The civil rights organisation AfriForum, on 9 March 2023, submitted a formal application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to Transnet requesting access to information to seek transparency from the state-owned enterprise in crisis over its controversial contracts, contentious business dealings and operations.
Like many state-owned enterprises in South Africa, Transnet has been at the centre of state capture and gross mismanagement which has had a tremendous impact on the South African economy.
As a major and highly active civil rights watchdog, AfriForum is in a perfect position to process the information sought for analysis and further dissemination to its members and the public.
Such information has a patent bearing on the robustness and functioning of Transnet, which by implication reflects on the functioning of the economy in which all citizens have a stake. Moreover, this information is in the public interest seeing as Transnet is funded by taxpayers.
The information/records that AfriForum seek include:
1. All active contracts that Transnet or any one of its subsidiaries has concluded with any logistics and/or freight company.
2. All active contracts that Transnet or any one of its subsidiaries has concluded with any private security company.
3. During the past three years how many criminal complaints have Transnet laid with the South African Police Service (SAPS) for crimes committed against Transnet and its property?
4. During the past three years how many hours have Transnet ports been closed and/or shut down and not functioning for whatever reasons?
5. A list of all train locomotives that Transnet owns.
6. A list of all train coaches that Transnet owns.
7. A list of all train wagons that Transnet owns.
8. A list of all motor vehicles that Transnet owns.
9. What percentage of Transnet’s rail lines are closed and not in use? Moreover, how does Transnet define a “closed line”, as referred to in the Transnet Freight Rail 2021 report?
“The crucial importance of Transnet’s business dealings and operations to the South African economy, in conjunction with the recently demonstrated extremely egregious corruption which has led to its downfall, drives AfriForum’s demands for transparency,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.
“Corrupt dealings and illicitly awarded contracts of service are key reasons for Transnet’s failure. Transnet was the primary site of State Capture, accounting for 72,2% of all government and State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) contracts linked to State Capture. To this should be added instances of vandalism and sabotage, as well as mismanagement, incompetence and lack of accountability and transparency. AfriForum is doing our part in tackling this crisis and getting answers,” Van Zyl concludes.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum