Transnet Engineering today delivered the first batch of 22 passenger coaches engineered and manufactured at its centres of excellence in Pretoria and Cape Town to Botswana Railways. The successful delivery confirms the strides the Transnet division has taken as it aggressively advances towards becoming Africa’s leading manufacturer of rolling stock.

The passenger coaches were transported to Gaborone on rail from the company’s facility in Koedoespoort, east of Pretoria. The order is part of Botswana Railway’s purchase of 37 coaches.

Transnet Engineering, Transnet’s specialist engineering manufacturing and maintenance of railway rolling stock division, will deliver the remaining 15 coaches by May this year.

The supply to Botswana Railways is a significant step in Transnet’s drive to establish itself as Africa’s premier manufacturer of rolling stock. In the previous financial year, Transnet’s Board of Directors adopted the Africa Strategy which outlines the company’s intention to extend its business beyond the borders of South Africa.

Regional integration of the freight system and the diversification of sources of revenue has been a key focus area for Transnet in recent years. As a result, the company’s revenue from cross-border activities has increased from R1,5 billion in 2014 to R2,6 billion in 2015. As a percentage of revenue, the contribution of cross-border activities has grown from 2,6% in 2014 to 4,2% in 2015.

Transnet won the contract following a public and competitive bidding process in which it excelled on technological innovation; delivery schedule; and pricing.

The order is a key element of Botswana Railways’ plan to reintroduce its passenger rail service.

The coaches were engineered and manufactured to exact specifications at Transnet’s state-of-the-art facilities in Koedoespoort and Salt River, Cape Town. They boast modern features including roof-mounted air conditioners; state-of-the-art first-class sleeper designs; Wi-Fi technology; and entertainment systems.

Commenting on the milestone, Transnet Engineering Chief Executive, Mr Thamsanqa Jiyane said:
“This is a huge milestone towards our goal of becoming an original equipment manufacturer of distinction and Transnet’s objective to extend its business beyond the borders of South Africa, thereby positioning itself as a leading provider of logistics services in sub-Saharan Africa.”

One of the primary objectives for Transnet is to integrate South Africa with the region and the rest of the continent.

Transnet Engineering’s engineering and manufacturing capabilities extend beyond coaches into locomotives and wagons.

Over the past few decades, Transnet Engineering has manufactured tens of thousands of coaches for various customers.

Transnet Engineering also produces locomotives primarily for South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail and supplies wagons to various customers across the continent. Transnet is an original equipment manufacturer for coaches that are suited for African conditions.

In line with Transnet’s firm commitment to the localisation and development of local suppliers, Transnet Engineering outsourced a significant portion of the work to emerging businesses.