Johannesburg - The Zondo commission has heard how Transnet wasted millions sponsoring a page in Gupta-owned The New Age (TNA) newspaper which had no value for the state-owned enterprise (SOE).
Transnet’s internal communications specialist Joseph Frank took the stand on Friday and explained how he faced pressure from his manager to ensure that Transnet’s advertising spend was spent on TNA.
The state capture inquiry has previously heard evidence from officials of other SOEs such as Eskom who explained how millions were spent on sponsoring TNA. SOEs paid for adverts in the now defunct-newspaper and some sponsored its business breakfasts which were broadcast live on SABC’s Morning Live.
Frank’s evidence focused on a sponsorship deal signed between Transnet and TNA which saw the SOE pay close to R2 million (R327, 0000
every month) over six months for its company name to be printed in a story profile page called “The Interview”. Frank said “The Interview” was a weekly feature in TNA which profiled various prominent individuals.
He said Transnet’s marketing and communication unit was approached by a Mr Roux from TNA who proposed the sponsorship deal to Transnet. He said the SOE would get a logo of its name, a strip advert and naming rights for the page as part of the deal.