From January 2, the company’s current 400 plus full time employees will be based at the Shosholoza Avenue facility and work will begin in earnest on the manufacture of the first of 580 six-car X-Trapolis Mega commuter trains to be built over the next 10 years for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
By the end of the first quarter of 2018, the first train’s car body shell (metal panel-clad metal frame) is expected to be completed. By the end of 2018, the first South African-built train should be ready for delivery to PRASA.
At peak production which is planned for the end of 2019, more than 1 000 employees are expected to be turning out an average of seven and a half cars a week and five trains a month – an average of 62 trains a year. Of 65 apprentices selected during 2017, most have already begun their training at the Gibela training centre.
To meet its local content commitment of at least 65% of contract value, Gibela has on-boarded 54 South suppliers to supply materials, parts and services. More than 4 700 South African jobs are being supported by the company’s activities.
Gibela is also forging ahead with arrangements to deliver on its 19 year agreement with PRASA to provide technical support and the supply of parts to PRASA for the new trains, as they enter commercial service.