Funding sufficient for Transnet HQ relocation to Eastern Cape
Cape Town - The state-owned freight utility Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has set aside “sufficient funds” for the relocation of the institution’s headquarters in Gauteng and the satellite office in KwaZulu-Natal.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said this in response to parliamentary questions from DA MP Michele Clarke, who enquired about the total costs of moving Transnet’s head office from Johannesburg and Kwazulu-Natal to Port Elizabeth.
Clarke also wanted to know whether any consultation was done with the relevant sectors and staff in order to proceed with the move.
TNPA is in the process of relocating to the Port of Ngqurha in Gqeberha with some of the personnel already relocated in a move that is expected to save the freight utility R25 million in lease agreements.
In his written response, Gordhan said the information he received from Transnet was that the relocation has not yet happened and as such, no costs have been computed.
“TNPA has set aside sufficient funds for the relocation of its head office staff compliment based in its Parktown, Johannesburg offices, as well as its satellite head office in Kingsmead Durban,” Gordhan said.
“The budget estimate is constituted by a variety of project elements such as the refurbishment of the eMendi building at the Port of Ngqura, transportation of furniture and associated assets, provision of temporary accommodation for employees, as well as the incentives dedicated to the relocation of employees as per the Transnet relocation and transfer policy, which practice is not unusual for companies,” he said.
Gordhan also said TNPA has a stakeholder engagement strategy that guided how impacted stakeholders were to be engaged.
The TNPA headquarters relocation engagement sessions started in November 2020 internally and were followed by external engagements in January 2021.
TNPA presented its headquarters relocation project during the second quarter consultative committees meetings in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape ports, including the national port consultative committee.
“The presentation was shared with all stakeholders through the port consultative committee secretariat and letters were also addressed to all TNPA’s external stakeholders including the Ports Regulator of South Africa.”
Gordhan also said the executive committee of TNPA was on board as of November 2020, and immediately after this, the project team engaged the Transnet recognised.
Labour unions United National Transport Union and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union engaged as well as the Port of Ngqura executive committee and employees on the relocation project where positive recommendations were also received on how best to execute the move with minimal disruptions.
“TNPA operational staff will also be located at all the eight commercial seaports, to ensure that the day-to-day business of TNPA is not disrupted,” he said.