In procuring new rolling stock, says engineering firm DCD, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) set its requirement levels for local content too low. Because of this, overseas manufacturers could supply electric motor coaches or components at prices which local industry could not match. “The updated tender issued by Prasa on 18 July requires a zero to 40% local content threshold over the first three years of its 20-year procurement programme”, which is worth R123 billion. DCD maintains that 85% of Prasa’s tender process is based on price and only 7% is factored in for local content and job creation.
It compares Prasa’s requirements with those of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), which is currently thinking of tenders for 599 new electric locomotives and 465 diesels. The local content threshold is 60% for electric locomotives and 55% for diesel versions – with which local industry can comply.