Transnet to make own rolling stock

2012-06-28 11:00

Johannesburg - Logistics company Transnet will eventually manufacture its own trains and locomotives, CEO Brian Molefe said in Johannesburg on Thursday.

"Transnet will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to be an equipment manufacturer," he said.

"We will build our own locomotives and trains."

He was speaking at a business breakfast hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa.

Transnet had ordered 143 locomotives from General Electric's local subsidiary. The first 10 of these had been wholly manufactured in the United States.

"During the manufacture, we sent our people to learn and study how the locomotives are put together."

A manufacturing plant had been set up in South Africa, and Transnet had begun ordering parts for local assembly rather than complete locomotives. Some parts were already manufactured locally, such as wheels.

"We have put in an order for cranes for our port terminals, and we are looking to conclude a similar agreement here," he said.

Transnet would insist that maintenance, at least, be carried out in South Africa.

Responding to criticism of the country's high port charges, he said the group was looking at port charges for containers. Historically, South Africa had been a bulk exporter of raw materials, particularly minerals. As a result, bulk prices were kept low, but container prices were high.

Now that the country was industrialising, it was increasingly exporting containers of manufactured goods.

"We need to encourage container exports," Molefe said.

South Africa's port charges were perceived as high relative to other countries because it did not offer subsidies.

"The question we should be asking is, should South Africa, to be competitive, start subsidising its ports?"

There were arguments for and against subsidies. Subsidies would take resources away from priorities such as health and education, and when the government needed to cut spending, charges would go up as subsidies fell away, Molefe said.


  • Johan - 2012-06-28 11:34

    Transnet used to do this at Koedoespoort but due to re-structuring and cost cut backs this was stopped- so where will they now again get the necessary expertise?

      Ntuthuko M Simelane - 2012-06-28 12:15

      Lets believe that all those difficulties are planned for now, i see job creation, im positive. Step in the right direction!

      Henk - 2012-06-28 12:44

      Jip Johan, and all the maintenance shops are also closed at Langlaagte....

      Henk - 2012-06-28 12:58

      Amazing all the thumb downs you get. Must be ANC supporters....

      Rob - 2012-06-29 10:50

      I wonder what they are manufacturing in Nigel. They always try to be clever and think they have just invented the wheel.

      balan.morgen - 2012-06-29 13:00

      Look at some of the stations built like shacks.

  • swavka - 2012-06-28 12:10

    Animal Farm - The more things change the more they stay the same. And they will pat themselves on the back and give themselves noddy badges all round for this initiative - creating jobs et al.

      balan.morgen - 2012-06-29 12:58

      Transnet was once a Leading and profitable organisation of the country. Not anymore after being run by the clowns of the anc.

  • harold.parsons.37 - 2012-06-28 12:12

    Back in the old days South Africa manufactured its own rolling stock and locomotives. it provided productive employment to thousands of people. And only recieved critisism from the super capitalist and tha ANC provided the final bullet in a vibrant industry

  • ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-06-28 12:15

    Sounds like a good idea although not new. Provided we don't end up paying our local friends 1 million per wheel.

  • ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-06-28 12:18

    Another thought. SA manufactures cars to international standards and exports many thousands a year. The is no reason why SA couldn't do the same with locomotives and export into Africa. Big challenge is that Government has a hand in this idea.

      appietrader - 2012-06-28 14:59

      Car manufacturers are all privately and mostly foreign owned. Huge success! Transnet cadres.. clowns.. can't run the railways properly with overpriced tariffs. Now wants to become rolling stock manufacturers on their own??? With private sector involvement this can and will become a major industry like it was before they killed it! Do they have to reinvent the elementary basics of business? Have they learnt? Time will tell.

      balan.morgen - 2012-06-29 13:08

      Transnet has 70% of its employees that are incompetent or lazy. I know it for facts because I worked for Transnet and I know what I'm talking about.

  • bennie.kruger.5 - 2012-06-28 12:30

    To do this we will need to ''work'', ''productively''. ''Grants'' and ''Tenders'' are unwanted !!!!

  • Henk - 2012-06-28 12:43

    Oh so you are going to re-open all the SAS workshops that you closed down! Why where they closed in the first place....Oh sorry forgot? The incompetent ANC took over!

      dennis.vermaak.5 - 2012-06-28 13:18

      Ja Henk, I worked for SAR from school to artisanship and got excellent training !!

      ken.grimblegrumble - 2012-06-28 13:21

      Henk, you are so right. In fact anything that existed was because there was a demand for that service. Ignorance by the ANC on satisfying demand is a given. Now all they have to do is rewrite the history books to prove that what you say is a lie.

  • skhumbuzo.khalanga - 2012-06-28 13:06

    Why buy abroad while parts such as side frames,wheels and couplers are manufactured locally by scaw metals.even General electric is buying its main frames(chassis) there.

  • Hermann - 2012-06-28 13:33

    At last they have seen the light and rolling stock replacement will be cheaper, engines will be cheaper and jobs will be created. Lets be positive.

  • carl.lotter.3 - 2012-06-28 13:58

    What about the SMME connection. Be upfront and say how you will use this investment to develop SMME

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