Transnet drags ports boss Silinga to SIU as it probes R300mn scam

Transnet Ports Authority chief executive Pepi Silinga.

Transnet Ports Authority chief executive Pepi Silinga.

Published Jan 24, 2024


Transnet has engaged the Special Investigations Unit to probe corruption allegations against Transnet Ports Authority chief executive Pepi Silinga while it has also appointed an independent law firm to investigate the reports the reports that are mainly centered on flouting of procurement processes at the parastatal.

Allegations against Silinga are that the Transnet executive irregularly appointed Coega Development Corporation - a company he has previously worked for - as the implementing partner for a fencing contract at Richards Bay, Durban and Saldanha Bay ports. Dust over the contract was raised when the cost for the fencing project at the three ports ballooned from R80 million to R300 million.

“Transnet has consequently appointed an independent law firm to undertake an in-depth investigation in this regard. The matter has also been referred to the SIU, who have acknowledged receipt of the referral, and will be proceeding with the investigation,” acting group chief executive Michelle Phillips said in a statement on Wednesday.

Transnet was also “cooperating fully” with investigation processes under the SIU. This followed the receipt, on numerous occasions, of a number of allegations against Silinga, although there had been no evidence to substantiate the accusations.

“Should prima facie evidence become available during these investigations, Transnet will not hesitate to invoke the relevant processes in line with the company policies, laws of the country, and to take the necessary disciplinary action,” added Philips.

South African business, transport and logistics industry groupings have been calling for the resignation of Silinga following the allegations. Last year, South Africa approved a R47 billion bailout under a guarantee facility for Transnet whose bottlenecks have grounded the economy through delayed deliveries and movements of raw materials and finished products.

Transnet says it has a zero tolerance towards corruption. This will likely be tested by how it acts on Silinga.