South Africa is on track to become a manufacturer of locomotives for the rest of Africa, Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe said yesterday.
Briefing the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development on the parastatal's R300-billion market demand strategy, Molefe said the R4-billion that Transnet planned to spend over the next seven years on research and development in rail and ports equipment would help develop a locally driven manufacturing industry.
He said the parastatal has targeted to purchase 62 percent of their goods and services required for its new infrastructure projects, locally.
Already 62 percent of the content of the 141 locomotives bought from General Electric has been spent on local content, he said, adding that South Africa already manufactured and exported wheel parts for locomotives.
Over the next seven years, Transnet would acquire 1317 locomotives and would manufacture 25 000 wagons in South Africa, to be used to ship cars and minerals, said Siyabonga Gama, chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail.
Detailing Transnet's market demand strategy, Molefe said the parastatal had invested R118-billion in infrastructure in the last seven years, but would almost triple this to R300-billion in the next seven years. They will also expand the tonnage of iron ore and coal for export transported, from 53 tons to 83 tons and 59 million tons to 74 million tons, respectively, while moving the number of containers handled from 4.3 million to 7.6 million.
Molefe said last year Transnet invested R24.6 billion, as part of the R300 billion programme, and would this year invest R31.2 billion, with investments peaking at R56.3 billion in 2016/17.
A total of R4.2 billion will be spent on small business promotion over the next seven years and the parastatal was working with suppliers to meet the government's transformation and empowerment objectives, he said.
About 99 000 jobs are expected to be created in current financial year, peaking at 136 000 in the 2016/17 year, and totalling about 588 000 jobs over the next seven years.
The majority of jobs will be created in KwaZulu-Natal, backed by developments in the Port of Durban (the biggest port in Africa), where R38.5 billion will be spent and Richards Bay (the biggest coal terminal in Africa and the Middle East) where R49.9 billion will be spent.
SA — the Good News via BuaNews