Gigaba unveils R3bn Transnet deal

The minister said the project is underpinned by several critical economic objectives.

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA.

PRETORIA - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gibaba on Monday announced a R3 billion Transnet deal to acquire 95 locomotives from a Chinese rail company.

Speaking at the Capital Park Station and Locomotive Yard in Pretoria, he lamented the last two decades of migration from rail to road.

The investment is part of Transnet's strategy to reverse migrations and create a viable service in the freight industry.

The minister said China South Rail has a 70 percent stake in the deal, while a local black economic empowerment consortium has the remaining 30 percent.

"About 65 percent of the assembling and manufacturing of the locomotives will take place in South Africa."

He said the project is underpinned by several critical economic objectives.

"[The project will] increase national economic activity, create jobs, decrease imports and stimulate industrial activity."

Gigaba also said the deal is the first in a seven-year plan, expected to cost R35 billion, to upgrade rail infrastructure.