it... 

Eskom and Transnet need to borrow billions more

Transnet exec suspended after tender report

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2017 A senior Transnet executive has been put on special leave following a News24 report on a R10-million tender the State-owned company awarded to the executive's former boss. Transnet confirmed on Wednesday that Sandile Simelane, the head of Transnet Freight Rail's (TFR) corporate affairs... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

By: Natasha Odendaal     22nd February 2017 Despite ongoing uncertainty surrounding fee collection for the much-contested e-tolling of certain Gauteng freeways by the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), the National Treasury believes investor confidence in the agency has returned following the conclusion of two successful... 

Treasury says investor confidence in Sanral improves

Pretoria train crash injured now number over 200

By: News24Wire      21st February 2017 The final figure of the number of people injured when two passenger trains heading in opposite directions collided head-on at the Rosslyn station during peak hour on Monday evening is currently at 216, Metrorail said on Tuesday. Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said 177 commuters were... 

New Draft White Paper suggests standard gauge network for freight rail 

By: Irma Venter     17th February 2017 A new national rail strategy, proposed to become legislation in 2018/2019, will give policy direction to the rail sector for the first time in 150 years, says Department of Transport deputy director-general rail Jan-David de Villiers. The policy – currently a Draft White Paper – comes as South... 

New Draft White Paper suggests standard gauge network for freight rail

Gibela starts recruiting staff for Dunnottar manufacturing facility

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th February 2017 The Gibela Rail Transport Consortium has started recruiting operators and artisans for its new manufacturing facility, as well as trainees for its new training centre, at Dunnottar, in Ekurhuleni, prioritising historically disadvantaged residents of Ekurhuleni East. The consortium, which was... 

Gibela starts recruiting staff for Dunnottar manufacturing facility

Gautrain expansion project could see local spend of up to R79bn  

By: Irma Venter     14th February 2017 The proposed expansion of the Gautrain rail system has the capacity to create around 211 000 direct jobs, says Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile. Speaking at the i-Transport and UATP Conference and Exhibition, in Sandton, on Tuesday, he noted that the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA)... 

Gautrain expansion project could see local spend of up to R79bn
Photo by Duane Daws
GMA CEO Jack van der Merwe

Digital solutions to drive next wave of industrial productivity – Immelt

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2017 The next wave of industrial productivity will be driven by digital solutions, GE CEO Jeff Immelt argued during a visit to South Africa this week, adding that industrial firms would, therefore, have little option but to rethink their strategies in a digital context. The US multinational is in the... 

Digital solutions to drive next wave of industrial productivity – Immelt
Photo by Duane Daws
GE CEO Jeff Immelt

Senegal boosts rail rolling stock to enhance passenger logistics

By: Dylan Slater     27th January 2017 Rail systems company Alstom has been awarded a contract to supply 15 regional trains to Senegal to increase the country’s capacity to transport passengers between expanding cities.  

Cost, rather than value, still driving SA’s transport investments

By: Irma Venter     20th January 2017 South Africa’s transport procurement system is often driven by cost, rather than value, says Intelligent Transport Society of South Africa (ITSSA) CEO Dr Paul Vorster. “We tend to look for the lowest-cost supplier of services and equipment and not always the best value. The problem with this is... 

PRASA must get house in order or face collapse – Untu 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd December 2016 The United National Transport Union (Untu) has lashed out against South African railway services, including the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and Transnet, stating that it needed to provide proper service, or face “total collapse”. The union said that a number of incidences in the... 

PRASA must get house in order or face collapse – Untu
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