Transnet board goes after fleeced billions
TRANSNET has embarked on a programme to recover excess funds paid to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and transactional advisers in the ill-fated tender to acquire 1 064 locomotives during fired chief executive Siyabonga Gama’s tenure.
Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe told Business Report in an interview that the recovery formed part of the clean-up campaign to recoup monies paid when the transaction grew from the original estimate of R45 billion to R54 billion.
Molefe said among the targeted companies was Regiments Capital, a firm suspected of leading the fleecing of the utility.
He said he hoped the appointment of acting chief executive Tau Morwe on Monday would lead the utility into “getting to the cream” of the funds paid above the realistic amount.
“We will soon have a workshop with our lawyers to look at the various options open to us, what remedial actions we have to take in respect of losses by the business and what legal processes need to be undertaken,” he said.
Molefe acknowledged that the OEM contracts could not be cut willy-nilly because of legal contractual obligations but added that Transnet was looking to recover the funds in addition to implementing recommendations of the various forensic findings on implicated executives.
He said only General Electric delivered the full quota of 232 diesel locomotives while others, including China South Rail, delivered 190 of 369 locomotives, Bombardier Transport 27 out of 240, while China North Rail delivered 21 of 233 diesel units expected.
Molefe blamed Transnet’s previous management for flouting procedure by sending manufacturers to work from locations that neither had adequate facilities nor a skills base to produce the required locomotives over the stipulated period.
He said that going forward Transnet would commit itself to realistic amounts set out initially and not the inflated amounts.
“There are also issues of local content, the requirements of the Department of Trade and Industry and South African Bureau of Standards which were not met,” he said. ― IOL