Fin24

Transnet to get locomotive upgrade

2011-02-21 13:37

Pretoria - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday unveiled the latest locomotive to enter service with Transnet as part of its R93.5bn capitalisation scheme.

Neither Transnet nor General Electric would say how much each locomotive would cost.

In terms of the deal, 10 of the General Electric C30ACi locomotives will be built in the United States and 90 will be built at Koedoespoort over the next two years.

It was not the company's "policy" to disclose the price of the locomotives, said GE president and chief executive of transportation Lorenzo Simonelli.

Gigaba said the locomotives were part of Transnet's fleet renewal plan and the company's R93.5bn five-year capital investment programme, which could be increased to R110bn.

According to Transnet and GE, three of the locomotives would have the same hauling power of four of the older locomotives in use and would save about 600 000 litres of fuel a year.

The locomotives would also be more environmentally friendly, producing less carbon dioxide than older models, and would be known locally as GE class 43 locomotives.

They are the first of their kind in Africa to use AC electric power.

"The many years of neglect of public investment in infrastructure capacity has created a very (sic) untenable situation for economic growth and development, and impacted negatively on jobs and skills development, especially those of artisans and apprentices as well as the country's local industrial and manufacturing capability," said Gigaba.

He said neglect of the rail network had denied the country many economic opportunities and economic capacity.

The neglect, which had taken place since 1992, had reduced the capacity of the manufacturing sector to export and to distribute between the country's economic hubs.

He said that even the current investment in infrastructure was "not at levels that we would like to see it at."

The improvement in the country's rail infrastructure would also help to take pressure off the country's roads.

Gigaba said he would like to see Transnet achieve employment equity targets, because failure by state-owned enterprises would send a poor signal to the private sector.

"Failure by state-owned enterprises to transform undermines and puts the brakes on the government's transformation objectives in the broader corporate sector, as the latter feels no pressure to transform if the former is not itself transformed. We are going to demand concrete action in this regard," he said.

Comments
  • RobC - 2011-02-21 14:06

    Blatant lies... the neglect started after 1994 when dual rail lines were ripped up to be sold as scrap to China! The signaling system was also subsequently looted by the management for the copper. Stations were abandoned or left to be looted and broken down brick by brick! Now they want to fix something that took 100 years to put in place?

  • Eddie - 2011-02-21 14:06

    Please send a few to Cape Town to run on the suburban line.

  • asknet - 2011-02-21 14:47

    mr Gigaba could you please tell us what is the productivity of the locomotives ie. tonkm per kilonewton.

  • Sook - 2011-02-21 16:28

    I hope a few of them find their way to Shosholoza Meyl to prevent cancellations like we had in 2010.

  • Jon - 2011-02-21 17:23

    That there is the main reason there such a high unemployment rate, pre 1994 we had to build these ourselves, now government is importing everything... Few industries can produce as many jobs as industrial manufacturing.

  • Hennie - 2011-02-21 18:06

    Transnet pays for the rolling stock AND the permanent way. Truck operators pay only for the vehicles while the tax payer/motorist provide the roads while truckers pay too little to cover their own road damage. Until the playing fields are more even our roads will be destroyed by trucks and rail, even though it is far more environment-friendly and cheaper overall, will remain the stepchild in this country. One only needs to see all the coal trucks in Mpumalanga, an area with many railway lines, to understand how poor current policy is.Transnet pays for the rolling stock AND the permanent way. Truck operators pay only for the vehicles while the tax payer/motorist provide the roads while truckers pay too little to cover their own road damage. Until the playing fields are more even our roads will be destroyed by trucks and rail, even though it is far more environment-friendly and cheaper overall, will remain the stepchild in this country. One only needs to see all the coal trucks in Mpumalanga, an area with many railway lines, to understand how poor current policy is.

  • Michael - 2011-02-21 21:31

    Since the world-class BLUE TRAIN service is no more, the ex-Blue Train's locomotives (still left in their BT colours) are doing degrading jobs pulling freight rolling stock. Have seen it twice, and this is a sad sight indeed... (It's like degrading a top fighter-pilot to go fly mail-cargo planes).

  • Prokno - 2011-02-22 08:55

    Since when may the price of a locomotive not be divulged? Are some people afraid that the kickbacks and bribes will then be easier to calculate? We as taxpayers footing the bill for these locomotives have every right to know how much they will cost, and also how this deal compared with other potential manufacturers. In any case from the amounts and quantities mentioned it would appear that the unit price is about R1bn. But the refusal to state the price outright gives a fishy smell!!

  • markeg - 2011-03-03 07:35

    Yes we need more jobs in this country, but not the way transnet plans to do it.Neither transnet nor general electric would say,how much it would cost.As taxpayers we should be told. ??????? why not.

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