South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was in Nigel, Ekurhuleni today to open a new train factory. Nigel being known as one of South Africa’s hubs for train building, this new factory is designed to revive the industry and promote local train manufacturing in the metro.
According to eNCA the factory will build, assemble, test and deliver 580 new commuters trains to be used by Metro-Railway and is expected to delivery two new trains by the end of the year. The factory has also put a focus on youth employment by employing people aged 35 and under to gain skills.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), who will be taking ownership and utilizing the trains delivered by the factory, has for some time now struggled to meet the needs of public commuters as many of their trains in use today are old, outdated, unreliable and dangerous.
South Africa and more specifically Gauteng is in desperate need of more reliable cheap forms of public transport, with petrol prices sky rocketing in recent months, many commuters have felt the pinch with the lower to middle class being the most adversely affected.
Public trains in South Africa are still the cheapest form of transport but its unreliability and dangerous nature have steered commuters to minibus taxis and buses. The building of this new train factory is well received as not only will it help with unemployment, but also provide value to the railway system in Gauteng and South Africa.
By Mokgethi Mtezuka