Concern about corruption after Transnet visit in Cape Town
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Cape Town - Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises said it was happy with the oversight visit it conducted at Transnet in Bellville. However, it was concerned about the “legacy” of corruption within the entity.
The committee conducted an oversight visit to Transnet operations, Transnet Freight Rail and Transnet Engineering in Bellville on Wednesday, to assess the impact of the infrastructure building programme and developmental initiatives implemented to advance the objectives of the government.
Transnet Engineering chief executive Ralph Mills said they have 145 depots around the country that specialise in maintenance, and they had provided the committee with an example of the type of work they do.
Mills said the first depot visited was the locomotive depot, where they maintain and service both diesel and electric locomotives. He said the second depot visited was the wagons, where they maintained and supported the wagon fleet.
Mills said they have been affected by the vandalism of infrastructure, with criminals and vandals stealing headlines and rails.
However, he said they were putting many preventative measures in place, and have escalated security, to make it a much higher priority throughout the group.
“What we are doing as an organisation is very important, because if Transnet fails, South Africa fails, because we are linked to absolutely every part of the economy at the end of the day, so we have to be successful,” he said.
Committee chairperson Khaya Magaxa said the oversight was informed by the reports they had received from Transnet about a number of issues, including the progress made and the challenges faced by the entity.
Magaxa said they wanted Transnet to remain a catalyst of development in the country. “We still want them to play a crucial role in job creation, particularly youth employment.”
He said they still wanted the investigators probing corruption at Transnet to go deeper to deal with those people involved in corruption, “because they have squandered a lot of funds from this entity”.
United National Transport Union general secretary Steve Harris said if Transnet had not endured a decade of state capture, corruption and mismanagement, some ports would still be known as the food basket for Africa and the country would have made enormous strides in alleviating poverty.