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Chinese, South African railway firms exploring new cooperation

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-15 15:45

JOHANNESBURG - The South African State Owned Entity (SOE) Transnet and Chinese locomotive manufacturer CRRC are exploring ways to further strengthen their cooperation, senior officials of both sides said Wednesday.

In an interview with Xinhua at the Africa Rail 2017 in Johannesburg, Thamsanqa Jiyane, Chief Advanced Manufacturing Officer of Transnet, said they are negotiating with CRRC to take their relationship to another level.

Transnet has been providing CRRC facilities to produce locomotives.

"The Chinese with a short space of time have done what the EU and the United States failed to do over years in terms of skills transfer and some of the things we never dreamed we will have ... The Chinese have brought a new kind of partnership where they impart skills for our future use on our own," said Jiyane.

He said the relationship with the Chinese have been very cordial while hailing the mutual learning between Transnet and CRRC.

Wang Guojun, General Manager of CRRC South Africa, told Xinhua that CRRC have supplied South Africa with over 250 locomotives since 2013, terming the relations between the two SOEs as excellent.

"The global economy is currently facing difficulties and we are exploring news areas of cooperation. We are thinking of using new models like leasing the locomotive since some do not have money to buy in current environment," said Wang.

Both executives confirmed that there have been frequent visits of employees of both companies on exchange programs and share knowledge, skills and good practice.

The two-day Africa Rail 2017 conference and exhibition ended on Wednesday.

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