Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster

Gautrain Management Agency Executive Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster Retires

Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster, the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA), Senior Executive Manager: Communication and Marketing retired in her position at the of end of April 2023 after more than 23 years at the Gautrain.


  • Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster has been involved in communication and marketing for over thirty-six years, in a training, research and a practical capacity.
  • She was also the official spokesperson of the Gautrain since inception.
  • Her expertise are not lost to Gautrain, she will still be involved as advisor to the GMA CEO on special projects, on a part time basis.
  • Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.


Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster’s journey at Gautrain summarises Nikos Kazantzakis quote that “true teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully, encouraging them to create their own”.


Dr Jensen-Vorster built many bridges for communication students and professionals. Under her leadership the GMA Communication and Marketing team won several national and international awards for communication and marketing strategy, media management, research as well as brand management.


As a Mentor and Teacher, she leaves a legacy of brand and communication excellence at GMA and has paved the way for the team to take the Gautrain brand to greater heights. She has been part of the Gautrain project since its inception in 2000 and played an integral role in the development of the Gautrain brand as well as the roll out of the brand on trains, buses and all stations.

Our staff, management and the board extend their earnest appreciation to Barbara, (as she’s fondly known) for her sterling contribution. One of the operational successes of Gautrain was involving a seasoned communication and marketing professional as the start of the project.

// Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO, William Dachs


Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster
Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster was an integral member of the strategic team that crafted the direction the Gautrain project took. Under her guidance and leadership, Gautrain is part of iconic brands in South Africa. Image: Gautrain Management Agency (GMA)

Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster’s expertise is government communication, international relations, communication research and the implementation of stakeholder mobilisation and transformation campaigns. She holds a Doctorate in Business Management. As an avid photographer, her photographs have received international acclaim with for example, recognition by National Geographic and the New York Modern Metropolitan.

I will never forget a day, on a cold grey British winter’s day, when I walked into a huge “hangar” and saw the first Gautrain that came off the production lines. There, amongst everything grey, stood the most beautiful golden train you have seen on wheels. I was in tears. I even had the stoic British engineers in tears. My other highlight was the first time a Gautrain travelled a few kilometres from the Depot across the viaduct over Allandale road and back to the Depot, the realisation that we have turned a dream into a reality. Then of course, to be on board the first commercial Gautrain, on a cold winters morning from the Gautrain Sandton Station to OR Tambo International Airport Station. It has been an absolute honour to walk this journey and witness how the Gautrain brand is continuously growing and widening its customer base.

// Former Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) Senior Executive Manager: Communication and Marketing, Dr Barbara Jensen Vorster


Other memorable campaigns include the Gautrain History book, which was recognised for innovation an design by the IABC; the Gautrain’s Phambili video, which received a special mention at the Paris Cine-Rail Train and Metro Awards and the Global AirRail Alliance Award for Service Excellence on the Gautrain Airport line.

The Gautrain project faced tremendous criticism in the beginning phases, and significant negative media coverage. However, Barbara managed to turn that around by sharing the vision and purpose with the people of Gauteng and South Africa and enabled them to take ownership of Gautrain. They were able to talk about “our Gautrain”, and to be proud of this province and this country delivering a project of world class standards. As well as shaping public opinion by giving different stakeholders exactly the right amount and accurate information when they needed.

// Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO, William Dachs


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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