SOUTH AFRICA: US-based railway supply group Wabtec Corp announced on August 6 that it had established two joint ventures to expand its manufacturing, supplies and service business in the South African market.

Based at Kempton Park near Johannesburg, the two joint ventures have Sibanye Brakes of South Africa as the minority partner, and meet South Africa’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) requirements. Andrae Nieuwoudt will serve as managing director of both ventures.

Wabtec South Africa will manufacture, assemble and service Wabtec products in the region, including locomotive and freight wagon braking equipment, drawgears and electronics, as well as equipment for the urban rail market. The business will also install the ECP braking equipment which Wabtec is supplying to Transnet Freight Rail. FIP Brakes South Africa will manufacture friction brake equipment and provide technical and research support in conjunction with other Wabtec operations in Europe, the USA, India and Australia.

'Wabtec has provided products – from brakes shoes to electronic braking – to the African market for many years', said President & CEO Albert J Neupaver. 'By establishing a local presence, we are making a commitment to expand our production and service capabilities in this growing market. We believe customers will benefit from faster response time and direct access to all of Wabtec’s products and services.'