On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected at Cape Town Station. He is going to unveil the new trains and observe their testing before the new fleet’s complete roll-out.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is also planning to take Ramaphosa through the passenger rail sector’s 20-year modernisation programme aimed at commuter services improvement and economic activity stimulation.
“The programme aims to revitalise the rail industry through the local manufacture of parts, maintenance, the establishment of training facilities, the achievement of 65% local content, and training and skills development for Prasa employees and young people interested in the rail industry,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, explained.
“The government’s commitment to providing safe and sufficient passenger rail services that will benefit commuters and the economy is reflected in its investment of more than R170billion to ensure that passenger rail services offer modern, safe and reliable trains for commuters, faster trains that will increase the capacity of the network, improved overall safety of trains and reduced energy costs and improved, predictable and reliable services to passengers,” Diko said.
During his visit to Cape Town Station, Ramaphosa will see two new trains that were produced locally. They are going to be launched on upgraded infrastructure, as part of the Prasa Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme. As part of the same programme, more than 7,000 new trains are to be manufactured over 20 years.