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SA to buy locomotives from China

South Africa has confirmed it is buying locomotives from China for the first time, with Transnet Freight Rail signing a US$325 million contract with China South Rail (CSR) Zhouzhou Electric Locomotive.

The acquisition of the trains is part of Transnet’s market demand strategy, which is one of the central pillars of the government’s plans to lift economic activity and job creation through infrastructure investment, South Africa’s Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said Monday.

Gigaba said the agreement to buy 95 dual-electric locomotives for Transnet’s general freight business was a demonstration of the government’s commitment to embracing South Africa’s entry into the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economic bloc.

Meanwhile, South African Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies and his Chinese counterpart Cheng Deming Monday officially opened the South African Expos 2012 in Beijing, China.

Sixty-eight South African companies from different sectors are taking part in the exhibition, which seeks to expand the basket of export products into China, and change the current structure of trade to comprise of more value-added products over the long term.

Davies said China and South Africa share a number of issues in common, including their involvement in the BRICS bloc, and have a number of co-operation agreements that have been signed over the years.

“These particular expos are special in that we chose a number of companies that have the ten value-added products identified in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CSPA) signed by both countries in August 2010, prioritising the improvement of the structure of trade between the two countries,” said Davies. 

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