At the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, held Wednesday, the Group Chief Executive of Transnet, Portia Derby outlined plans for the public entity to hand over to private companies the responsibility of running its container corridor between Johannesburg and eThekwini.
Derby confirmed that Transnet has already gone out to seek private sector partners who are interested in entering into an operating lease agreement, for the operations of the container corridor.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have labelled this move as a nefarious attempt at handing over key resources of the State to the private sector “as this has been a key focus of the Ramaphosa administration.”
The benefits of this deal to the private sector will be immense as they will practically be in charge of the entire container corridor between eThekwini and Johannesburg for the next 20 years.
EFF accused Transnet of not being forthcoming about the implications of this plan to the current workers employed in these corridors, adding that there is every reason to believe the ultimate goal is to privatize the whole institution.
“The EFF will oppose this on all available avenues, but ultimately, the only people who can put an end to this hallowing out of the State are the voters themselves,” it said in a statement.
In the same meeting on Wednesday, Transnet management also reported the challenges they have been experiencing with the maintenance of their locomotives, and with the general deterioration of the entity’s infrastructure.
They reported a loss of 550% tons of cargo due to the man-made challenges that could have been avoided.
“The management did not even once take responsibility for this mess. It must take no one as surprise therefore, when Transnet announces in a not-too-distant future that they will also be privatizing the operations of their locomotives,” the EFF warned.