Pretoria – Transnet has officially launched it’s the first ever train which it designed, engineered and manufactured.
The locomotive, which will serve the African continent, is specifically customised to African conditions and is suitable for use on branch lines and in shunting yards.
Speaking on Tuesday in Pretoria during the launch of the Trans Africa Locomotive, President Zuma said the completion of the locomotive is a significant technological achievement by Transnet and the country.
“We appreciate Transnet’s drive to become the leading provider of logistics services in sub-Saharan Africa. We must continue working hard to develop infrastructure that promotes trade among African countries and which make it easier for us to visit one another and also boost economic growth and development.
“The Trans-African Locomotive project has provided an opportunity for Transnet to grow and diversify its business,” he said.
According to the President, the locomotive is also the perfect fit for most of the main lines in the SADC region, where infrastructure prevents the use of heavier locomotives which are more difficult to manoeuvre.
Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, said they were very proud of the Trans African locomotive, adding that it is the first born and bred African locomotive.
“Those of us at the shareholder ministry, together with the Transnet board and Transnet management are continually considering new initiatives and innovations to reshape the core of the Transnet business,” the Minister said.
Transnet designed the original underframe, superstructure, bogies, body and locomotive control system to withstand the African environment and it’s needs-specific to the continent.