New partnership agreement signed between AFD, SNCF and PRASA
Mrs. Martha Stein-Sochas of the French Development Agency and Mr. Lindikaya Zide of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa signed it in the presence of Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud.
The 12-month agreement starting in December 2017 allows France (through SNCF) to provide expertise, training and exchange of experiences to PRASA with a view to strengthen the capacity of PRASA as regards rolling stock taking-over and placing into service in a complex suburban environment, including in the take-over of ownership of the new Alstom-Gibela metro rail trains.
In October 2013, PRASA awarded French company Alstom (through its local subsidiary Gibela Rail Transport Consortium) a rolling stock contract worth R50 billion to supply of 3 600 train cars (600 trains) to be manufactured in Dunnottar Park in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.
Commissioning of the new train-sets started in early 2017, with the new service between Pienaarspoort to Pretoria already launched by the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency: Jacob Zuma in May 2017. Over a period ahead, more new train-sets will be delivered for PRASA and the delivery programme is scheduled until 2025, starting in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and lastly the Eastern Cape.
This partnership with SNCF will ensure PRASA’s new trains are operation-ready, deployed on time, and operated with the support of France’s extensive experience in the railway transport industry. In addition, SNCF will deploy a technical expert to be permanently based in South Africa for the duration of the agreement.