Traxtion Group, the provider of rail services and solutions across the African continent, on Monday announced its intention to embark on a significant investment programme within South Africa’s rail sector.
This follows the Economic Recovery Plan presented by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Joint Sitting of Parliament on October 15, where he announced that the State would be granting third-party access to the core rail network within the next 12 months.
Under this new policy private freight rail operators will be allowed to operate on the state-owned rail infrastructure alongside and complementary to Transnet.
In response to this policy change, Traxtion has announced an initial locomotive and wagon build programme of R1.5 billion upon conclusion of the appropriate access rights with Transnet.
Traxtion plans to invest a further R14bn to R17bn in locomotives and wagons over the next five years as part of a carefully scaled rolling procurement programme.
The initial investment has the support of Traxtion’s shareholders, including Harith General Partners, the leading Pan-African fund manager for infrastructure development across the continent, and Principle Capital, a London-based investment company.
Traxtion chief executive James Holley made the announcement as part of the Africa Rail conference’s keynote panel discussion “Open Access: New Business model, New Profits”. Holley was joined by Railroad Association chief executive Mesela Nhlapo and Abigail Kiernan, senior project engineer at the United Kingdom’s Network Rail.
Sipho Makhubela, the chief executive of Harith General Partners said: “We see Traxtion as the ideal vehicle to invest in a sector that we believe will add tremendous impetus to the economic recovery of this country. The rail sector will bring real benefits in terms of further industrial growth, and increasing the country’s industrial competitiveness and job creation.”
Source: IOL on 20 October 2020
Written by Staff Report