A Belgian Delegation visits Transnet Engineering facilities30/03/2022

On 17 March 2022, a Belgian delegation led by the Belgian Ambassador, Didier Vanderhasselt, was invited by the CEO of Transnet Engineering, Ralph Mills, to visit their facilities in Koedoespoort. The delegation included the Economic Counsellor of the Embassy, Francoise Puissant Baeyens, as well as Jean-Pierre Muller and Julie Tirtiaux from the AWEX Johannesburg Office, Luc Fabry from FIT, and Guy Tallier representing John Cockerill Locomotives and ABC Diesel in South Africa.

The visit started with an introduction of Transnet Engineering. It is an operating division of the State Owned Enterprise (SOE) Transnet which is a wholly owned company by the South African Government and custodian of rail, ports and pipelines. Transnet Engineering is the division that focuses on the research, design, manufacturing and maintenance of locomotives, freight wagons and passenger coaches. Through its six well equipped factories in South Africa and workforce of over 11 000 employees, Transnet Engineering extends its railway customer portfolio to Africa and the world.

Guy Tallier then presented the Belgian companies that he represents in South Africa. Firstly John Cockerill Locomotives based in the Wallonia Region of Belgium, a manufacturer of locomotives either diesel hydraulic (hydrostatic) or diesel electric (AC-AC). Secondly ABC Diesel, a manufacturer of medium speed diesel engine.

Following the presentations, the Delegation walked through the massive Transnet Engineering Koedoespoort facility encompassing 94 hectares of workshops, foundries, offices and stores buildings. The Delegation visited the machine shop block, the coach shop where we saw the maintenance of the luxury Blue Train coaches, and the laboratories where locomotives’ components are tested. It was impressive to visit this city facility, to hear the employees’ passion for the rail sector and challenges resulting from the government 40% localisation program.