Bombardier Transportation South Africa (BTSA), which was lead partner in the multi billion rand Gautrain project, announced a major restructuring of its shareholding which was mainly defined by selling of 25% to a BEE consortium which features staff and other BBBEE styled trusts.
Alan Flint, Chairman of BTSA, said a special purpose entity has been created, which owns 26 per cent of BTSA, and which in turn is owned by employee and business trusts. This ownership model will ensure that BTSA’s employees, as well as various black-owned and controlled suppliers will participate in BTSA’s future success, and profitability. The structure supports the inclusion of certain Non-Governmental Organizations. This new ownership structure is in line with BTSA’s ongoing objectives of delivering real transformation in a meaningful and sustainable manner in South Africa.
The restructuring reinforces Bombardier’s long-standing commitment to South Africa, which started in 1995, and includes the successful delivery of 24 BOMBARDIER ELECTROSTAR train sets to the Gautrain Management Agency. Aubrey Lekwane, Business Development Director, BTSA said, “Our commitment extends beyond supplying essential transportation components into the country’s infrastructure programme. For example, the Bombardier Women’s Learnership programme has enabled 105 young women to obtain a qualification accredited by the Skills Education Training Authorities (SETA)”.
Apart from the Gautrain project, BTSA has also assisted in supporting and developing the local locomotive and commuter train refurbishment industry for nearly two decades. Bombardier remains responsible for the core electrical and mechanical design and equipment for Gautrain and will continue to support its local partners in maintaining the fleet for 15 years. The Gautrain project has created more than 34,200 local direct jobs, and an estimated 119,700 indirect jobs.
Localizing ownership is a clear indication that Bombardier is in South Africa to stay. The region offers many exciting business opportunities both in passenger and freight services, which also includes increased market penetration into the mining sector. BTSA have made a strategic decision to further develop rail service offerings that will support all Sub-Saharan countries in enhancing their infrastructure in the most cost-effective and sustainable manner. BTSA aims to invest in local manufacturing capacity, training and improving the skills development of local employees, while working with local suppliers to achieve the same objectives.
Alan Flint concluded: “I am also pleased to announce today that Aubrey Lekwane in addition to his role as Business Development Director, BTSA, has been appointed as Bombardier Transportation’s Chief Country Representative for South and Southern Africa as from July 1, taking over the role that I have held. As Chairman, I will work alongside Aubrey to ensure a smooth transition and provide all the support he may need to ensure that BTSA continues to deliver quality products, together with exceptional service, into the South African transportation sector. I am equally pleased to welcome the ten new board members of BTSA, four of which are non-executive, who are representative of the population demographic of South Africa”.