Transnet must urgently table its turnaround plan in Parliament

Issued by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP – Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
15 Nov 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Mimmy Gondwe MP

While Transnet continues to bleed the economy, it also continues to limit parliamentary oversight by failing to comprehensively table its turnaround plan in Parliament with the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises (Committee).

Given that the plan has been presented to both the Ministers of Public Enterprises and Finance and to pockets of the media, the DA has written to the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Khaya Magaxa, to request that the plan be urgently tabled in Parliament. The plan which is an operational turnaround plan for the embattled entity, once tabled in Parliament, will need to be carefully scrutinised by Members of the Committee.

The DA takes the firm view that for any plan to, completely, turn the fortunes of Transnet around, it must not only contain and communicate achievable and timebound targets but also targets that speak directly to each of the large scale challenges that the entity is currently experiencing, including the operational efficiencies plaguing its port operations, particularly at the Durban and Cape Town ports.

With the country’s deciduous fruit season at our doorstep, exporters of deciduous fruit have, already, raised grave concerns on, amongst other things, the vessel turnaround times at the Cape Town port. Exporters making use of the Durban port have, equally, raised concerns on the operational efficiencies and whether that particular port has the capacity to accommodate and meet the trading demands placed on it during its peak trading season.

Although, Transnet has existing debt in the region of R135 billion, which reportedly attracts interest of approximately R13 billion per annum, the entity managed to incur a financial loss of R5,7 billion in the past financial year and a further financial loss of R556 million due to irregular expenditure. It has, therefore, become imperative for the Committee to, now more than ever, strengthen its oversight over the entity which is bleeding the country with its sustained operational and financial decline and underperformance.

On Monday, the DA also wrote to the Chairperson of the Committee and requested that they undertake urgent oversight visits to both the Durban and Cape Town ports aimed at determining whether the ports have the capacity to accommodate and meet the trading demands placed on them during their peak trading seasons.

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