Transnet absolves officials in locomotives scandal Photo / ANA file
JOHANNESBURG - South African Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Tuesday ordered rail utility Transnet to report to law enforcement officials irregularities in the awarding of a R54bn ($5bn) contract to acquire locomotives in 2014.

Transnet, which operates nearly three-quarters of the African rail network, the bulk of which is in South Africa, has been investigating allegations of corruption in the procurement of 1,064 diesel and electric locomotives.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Public Enterprises, the Minister said Transnet's Board could not abrogate its responsibility to restore public and investor confidence in the company.

The statement further read, "Overseeing the institution of investigations and disciplinary processes against allegedly errant staff members was the responsibility of the Board."

"Eskom has been down this road of commissioning investigations only to claim they are indecisive or incomplete. It is an unsustainable strategy which adds to the weight of suspicion and negative sentiment about the company. Transnet must act on the Werksmans report," Minister Brown said in the statement.

In January, Minister Brown told Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts that if boards and executives of State-Owned Companies proved unable to do what's necessary to restore company credibility then their rotation was inevitable.