While addressing the parliament’s portfolio committee, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) noted that Transnet failed to create jobs by manufacturing content locally.
In a statement on Thursday, 12 March 2020, the United National Transport Union addressed the Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises and while doing so, noted that Transnet has failed to create jobs for the nation. UNTU noted that Transnet has “failed to ensure that 60 percent of the production and content of electric locomotives and 55 percent of diesel locomotives are manufactured locally.”
UNTU gave this report when they were invited to brief the committee about how Transnet could help grow the economy and see to a socio-economic transformation. UNTU’s general secretary, Steve Harris, noted that in 2013, Transnet had entered into contracts worth R50 billion with four service providers who were mandated to supply 1 064 electric and diesel locomotives to the transport company over a seven-year period.
However, in December 2019, Transnet announced its decision to approach the courts to have these contracts declared unlawful and have them set aside. These contracts, which were meant to upgrade Transnet’s ageing fleet, have been overshadowed by allegations of fraud and irregularities. “The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture heard that the cost for the locomotives has ballooned from R38.6 billion in 2013 to R54.5 billion. According to Transnet the contracts contributed to R41.5bn in irregular expenditure in its 2018/19 financial statement,” the statement read.
UNTU urged Transnet to learn from its mistakes by returning to the drawing board to evaluate their mistakes. “South Africa cannot go forward and make the same mistakes over and over. The economy cannot afford the mistakes,” said Harris.