FF Plus demands firing of incompetent minister of public enterprises, Malusi Gigaba and asks PP to investigate Transnet’s locomotive construction tender

Adv Anton Alberts

The FF Plus demands the head of the minister of public enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, following irregularities in the awarding of the Transnet tenders having come to light now again, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus parliamentary spokesperson on public enterprises says.

Adv. Alberts says Gigaba is clearly not capable of managing as a minister. He is also responsible for the mess at the SAA and the neglect of thousands of Transnet pensioners who have to survive on a 2% annual increase while the management of public enterprises live like kings on taxpayer’s money.

According to the newspaper Rapport, one of the local empowerment partners in Transnet’s massive tender for locomotives wasn’t even aware that his company had been awarded part of a R50 billion contract and he had apparently read about it in a newspaper.

A director of another empowerment company was a senior manager at Transnet at the time that Transnet had taken a decision about the awarding of the tender.

In addition, a subsidiary of a Chinese producer which had been awarded a large portion of the tender has apparently been investigated by the Namibian government since 2012 due to possible corruption in its transaction with that country.

This tender is one of the largest single government spending projects and four locomotive manufacturers and their empowerment partners obtained contracts to the value of R50 billion to deliver 1 064 diesel and electrical locomotives to Transnet.

According to Adv. Alberts, the FF Plus will be approaching the Public Protector (PP) to investigate possible maladministration and fraud which may have occurred with the awarding of these tenders.

He said it is a disgrace that taxpayer’s money is being wasted in this manner while Transnet’s own pensioners are struggling to survive.

The FF Plus will ask that an investigation into fraud be launched into:

The role of Zahra Pilane, one of the directors of Azon Rail, a local partner of the China North Rail (CNR) Rolling Stocks SA. Pilane was, according to reports, until December 2012 a senior Transnet manager while the tenders for the locomotives had already been announced in July 2012. This means that Pilane had been working at Transnet for five months after the tender process had officially started in July 2012. She and her partner, Babalwa Dludlu, who had also been working at Transnet until June 2011, had only started Azon Rail in March 2013, a mere month before the close of the tender application date in April 2013. The circumstances and their proximity to the transaction appear to be very suspect.

The FF Plus will ask that an investigation into fronting in terms of BEE legislation be launched about:

The awarding of a tender to Jabatha Stationery, one of the railroad company’s Bombardier Transportation SA (BTSA) empowerment partners. Jabatha’s director, James Sibeko, was apparently unaware of the fact that his company had been part of the tender process and it may be that he was abused as a front for black empowerment. BTSA’s contract to deliver 240 electrical locomotives is worth R10,4 billion.

Adv. Anton Alberts says the FF Plus will continue to put pressure on Transnet to act sparingly and to see to it that its pensioners are taken care of with sufficient increases that at the very least, which keeps pace with inflation as well as annual bonuses.



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