Transnet is bleeding highly qualified staff members and more may leave soon

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: David Ritchie

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: David Ritchie

Published Oct 2, 2023


It seems that Transnet is bleeding staff members heavily and has failed to retain its highly experienced staff.

On Friday last week the company lost two senior leaders within the organisation.

Transnet CEO Portia Derby resigned as the parastatal faces challenges with its rail infrastructure. She was with the company for about three years.

Nonkululeko Dlamini, the CFO of Transnet has also handed in her resignation.

According to EWN, the Department of Public Enterprises has stated that Transnet has failed to keep its important and experienced staff and was in the process of trying to address this failure.

The ministry is working with Transnet board members on a turn-around plan.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has stated that the previous administration’s decision to provide voluntary severance packages was a mistake.

This step by the state owned entity has led to a number of highly skilled personal being lost, and as such, has placed Transnet in a precarious situation.

This is why the SOE is in such a dire state, according to Gordhan.

"Firstly, we have a debt burden of about R147 billion, secondly, we have had declining volumes of exports, thirdly, declining volumes mean less revenue for Transnet, less process for companies, and therefore, less corporate tax, and therefore, less tax collection. So, you have a vicious cycle," according to Gordhan.

In an interview with Bongani Bingwa on Radio 702, Gordhan spoke specifically about the loss of Derby.

“Officially, from what I have been told, she's decided to pursue other interests. The board is in the best position to comment on the details because they're the ones who were engaged with this issue. Regrettably, one of the bright and relatively young people has to move on,” he said.


There have been a number of reports that Siza Mzimela, CEO Transnet Freight Rail may also be the next senior leader to leave the company.

Business Day has reported that after a conversation with various Business and government insiders, the “writing is on the wall for Mzimela”. She may be the next person to leave Transnet.