JOHANNESBURG — South African government on Monday unveiled 100 electric trains manufactured by a joint venture between a French company and South Africa’s black business consortium in Johannesburg.

“This is a massive testament to the government’s ambitious rail policy plans. We don’t assemble, we manufacture,” said Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula in Gibela Rail Consortium’s state-of-the-art plant. 

Mbalula called it a “major milestone” in Africa, and commended the plant for skill training for the youths. 

Gibela Rail Consortium was contracted by stated-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to build these trains.

The government also invested about 62.5 million U.S. dollars in the project and it aims to build 600 electric trains by 2028 to facilitate the commuting of township residents, according to the minister. 

David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng Province, called on South Africans to protect the government infrastructure including trains. 

PRASA chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane said it is on a massive rehabilitation of infrastructure, modernizing them to be compatible to the new trains. 

Ramatlakane also reiterated the call for the people to report those stealing or damaging the infrastructure. – Xinhua