Black-owned consortiums score big in Prasa deal


There was a fuss after Passenger Rail Association of South Africa’ (Prasa) unveiled plans to replace its ageing rail stock at the cost of R123 billion. Career critics went in overdrive pillorying the decision as yet another exercise in the waste of tax payers’ purse. But they might have overlooked the project’s finer details: groups representing the disabled and autistic are amongst partners in one of the biggest government contracts yet.

30 percent of the project has been allocated to previously disadvantaged groups. Three consortiums will hold 17 percent, an educational trust 3 percent and an employee trust 10 percent.

The programme has been split into two 10-year contracts. Its terms explicitly specify that 60 percent of the components should be locally sourced and should create direct and indirect jobs.

The following are the consortiums:                                                

* Community Rail Services, which is made up of “a number of people with disabilities”, black female youths, Parmtro Investments and Kaelo Investments.

* Khipunyawo Rail, a black-owned enterprise already involved in the rail sector and made up of SA Freight Logistics, and Autism South Africa.

* Elgin-Identity is a black investor enterprise. The consortium includes the Durban-based Elgin Engineering, Identity Capital Partners, which is a women-headed investment firm, and the Disability Empowerment Concerns Trust.

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