Transnet set to approve dismissal of chief executive

By Sam Mkokeli and Amogelang Mbatha Time of article published Sep 27, 2018

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DURBAN – State-owned ports and rail company Transnet will dismiss chief executive Siyabonga Gama from the post, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Transnet’s board made the decision to remove Gama because of a breakdown in its relationship with him, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information had not been made public.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration is clamping down on graft and tackling poor management at state-owned companies, which are cash-strapped and pose an increasing risk to the nation’s finances. Executives at state power utility Eskom Holdings as well as SAA are among those to have been replaced.

Transnet moved to suspend Gama and two other executives last month, amid a probe into their roles in procurement contracts.

The company squandered billions of rand and broke regulations when it altered the terms of a deal to buy 1 064 new locomotives, an investigation by law firm Werksmans Attorneys found. 

A separate National Treasury-commissioned report found Transnet paid R509 million more for 100 locomotives after switching a supply contract to a Chinese rail company from Mitsui of Japan.

Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe did not immediately respond to calls and text messages seeking comment, while Nompumelelo Kunene, Transnet’s external-communication officer, said a statement would be issued later on Thursday, without giving further details.


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