South African business people are pleased with progress made on their trade and investment mission to Angola.
Chief Executive Officer of Rail Roads Association, Mesela Nhlapo, says the association is looking for trade, investments and partnership opportunities in the rail space. She says the association whose main purpose is to promote and protect the common purpose of persons, companies and organisations within or associated with the railway industry, has managed to secure good leads.
“We managed to meet with the biggest railway company that needs a wide range of assistance from the railway safety regulators to spare parts, new locomotives and refurbishment of locomotives. As a result, we will bring a technical delegation in two weeks from different sub-sectors of the industry and we are already quoting on some components. We are motivated by the immense business opportunities in this space,” said Nhlapo on Thursday.
Nhlapo is part of the 20 South African businesses currently on the trade mission to Angola which has been funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
Meanwhile, Business Development Manager of Reelin Bearings, a manufacture of railway bearings and other products, Mervyn Chetty, said the mission has started producing positive results for the company.
Chetty said the South African delegation was received well by the Angolan businesspeople and captains of industry who are keen on forming partnerships with South African business.
“In our meetings they were enthusiastic about my companies’ offerings. We have a couple of good leads that we will follow up on. We are looking forward to access the opportunities they have in the industry as they look into integrating into Southern African Development Community (SADC),” said Chetty.
He added that his company will be submitting quotations on traction motors for locomotives.
“I am confident that Angola will be our first export market as we are looking to expand to SADC.”
Meanwhile, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe, who led the business delegation to the site visit at Luanda Rail, said the visit was essential. This so as gain as much information about the 27 stations that are planned for the 425km route from Luanda to Malange, and other opportunities.
The visit said the Deputy Minister provided an opportunity to see how the South African businesses in the built and construction sectors can access opportunities.
Magwanishe assured the Chief Executive Officer of Luanda Railway, Dr Julio Bango Joaquim, that South Africa was positioned to offer competitive services in the engineering, technology and port management to Angola if given the opportunity.
Joaquim said they were facing challenges in the rail sector and appealed to the South African businesses to join hands and work with them in addressing these challenges.
“The doors are open for the South African businesses. We want to work with you. Some of the opportunities available are rehabilitation and maintenance of equipment, rolling stock in great numbers, training and transfer of skills in engineering and mechanics, amongst other,” said Dr Joaquim.
The investment mission, which got underway on Monday, will conclude on Saturday.
South Africa and Angola enjoy strong bilateral relations, with total trade currently amounting to R25.6 billion.