South African President Jacob Zuma recently celebrated the successful completion of the first batch of electric locomotives produced at Transnet’s manufacturing and engineering facility in Koedoespoort, Pretoria in South Africa, confirming Transnet Engineering’s advance towards its ultimate goal of becoming an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
The President, accompanied by hundreds of guests, witnessed the ninety-fifth electric locomotive’s maiden drive out of Transnet Engineering’s production line.
The machine is one of the 95 electric locomotives Transnet bought from China South Rail (CSR) and built in Koedoespoort, Pretoria in an agreement concluded in 2012.
The production programme was completed in a record 12 months, in the process exceeding all technology and skills transfer targets.
In terms of the agreement, 85 of the locomotives were built in Transnet’s engineering and manufacturing facilities in Koedeospoort. Only 10 were built at CSR’s manufacturing facilities in China.
Speaking at the event which included a tour of the production facilities, President Zuma said: “For Transnet, the drive to modernise the fleet is aimed at improving reliability of service and customer satisfaction. For government this is a significant step towards our crucial goal of moving cargo from road to rail.
“Advancement of local industry through local manufacture of heavy equipment is a key pillar of our government’s economic development commitments. The leadership by Transnet, a state-owned entity in this regard, is commendable.”
In other news, PTI is saddened to hear the recent passing of six Transnet colleagues who lost their lives following a lightning strike in Bloemfontein.