By Mildred Siabi-Mensah,GNA
Ketan(WR) Feb. 13, GNA - The South African Railway Operator, Transnet International Holdings has commended the government for its commitment to revitalize the railway sector.
The Programme Director of the Company, Mr Wilson Mogoba during a News conference held in Sekondi, said the pace with which the vision of transforming the sector was gaining momentum was impressive after a few months of government signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghana Railway Company Limited and the Ghana Railway Development Authority.
Since then, "government’s commitment has been awesome and practical steps have been put in place to realise the revival of the Western Rail Line such as the introduction of the passenger service from Takoradi to Tarkwa".
It will be recalled that, Transnet SOC Ltd, led by its chairperson, Dr. Popo Molefe, in December, 2019, signed a rail revitalisation agreement with Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) and Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) for the restoration of the Western Railway Line in Ghana.
The President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa witnessed the historic agreement after a Joint Statement of Intent between Ghana’s Minister of Railways Development, Mr Joe Ghartey and South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan in 2018.
Under the agreement, Transnet International Holdings would rehabilitate lines between Takoradi and Tarkwa by undertaking five key activities; rehabilitation of the rail infrastructure to ensure safety and reliability, refurbish the rolling stock comprising locomotives, wagons and coaches and where necessary supplement the rolling stock with additional ones from South Africa and the joint management of the operations of the line with Ghana Railway Company.
The rest are skills Development and Training through exchange programmes among others.
Mr Mogoba said, the company, would be mobilising to site by the second quarter of this year, after the signing of specific agreements.
Currently, a nine-member team is in Sekondi to undertake Technical due diligence on the Western lines with commercial due diligence already done to ascertain viability.
The concentration will be on Takoradi, Kumasi and Awaso line, while the rolling stock will be on the locomotives, wagons, coaches and workshops.
The South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Madam Lulu Xingwana was enthused at the progress of work, saying what it was in line with broader vision of the Current AU to ensure infrastructural development of the continent.
She was also happy that Africans were working among themselves to seek solutions to their challenges.