The factory

A new, world-class manufacturing facility in South Africa

Our manufacturing facility is in Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni, 50km east of Johannesburg. It is here that the majority of the trains will be built – initially 580 trains comprising 3,480 coaches. Construction of the facility was completed in March 2018.

To expedite delivery to PRASA while Gibela’s new factory was being constructed, the first 20 of the 600 trains were built in Brazil, using South African materials and involving South Africans in Gibela’s skills-transfer programme. Two of the Brazil-built trains were for testing purposes only; 18 are now in commercial service.

The balance of the trains will be built by South Africans in South Africa at our Dunnottar manufacturing facility.

Dunnottar is at the cutting edge of train production – a critical hub, providing on-site maintenance and engineering services, a training facility for railway-specific artisan skills and an engineering centre of excellence. From the outset, it is environmentally efficient in its use and recycling of water and power.

The nature of the operations necessitates a high number of skilled and trained people. The facility will eventually employ 1,500 people at the manufacturing, assembly and testing site.


The construction of the Dunnottar facility is divided into seven packages:

Package 1: Plant rescue, site clearance, bulk earthworks and civil infrastructure

Package 2: Main site buildings

Package 3: Supplier park buildings

Package 4: Rail infrastructure

Package 5: Electrical reticulation and equipment

Package 6: Mechanical

Package 7: Cranes

After a fair and transparent tender process Trencon Construction (Pty) Ltd, and Black Jills Engineers (Pty) were awarded the contract to construct the main site buildings of the Dunnottar site. The two companies entered a joint venture for the contract.

Trencon’s scope of work includes:

  • a central complex made up of two buildings housing offices, canteen, infirmary and related services;
  • the five manufacturing buildings, namely a car body shell workshop, fitting and warehousing facility, a coupling and testing workshop, a filming workshop and the training facility; and
  • the various utility buildings required for the operations of the manufacturing facility.

The factory is scheduled for completion in March 2018.

About Trencon

Trencon Construction is a fully compliant BEE-owned and managed construction company founded in 1995. Since its founding, Trencon has won and successfully completed major and minor construction projects across South Africa. The company provides fully integrated and diversified civils and construction services to its clients.

About Black Jills

Black Jills Engineers is an innovative South African eco-engineering company, wholly owned and managed by black women. It is a Level 1 BEE Contributor with wide experience garnered and honed over eight years in the construction, design and management of projects for clients in the private and government (provincial and municipal) sectors.

Key construction milestones

Employment during the construction period

The construction programme reached its peak in October 2016, wherein some 1,900 limited duration jobs were created.

Our EHS pledge:

In everything that we do, our environmental, health and safety pledge is:

  • Zero severe injuries or accidents
  • Care for people’s safety and health
  • Care for the environment