JOHANNESBURB: (By Steve Jobs)– A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at exploring possible collaboration opportunities within the railway and transportation sector globally has been signed between Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and the Kirilo Savic Institute (KSI).
KSI is a Serbian company, whose activities are mostly related to the field of mechanical engineering, traffic and transport as well as municipal infrastructure, among others.
Speaking at the ceremony of signing the MoU , TFR chief executive Siyabonga Gama said the focus will be on market research in Europe and other parts of the world, which will include engineering and maintenance initiatives, technical assessments of equipment procured in Europe, load testing of bridges and the testing of locomotives.
“This is a significant move by TFR, as both parties intend to support these projects by providing state-of-the-art expertise and assistance. We will do this by facilitating our unique expertise and experience, and access to the knowledge of our highly qualified and specialised business divisions,” said Gama.
Gama said the African continent was poised for an era of growth, spelling regional growth for the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Transportation, he said, was a key prerequisite and vital enabler of growth.
“This MoU is ideally positioned to provide expertise to the Southern African rail and logistics systems. This will assist TFR to achieve freight volume growth targets through modernised infrastructure and rolling stock fleet with world class technologies.
“It will also drive regional integration, particularly in Southern Africa and the Middle East in support of the Africa/International Business Strategy. The development of private-public partnerships will spread risks and enable growth of local industry peripheral to the rail industry, promoting skills and job creation,” said Gama.
TFR’s partnership with KSI will lead to collective learning, coordinating and integrating multiple streams of technologies for delivery of value to the company.
It is envisaged that KSI will share their expertise, facilities and knowledge to advance rail operation and technology.
KSI indicated that they will be offering scholarships and learning opportunities to TFR engineers to further enhance skills development.
This move is in line with Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS) and TFR’s aspiration of becoming one of the top five best railways in the world by 2019. TFR owns and maintains a network of over 20 500 route kilometres.
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