Alstom in South Africa 

Alstom in South Africa

Alstom’s contribution to the local rail industry spans nearly a century going back to 1925 when the first electric locomotive was built for South Africa followed by production of the first EMUs in 1926. 

Alstom continues to strengthen its commitments to South Africa through local joint-ventures with Alstom Ubunye and Gibela and this large local footprint enables investment in rail in Southern Africa.

Contact details

Alstom Southern Africa
Tel: +27 (0)10 6000 880:
Ballyoaks Office Park,
Silky Oak House, 2nd Floor,
35 BallyClare Drive, Bryanston,
Sandton, Johannesburg, 2191
Click here for location

Tel: +27 (0)10 6000 651
Gibela Dunnotar Factory,
2 Shoshaloza Ave,
Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni, 2415
Click here for location

Alstom Ubunye:
+27 (0)11 733 0000  
Click here for location

For a career in Alstom Southern Africa

Please visit the Alstom Job Portal.

Media and Communications contacts:

Alstom and Alstom Ubunye:  
Gibela : please visit

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Key facts

The business of Alstom Ubunye is train manufacturing, assembly, and refurbishment.

Alstom Ubunye is an African rail company formed in April 2016, with a history going back to 1957 (Previously known as Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW)

  • Strong industrial base in Nigel, Ekurhuleni, East of Johannesburg
  • More than 550 employees and an 80,000m2 manufacturing facility
  • Fully compliant with Black Economic Empowerment principles
  • Large range of activities from services to components
  • High capabilities with expertise in supply chain and engineering solutions
  • Strong industrial organisation with operational excellence and high level of safety

Contact Alstom Ubunye: 
+27 (0)11 733 0000  
Click here for location

"Alstom is making a positive impact on the revival of South Africa’s train-manufacturing competency. Through Alstom Ubunye, Alstom invested with new South African partners to create a stronger industrial and commercial base able to offer a full range of rail products & solutions, strengthen the rail sector in South Africa, boost local economy, transfer skills for the benefit of thousands of South Africans , and in the long term, address the needs of other countries in the Southern African region."

Xavier Boisgontier Alstom Ubunye CEO

Alstom has developed a full range of innovative and competitive products and services that can provide a leading-edge response to the challenges of urban transport. We are proud to bring all of this to South Africa and to be a part of the development of South Africa’s sustainable rail transportation.

December 5th 2013

Contract awarded by Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to the Alstom-led joint-venture Gibela – to supply 600 X’Trapolis Mega passenger trains (3,600 coaches) over 10 years. It also includes the construction of a local manufacturing facility, technical support and spares supply over an 18-year period.

July 30th 2014

Gibela, the South African rail transport company in which Alstom has a 61% holding, officially presented in Johannesburg.

December 19th 2014

Alstom Shareholders Meeting authorises the sale of Alstom Energy businesses to General Electric.

November 2nd  2015

Alstom finalises the sales of its energy activities and is entirely focused on Transport.

November 2015

Alstom purchase agreement for 51% share in SA rail company Commuter Transport & Locomotive Engineering (CTLE), previously Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW).

April 2016

Alstom completes the acquisition of 51% share in South African rail company CTLE (Commuter Transport & Locomotive Engineering), specialized in the modernisation of trains, from CTE (Commuter Transport Engineering) and IDC (Industrial Development Corporation) which remain shareholders. The company has been named as Alstom Ubunye (Ubunye is an IsiZulu word for Unity). .

April 2016

Alstom completes the acquisition of 51% share in South African rail company CTLE (Commuter Transport & Locomotive Engineering), specialized in the modernisation of trains, from CTE[1] and IDC[2] which remain shareholders[3]

The company will henceforth be known as Alstom Ubunye. (Ubunye is a Zulu word for Unity)

[1] Commuter Transport Engineering

[2] Industrial Development Corporation

[3] An employee benefit scheme will also be created


Alstom has a long legacy of technological excellence and a commitment to local economic and social progress in South Africa. 

We are an active and valuable participant in South Africa’s endeavours in creating employment and developing skills. 

Localization is a business imperative and a key driver of our global strategy. We strive to develop long-term relationships with local companies, supporting them with training in our design, standards and specifications.

Alstom Southern Africa – now focused on Transport only - continues to strengthen its commitments to South Africa through its local joint-ventures Gibela and Alstom Ubunye. Alstom’s commitment to diversity, education and sustainable development has already resulted in several new initiatives:

  • Alstom Ubunye on site welding school for learners from the community
  • Alstom Foundation project in Duduza (establishment of a technical high school) (in progress)
  • Bursaries for children of employees of Gibela and Ubunye
  • Mandela Day initiatives
  • Gibela Maths & Science programmes at local schools 
  • Gibela Early Childhood intervention programmes
  • Diversity in the workplace

Photo – Xavier Boisgontier and principal of Esibonelwesihle School at the Launch

Alstom Ubunye on site welding school

In 2016, Alstom Ubunye reopened its on-site welding school for learners from the community. 

The investment is part of the company’s social responsibility programme but also addresses the future need for skilled artisans for Alstom Ubunye and Gibela. Welding skills are used in the refurbishment and manufacturing of trains and is a scarce skill in South Africa. 

Alstom Ubunye welding school

HRD Manager Motlalepula Matjila, (right) with Gibela learners.

Alstom Ubunye welding schoolAlstom Ubunye welding school


















Welding skills are used in the refurbishment of train coaches. 


Alstom has long been a technology supplier to South African railways, providing locomotives and passenger trains which are still in use today. 

Companies subsequently acquired by Alstom have delivered to South Africa:

  • Class 19D steam-locomotives.
  • Class 1E electric locomotives, ordered in 1925, at the time the largest single type locomotive order placed anywhere in the world.
  • The first EMU (Class 1 M) trains.
  • Class 2M EMU trains.
  • Traction propulsion and control systems and general overhaul.

In 2013, PRASA (the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) awarded a contract to Gibela – an Alstom-led joint-venture – to supply 600 passenger trains. The project also includes the creation of a new site at Dunnottar (Ekurhuleni), where Gibela’s South African employees will be trained and will produce the trains. Gibela will thereby contribute to help build the country’s rail industry with an objective of 65% local content. Read more on

With the establishment of Alstom Ubunye, Alstom now has a total of 133,000 m² local footprint with combined manufacturing facility - an industrial and engineering base for the building of the Southern African Rail Industry.