Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas have officially opened Transnet’s wagon refurbishment facility.
The two officially launched the Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility in De Aar on Monday, which will maintain various types of wagons for Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) operations.
This investment of more than R30 million is aimed at increasing TFR’s capacity on the main corridor between Sentrarand and Cape Town, known as Capecor.
This facility has already created jobs and improved rail engineering skills in the area. It has employed 47 people, with 22 of them being from De Aar. It is estimated that about 300 direct and indirect jobs will be created through this facility.
The De Aar wagons depot will be run as a satellite workshop for the Transnet Rail Engineering Beaconsfield Depot in Kimberley and will have a production capacity of 250 wagons per annum.
Additionally, the minister and the premier handed over two houses to families that had to make way for Transnet’s plans to establish a Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct at their dilapidated houses next to the De Aar Rail Station.
Transnet relocated the two families to new houses.
The youth precinct comprises a youth shelter for 20 homeless boys. It aims to take homeless boys off the streets and place them in a healthy environment, from which they can be reintegrated into their families, society or be equipped with self-sustaining life skills.
The precinct also has a youth educational centre offering access to a library, career information, higher education information, health care and more.
The precinct also boasts a recreational park as well as a social club of youth volunteers, who do monthly volunteer activities.
The Transnet Foundation will fully fund the De Aar Youth Precinct NGO for the first three years (2014, 2015 and 2016). During this time, the Transnet Foundation and the board will engage with other potential donors and partners to invest in the precinct.
“Government is committed to revitalising the economy of rural towns such as De Aar, so that we create sustainable livelihoods for the local people. A wagon refurbishment facility will have a long-term impact not only on De Aar but surrounding areas, as it will be a springboard for development within the broader Northern Cape province.
“The establishment of such a facility brings hope to the youth of De Aar to become engineers and better their lives,” said Minister Brown.
The Northern Cape is proud to be host to this facility that will have a positive impact on the people of De Aar, said Premier Lucas.
“We are happy that state-owned companies such as Transnet’s business philosophy are clearly defined in the saying that for the companies to prosper, they need the communities they operate in to also prosper,” said Lucas.
Source : SAnews.gov.za