Transmashholding (TMH), the largest manufacturer of locomotives and rail equipment in Russia, through its African subsidiary, TMH Africa, has successfully expanded into South Africa, as it unveils a facility to support the economic re-ignition drive by Africa’s most advanced economy, following a 2018 recession.

Last year, Transmashholding acquired a production facility in South Africa to allow the company to expand its business by organising assembly, maintenance, and refurbishment of rolling stock in Africa. The 45,000 square meters manufacturing facility was unveiled in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, as part of TMH’s R500 million ($35.27 million) investment over the next three to five years in Africa.

According to Jerome Boyet, chief executive of TMH Africa, the decision to invest in South Africa was in part a response to the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa for more investment as well as the “informed understanding that South Africa’s real potential to become a leader in rolling stock manufacturing for Africa remains untapped”.

“We will pursue opportunities for the assembling, maintenance and refurbishment for rolling stock in South Africa and on the continent. Our focus will be on the contractual manufacturing and services for both locomotives and coaches, based on key strengths of TMH Group,” Boyet added.

South Africa’s railway system is the most highly developed in Africa. Its rail industry is publicly owned and all major cities are connected by rail. Between 50-80 percent of the rail lines in South Africa are electrified and different voltages are used for different types of trains.

Sam Bhembe, director of Mjisa investments, a 30 percent partner at TMH Africa noted, “The biggest constraint for South Africa was that we only had two major clients for locomotives, and that has been Transnet and Prasa. But this facility is meant to export locos into other countries, so now inevitable you have to have a competitive edge for the markets that you are supplying outside South Africa.”

Outside Russia, TMH owns only two rolling stock facilities. The first one is Lugansk Diesel Locomotive Plant (Luganskteplovoz) in Ukraine which stopped production in 2016, due to the military conflict. The second one is JSC Lokomotiv Kurastyru Zauyty in Kazakhstan, a joint venture with General Electric that is specialized in producing of TE33A diesel locomotives. With the unveiling of this rolling stock facility in South Africa, the Russian company is looking to expand its services worldwide.


Media Outlet The Nerve Africa
Date 03 April 2019
Title Russia's Largest Manufacturer of Locomotives and Rail Equipment Expands to South Africa
Section News section
Geographical reach International
Link https://thenerveafrica.c om/28583/russiaslargest- manufacturerof- locomotives-andrail- equipmentexpands- to-southafrica/