Expatica news

S.Africa rail firm in ‘biggest ever train order’

South Africa’s state-owned rail freight firm Transet said Monday it was ordering more than 1,000 new trains, in what it hailed as the country’s biggest single corporate infrastructure investment.

The total order of 1,064 locomotives was worth 50 billion rand (3.3 billion euros, $4.7 billion), Transnet said in a statement.

It ordered 599 electric locomotives from China’s Zhuzhou and the South African subsidiary of Canada’s Bombardier, as well as 465 diesel trains from General Electric.

“The multi-billion rand acquisition is South Africa’s single biggest infrastructure investment initiative by a corporate,” the firm said in a statement.

All bar 70 of the trains will be built in South Africa, the continent’s top economy, Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe said.

“This transaction is intended to transform the South African rail industry by growing existing small businesses and creating new ones. We are going to create and preserve approximately 30,000 jobs,” added the transport boss.

After decades of underinvestment, South Africa is scrambling to modernise its rail network, which is currently mainly used for freight.