SOUTH AFRICA: Putting forward his budget in July, Minister of Transport S’bu Ndebele said the government is spending R25bn over the medium term to stabilise and upgrade passenger rail services. R14bn is allocated for infrastructure and rolling stock, the rest for operations.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa CEO Lucky Montana told the Africa Rail conference that approval is expected for a R80bn rolling stock programme, including 6800 coaches for Metrorail commuter services. He anticipates needing 560 to 600 new coaches a year for the next 10 to 13 years, as growth is estimated at 8% annually and the current R7bn three-year coach refurbishment project is only sufficient for present demand.