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Three of the four contracts Transnet signed for the R54.5bn acquisition of 1,064 locomotives had no local content obligations whatsoever, constituting a massive lost opportunity for local industrialisation and black economic empowerment. At the time the contracts were signed in March 2014, with South China Rail, North China Rail, General Electric and Bombardier Transportation, they represented the second-largest rail acquisition programme in the world. Department of trade and industry chief director of industrial procurement Tebogo Makube briefed parliament’s trade and industry committee on localisation in the rail sector on Tuesday. He said only the contract with China North Rail contained an obligation for local content, even though the request for proposals required local content commitments and declarations were made in this regard by the bidders. The omission of local content requirements in the contracts were in contravention of the department’s policy on localisation in terms...

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