Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Dr Ismail Vadi, outlined the business case for the additional Gautrain rolling stock, at a media briefing session held on 26 January 2015, at The Maslow in Sandton. This is in relation to the announcement by MEC Vadi last week that the Bombela Concession Company (BCC) has invited reputable and established suppliers to qualify as shortlisted bidders by submitting a compliant RFQ document for the design, manufacture, supply and maintenance of 12 new electrical multiple units (train sets) as well as the design and construction of additional depot infrastructure for the Gautrain system.
The business case for the additional rolling stock is based on a self-funding mechanism. The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) will use revenue from the Gautrain which come from existing sources of funding within the current Concession Agreement with BCC as well as funding from the increase in passenger capacity due to the additional rolling stock.
The GPG has engaged the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) as mandated lead arranger to provide loan capital for the new rolling stock procurement. The DBSA has approved in principle a loan of R3,5 billion that will be channeled into the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) to pay for the new rolling stock.
To maximise value and local content usage as well as socio-economic development potential for Gauteng, the maintenance of the new rolling stock will be included in the procurement. This maintenance will be for a minimum of 15 years although bidders will be able to offer alternative proposals for up to a 35-year maintenance contract.”
The Gautrain System has, to date, transported over 50 million rail passengers and currently carries 1.4 million passengers per month. Since the start of operations, travel patterns and demand levels on the Gautrain System are closely and continuously monitored on an ongoing basis. Current passenger growth has been consistent in the peak periods and if the current patronage in the peak periods is not addressed, capacity will become more constrained.
In terms of the future plans of the GMA and BCC to increase capacity on the Gautrain System, a total of 48 new rail cars will be required to see the Gautrain System over the next decade. Additional System requirements post 2020 will be evaluated and expanded in accordance with the outcomes of broader Gauteng Provincial Government initiatives such as the Integrated Transport Management Plan (ITMP25).
An independent assessment of the economic impact of Gautrain has been completed and the results have shown that the Gautrain System has created 122 000 direct and indirect job opportunities during construction and 600 direct and indirect jobs after the start of operations. Gautrain has stimulated property development in areas around its stations and has thus contributed to the goals of transit-oriented development, better land use and redressing apartheid spatial planning. It is estimated that R46 billion total GDP impact has been added to the provincial economy due to property development induced by Gautrain, contributing a further 245 000 jobs.
The need for additional Gautrain rail cars indicates that citizens have come to value the safety, reliability and affordability of public transport and are making a shift from private- to public transport.