UNION Carriage Partnership has been formed to carry out rolling stock refurbishment work in southern Africa. Union Carriage & Wagon, a subsidiary of Murray & Roberts, has a 70% stake in the Partnership, with 30% held by a consortium led by investment management company J & J Group. The consortium also includes trade union-owned empowerment services company Lesaka.

Employees will receive a share of UCP’s profits, and the local community in Nigel will also benefit. Creation of the partnership will allow UCW to fulfil empowerment requirements for government contracts, and it hopes to win business across sub-Saharan Africa.

UCW will continue to manage the property, plant and workforce, with the partnership responsible for design, procurement, marketing and administration. All the partners will have representation on the executive committee.

UCW has developed a cost-effective approach to modular coach construction which has been used in major vehicle refurbishment contracts for SA Rail Commuter Corp. The partnership will have an exclusive supply contract with UCW, and will bid for contracts from existing and new customers.

H Spoornet has awarded UCW a contract to refurbish freight locomotives used on the Coal Link and Orex heavy haul lines.