South Africa proved its gravitas by taking a seat on the UN Security Council, while at home the IDC supported the black economic empowerment partners of the Gautrain. The Boks also scored a win for the country.
In 2007, the Springboks won the rugby World Cup for the second time, while South Africa took the first temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council allocated to an African country.
In the same year, the Industrial Development Corporation, with one eye on the football World Cup coming to South Africa in 2010, part funded the Gautrain concessions. The IDC posted a performance and retention bond to the value of R220-million in favour of the broad-based empowerment party, Strategic Partners Group Concessions (SPGC) to secure their participation in the Bombela consortium.
The Gauteng provincial government awarded the concession for the project to the Bombela Consortium, made up of international and local partners. Gautrain is a public private partnership project with the concessionaire comprising Bombardier Transportation (25%), Bouygues Travaux Public (25%), Murray & Roberts (25%), and SPGC (25%) as shareholders.
The project – to create an 80km-long rapid rail link between central Johannesburg and Pretoria, with a connection to OR Tambo International Airport in Ekurhuleni – aimed to cut road congestion between the two busy urban centres.
Construction began in earnest in September 2006 and included several sections of tunnel under major economic hubs, such as Rosebank and Sandton in Johannesburg. The first phase, between the airport and Sandton, opened in June 2010 – in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The final phase into the Joburg CBD was completed within two years, by June 2012.
True to its philosophy of leading the way, the IDC also provided a project finance loan facility to SPGC of R60-million. The corporation's participation in the project made an impact by entrenching empowerment and reinforcing its objective to transform the South African economy.
The ultimate goal for the IDC in the Gautrain project was to empower black contractors, engineers and other professionals and help expose them to the professional elements and practices that would enable them to establish and develop their own sustainable operations and businesses. It succeeded in this objective, and made social as well as economic contributions to the development of South Africa.