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Official opening of a Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility, a Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct and hand-over of two houses

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Official opening of a Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility, a Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct and hand-over of two houses
The Minister of Public Enterprises, Ms Lynne Brown, and the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas, officially opened a Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility, a Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct and handed over houses to two indigent families in De Aar on 28 July 2014.

The Transnet Wagons Refurbishing Facility will maintain various types of wagons for Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) operations. This investment of more than R30million is aimed at increasing TFR’s capacity on the main corridor between Sentrarand and Cape Town, known as Capecor.

The facility has already created jobs and improved rail engineering skills, a boost for the De Aar economy. The De Aar Wagon facility has employed 47 employees, 22 of them from De Aar and it is estimated that about 300 direct and indirect jobs will be created through the facility. The De Aar wagons depot will be run as a satellite workshop for the Transnet Rail Engineering Beaconsfield Depot in Kimberley and will have a production capacity of 250 wagons per annum. 

Minister Brown and Premier Lucas proceeded to hand over houses to two families that had to make way for Transnet’s plans to establish a Youth Multi-Purpose Precinct at their dilapidated houses next to the De Aar Rail Station. Transnet volunteers were called in on Mandela Day last year to clean the houses in preparation for the rebuilding of the Youth Precinct. 

Transnet relocated the two families to new houses.  

The Youth Precinct consists of:

  • Youth Shelter​ for 20 homeless boys: A shelter which aims to take homeless boys off the streets and place them in a healthy environment from which they can be reintegrated into their families, society or be equipped with self-sustaining life skills.
  • A Youth Educational Centre: An education information centre offering access to a library, career information, higher education information, health care, and more. Provision of information and knowledge that will create informed and inspired young people from De Aar.
  • Youth Recreational Park: A positive environment for youth to interact and socialise in constructive and safe surroundings. This will consist of, amongst other things, an outdoor amphitheatre an outdoor chess board and a basketball court. 
  • Youth Enterprise Development: An exit strategy for boys older than 18 who have a sustainable occupation as artisans; boys will be trained to form their own small enterprises and contracted to maintain Transnet properties. This programme will be funded by Transnet Property.
  • Youth Volunteers: A social club of youth volunteers who embark on monthly volunteering activities; youth who are engaged constructively and develop socially responsible values and furthermore contribute towards volunteering activities that will impact positively on the landscape of De Aar.

Transnet Foundation will fully fund the De Aar Youth Precinct NGO for the first three years (2014, 2015 and 2016). During this time the Transnet Foundation and the Board will engage with other potential donors/partners to invest in the Precinct and thus ensure its sustainability. 

“Government is committed to revitalising the economy of rural towns such as De Aar so that we create sustainable livelihoods for the local people. A wagon refurbishment facility will have long term impact not only on De Aar but surrounding areas as it will be a springboard for development within the broader Northern Cape Province. The establishment of such a facility brings hope to the youth of De Aar to become engineers and better their lives,” said Minister Brown. 

The Northern Cape is proud to be host to this facility that will have a positive impact on the people of De Aar, said Premier Lucas.

 “We are happy that State Owned Companies such as Transnet’s business philosophy is clearly defined in the saying that for the companies to prosper, they need the communities they operate in, to also prosper.” 

Guided by the belief that South Africa's greatest resource is its youthful population and that through their active participation, the country can surmount many of its challenges, Transnet's investment in De Aar re-affirms its long-standing commitment to youth development.

"We believe we can make an important contribution to society by going a step beyond corporate social responsibility to create value through our core business for our society, employees and the shareholder," says Transnet Foundation head, Cynthia Mgijima.

For Media Enquiries, contact Minister Brown’s spokesperson, Colin Cruywagen, on 082 377 9916 or Premier Lucas’ spokesperson, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, 083 447 6586 or

Page last modified:28/07/2014 16:12