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Gautrain launches search for post-2026 partner with 15-Year concession

On the 5th of November, the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA), an entity overseen by the Province of Gauteng, officially issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the procurement of a new delivery partner for the Gautrain system. This invitation for tenders, which remains open until the 3rd of May, pertains to a 15-year concession set to commence in March 2026.

The criteria for selection encompass technical considerations (weighted at 100 points), price (weighted at 80 points), and specific objectives (weighted at 20 points), with a notable emphasis on compliance with broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) criteria. 

“Gautrain is the first and only rapid rail network and the first public-private partnership (PPP) of its scale in South Africa. It is a strategic asset valued at R45-billion and, once the current concession expires at the end of its 19.5-year term in March 2026, the costs of establishing this long-term asset will have been paid off, allowing the post-2026 Gautrain project to reap the economic benefits,” Dachs outlines GMA CEO William Dachs says.

Leading up to 2026, the Gautrain will continue its operations under the stewardship of the Bombela Operation Company (BOC), a 63% subsidiary of RATP Développement.

The contract, initially established in 2006, marked a significant milestone as RATP Développement's inaugural major international engagement. Concurrently, the maintenance of the railway infrastructure is entrusted to the Bombela Maintenance Company (BMC), overseen by Bombardier Transport, a subsidiary of the Alstom group.

For context, the Gautrain, a portmanteau of Gauteng and train, constitutes an approximately 80 km long rail and urban transport system seamlessly connecting Johannesburg, Tshwane, OR Tambo Airport, and seven other stations, achieving speeds of up to 160 km/h.

The existing network was deployed in time for the Football World Cup, distinguishing itself through outstanding performance metrics, including a train availability exceeding 98%, impeccable infrastructure, and rolling stock conditions, and a steadfast commitment to passenger safety on board.

The current RFP marks a strategic move toward ensuring the continued excellence and efficacy of this vital transportation system. 

Read more here.

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