Johannesburg - Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has not reacted to calls by the EFF for his immediate resignation following Transnet’s recent financial loss of more than R5 billion.
The EFF has issued a call for the resignation of Gordhan, stating their concerns regarding his handling of Transnet.
The party is highly critical of Gordhan’s approach to his ministerial duties, comparing it to a “casual recreational activity at an old-age home”.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Red Berets called for Gordhan to resign with immediate effect over his many failures, including the rising debts incurred by Transnet.
“The EFF demands the immediate and unequivocal resignation of the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan. His casual, almost leisurely approach to a role of immense national significance is a disgrace. He treats his ministerial game duties like part-time recreational bowling at an old-age home,” said the EFF.
This is not the first time the EFF has called for Gordhan’s head; last month, the party said it condemned the continued privatisation and plundering of Eskom assets, disguised as “unbundling” by Gordhan, who gave the go-ahead for the sale of Eskom’s distribution assets.
This comes after Gordhan approved the sale of Eskom’s distribution assets to a new state-owned company.
Last week, Gordhan said there were plans to tackle Transnet’s deteriorating performance decisively, after a R5.7bn loss for its 2023 financial year.
The under-fire minister said the group was at an inflection point and would now be subject to a rigorous review under the leadership of a new board.
“Transnet’s leadership must internalise the gravity of the situation and the extensive repercussions of persistent underperformance,” he said.
However, EFF spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said the party was not shocked by Transnet’s poor performance in the financial year.
“EFF is not shocked by the R130bn Transnet debt. It is an inevitable outcome of years of incompetent governance and a blatant lack of oversight. This is a scathing indictment of the leadership that has utterly failed to grasp the strategic importance of transport and logistics in the re-industrialisation of our nation,” Thambo said.
After the recent move to split Eskom into three separate entities, which many saw as the first step to the privatisation of the ailing power utility, the EFF said as long as Gordhan was at the helm, no state-owned enterprise (SOE) would survive.
“Let it be known that as long as Gordhan helms the Ministry of Public Enterprises, any hope for the revival and survival of SOEs should be considered dead on arrival. His immediate resignation, along with that of CEO Portia Derby and the entire Transnet board, is not just warranted, it is a prerequisite for the economic revival of this nation.”